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Five more clinics found to be involved in illegal surrogacy

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Five more clinics found to be involved in illegal surrogacy | Thaiger

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Five more clinics found to be involved in illegal surrogacy
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Of the five new clinics found offering illegal surrogacy services, four appear to have acted as middlemen in seeking clients, while the fifth one was found to be in clear violation of the law, the director-general of Department of Health Service Support, Boonruang Triruangworawat, said yesterday.

Apart from these five, officials have inspected another 12 that offer surrogacy services out of a total of 45 across the nation. Of the 45 clinics, complaints have been filed against four, while seven face investigation regarding consumer-protection regulations.

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Checks have shown that all these clinics are private firms owned by Thais, though the authorities are checking to see if foreigners hold any stake in them, he added.

Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday that an Australian had been charged with sexually abusing the twins he fathered with a Thai surrogate mother, making this the second case in as many months to fuel the debate about commercial surrogacy.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said the Thai mother of the children, Siriwan Nitichad, had agreed to carry a child for the man and his wife who were not able to conceive.

“She said her husband wanted to have a baby so much, please help them,” the woman, nicknamed Aon, said.

Aon, who lives in Phetchabun province, said she agreed to use her own eggs, was paid about A$5,500 (about Bt164,000) and gave birth to twins some years ago. The report did not specify the age of the children.

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The Australian couple took the children home, but court documents reveal the father, who cannot be named, was last year charged with indecently handling them, ABC said.

The man, who reportedly denies the allegations, which also include the alleged possession of child-abuse material, is expected to fight the charges when they come before court later this year.

The children have remained with the man’s ex-wife, but Aon said she was open to taking the twins back.

“If they don’t have anyone to take care of them, we are happy to take care of them,” she said.

The case follows that of baby Gammy, who was born with Down’s syndrome to a Thai surrogate for an Australian couple in December.

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In that case, which sparked global debate, the couple took the boy’s healthy twin sister back to Australia but left Gammy in Thailand. It prompted calls for tighter controls by authorities in Bangkok and raised concerns about the practice of international surrogacy, particularly after it emerged that the father had previously been convicted of child sex charges.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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