DSI and state health agency to cooperate on surrogacy cases
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has received two surrogacy cases while there are around 10 pending cases and they might be related to human trafficking.
The Department of Health Service Support (HSS) signed a memorandum of understanding with the DSI on Tuesday for protecting a child born by medically assisted reproductive technology.
HSS director-general Dr Tharet Karatnairawiwong said that currently there is a law called Protection of a Child Born by Medical Technology Act 2015.
However, some people still tried to use the technology illegally for commercial surrogacy.
Previously, surrogacy cases were complex because there was no procedure on how to take care of these children and it could also be related to human trafficking.
Therefore, the HSS joined hands with the DSI to investigate the cases so that they would be solved faster while protecting these children through medical technologies.
Tharet said that he had discussed with the committee to amend the law so as to be in line with the current situation. They discussed several things, from allowing officials to work efficiently and allowing foreigners to get treatment because infertility is one of the diseases. Foreigners will be able to get a medical service legally if the matter has been clarified.
Meanwhile, DSI director-general Dr Trairit Temahiwong said that two surrogacy cases are under investigation. He said the alleged culprits worked as organisations of employers, operators, supporters, and utilisers.
He said it could be considered human trafficking as a lot of children were produced in many ways.
He explained that the employers were foreigners. Sometimes the sperm was imported from foreign countries to fertilise as embryos in Thailand or neighbouring countries. The culprits would take care of them until the children were born. These children stayed at a place for a while before they migrated.
He said these cases would be investigated to see if these children came from actual parents or were used for other purposes. They affected humanity, the economy, and the reliability of foreign countries, he added.
Trairit said that this cooperation would help get more clues so they could investigate quicker.
Children who were born would be under the care of the Social Development and Human Security Ministry. The ministry will provide residences for them while their surrogate mothers will be witnesses in the case.
He revealed that the ministry is taking care of 19 surrogate children of an Asian employer but he refused to identify the nationality.
Trairit added that the department is investigating if doctors were involved in these cases. He said the Covid-19 situation had made it difficult for surrogate mothers to travel abroad. Some children had to be raised in Thailand until they were around one or two years old.
He added that violators could face a maximum jail term of 10 years and a maximum fine of THB200,000, or both.