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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Surrogate mother cries foul after giving away her baby

BANGKOK: — A woman who gave birth to a baby in January and then gave it away under a surrogacy programme has called on the authorities to help her get the infant back.

The 34-year-old woman, who cannot be named, now wants the baby back because she suspects he is her biological son.

“How do I know if it was my egg or someone else’s egg? I can’t be sure. So, I want the baby back,” she said.

An agent recruited the woman to serve as a surrogate mother for an American man who was in his 40s, she said. The surrogacy contract involved a six-digit baht payment plus a monthly allowance of Bt14,000 during the pregnancy. After she gave birth to the baby, the man never contacted her again.

“We have already alerted the US embassy here to help prevent the father from taking the baby out of Thailand,” said Verutai Maneenuchnate, an executive director at the Women Lawyers’ Association of Thailand.

Verutai yesterday brought the woman to National Legislative Assembly (NLA) member Wallop Tangkananurak to ask for legal help.

Wallop chairs the NLA committee on society and the affairs of children, youth, women, the elderly, people with disabilities and the underprivileged.

The paid surrogacy contract the woman signed constituted human trafficking and should be void, Verutai said.

The commercial surrogacy service was offered through a clinic run by Dr Pisit Tantiwattanakul, the same doctor who allegedly allowed a Japanese man to hire many Thai women to bear his children.

The case of the Japanese man caused a major scandal last year and the media speculated as to why he would want so many children.

Wallop said his NLA committee had set up a subcommittee to look into surrogacy issues.

“It will handle many cases including the one involving the Japanese man,” he said.

Representatives from various relevant organisations, such as the Medical Council, sit on this subcommittee, he said.

While the NLA passed the Act to Protect Babies Born Through Assisted Reproductive Technologies on February 19, it has not yet taken effect. It will come into force 90 days after the NLA gives the green light. This law will not be applied retroactively.


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