There has been a crackdown in the country of Cambodia involving the commercial issue of surrogacy. At the moment, 10 babies who were born from surrogacy in the country cannot leave its borders because of the current crackdown. These babies were given birth by Cambodian mothers and the majority of the parents waiting to pick up their babies are from western countries. Currently only some of the parents are in Phnom Penh in hopes to solve the issue. Many of them the parents/couple are from Australia and have gone through tough times back home because of the financial cost.
Government officials of Cambodia are refusing a visa to the newborn that would permit them to leave the country with their Australian parents. The interior of ministry quoted as saying that the Cambodian government wants to be sure that the contract between the parents and the surrogate mothers have been fulfilled. It is also considered that the act of commercial surrogacy is human trafficking but this law which was implemented back in October is pending to be change to evaluate all angles of this situation.
Because it is considered human trafficking, the government has in the past arrested surrogacy brokers that deals with Western countries. One particular incident involved a broker who worked for a company called Fertility Solutions, was recently arrested because evidence pointed that she signed agreements for 25 contracts between the parents and the Cambodian surrogacy mothers. Each contract cost around $60,000 per baby.
Some of the surrogate mothers have fled to Thailand in hopes to give birth there. The problem is that Thailand has a similar rule against illegal commercial surrogacy (implemented back in 2014).
The sad issue out of all this are the Cambodian mothers who are in hiding because of this crackdown and had their bank accounts on freeze. According to the Sydney morning Herald an estimated 50 babies are yet to be born.
Image source – https://pixabay.com/en/baby-shoes-small-baby-cute-1799263/