Surrogacy in Thailand: The Road to Parenthood here is still a Complicated Subject!

If reports are to be believed, Thailand government is planning of bringing the old laws related to surrogacy process in Thailand that were in practice few years back.


The practice of using a surrogate mother who is not biologically connected with the child is now specifically addressed by law in Thailand.  We must mention that in 2015, lawmakers passed the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Act, also known as the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Act. (B.E. 2558). 


As per the law, surrogacy process in Thailand is illegal in some places while it is legal in other places. On the other side, Thai nationals may only undergo surrogacy for altruistic purposes (as opposed to commercial surrogacy).


Over viewing the new law related to surrogacy in Thailand 


The new law related to surrogacy in Thailand is yet to be passed. Still, voices in its support or against are already doing rounds in the country’s social fraternity. Critics of Thai law point to concerns for the child and moral dilemmas with the surrogacy procedure. This practice has proven to be particularly problematic in Thailand because of its connections to child and human trafficking. 


Another question is who will be the child's mother—the genetic mother or the Thai surrogate? Besides, a lot of doubts are there in regards to the surrogacy cost in Thailand and its related aspects. Besides, Thailand appears to join the group of countries where surrogacy is only permitted for altriustic purposes because Section 24 of the new Thai surrogacy law stipulates that surrogacy shall not be carried out for commercial purposes (i.e. surrogacy tourism, international surrogacy or cross-border surrogacy). Additionally, a committee made up of experts in various medical specialties must approve each surrogacy case along with the surrogate mother cost in Thailand.




Taking a sneak peek at Thai Civil and commercial code 


The Thai Civil and Commercial Code contains many rules regarding paternity but does not say much about who is the legal mother of a child, with the exception of Section 1546 CCC, which states that a child born to a woman who is not married to a man shall be deemed to be the legitimate child of that woman unless otherwise prescribed by law. Moreover, the legal mother of a child was usually clear in the past, unlike the paternity issue, which has always been murky (the woman who gave birth to the child).


Due to the many surrogacy options and new reproductive technologies, like in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination, that are now available, the legal definition of maternity must be established by the law. This is so that a child could potentially have three "mothers": the biological mother (egg donors), the mother who actually gave birth (surrogate mothers), and a social mother. Even if she is not the biological mother, a woman who has given birth to a child in a nation where surrogacy is prohibited, such as Germany, is still regarded as the child's mother. According to Section 29 of the Act Providing Protection for Children Born through Assisted Reproductive Technologies, a child will be the legal child of the intended parents, who must be a married couple (ART). Under Section 33, not even the applicant's parents may contest their parentage. On the other side, regulations needs to be in place regarding surrogacy cost in Thailand and its related aspects like medical cost, IVf cost and surrogate mother cost in Thailand.


Main barriers for the new surrogacy law


As the law may come in practice soon, there are still many concerns yet to be addressed. How will the mother's relationship to the surrogate child she gave birth to be governed by the law? The law says very little about this, with the exception of situations where both intended parents die before conception. On the other side, the biological parents have no legal or parental obligations for the child, according to Section 29 paragraph 2. This is confusing because at least one of the genetic parents is also the applicant parent, who will ultimately act as the legal parent, pursuant to Section 22.