I am booked to go to Bangkok on Monday for a week to check out doctors and clinics. A week without my babies - we have never spent a night apart - I miss them already. Unfortunately due to Indian visa changes Thailand is, in my opinion, the only real chance for singles and gay couples, who can't afford $100,000+ for surrogacy in USA being able to have their family. Indian clinics have been telling people, wait .. government will change back and allow singles, and I hope they do, I really hope they do, but wait for how long? First it was end of January, then Feb, March ... it's now mid-July ... just wait until the end of July ... and so on ... and still no official word from Indian government other than what is reported in the media. The "latest" update is here Hindustan Times ... Indian clinics have no further "insider information" that is official anyway, and clinics continue to tell those waiting for a change to wait, wait and wait some more.
Despite the enormous amount of work by various clinics, agencies, lawyers and even the ICMR that has gone into trying to have the visa restrictions changed, in almost a year, there is still no clarification on who can continue treatment, what singles can do with their embryos, and whether there will be a sh*tfight for singles with FRRO at time of exit with baby.
Such a shame, business is 60 per cent down in India, and there is a rush of agents and clients on Thailand, which is an option, but for how long? My concern with surrogacy in Thailand, which I make quite clear to everyone considering this path, is that there is no surrogacy law in Thailand. Same as in India, however, at least in India the surrogate has no legal rights over the baby, and Indian court precedence has found in favour of genetic parents being legally recognised as parents of the baby.
Under Thai law the surrogate is considered the legal mother of the baby. If she is married, regardless of whose genetics have gone into creating baby, the surrogate's husband will be recognised as the legal father of the baby. Thus, all surrogates in Thailand must be single, which drastically reduces the "pool" of potential surrogates. Should the surrogate decide to keep baby, she will be recognised as the legal mother and I doubt foreign nationals would have a leg to stand on in a court of law given their only agreement is a contract, which most likely wouldn't extinguish Thai family law. Although (to my knowledge) there has been no case where the surrogate has wanted to keep baby, rather the converse, surrogates afraid foreigners won't come for baby, there is the potential for it to happen. That makes me nervous.
For how long will surrogacy in Thailand be an option?
Draft laws for surrogacy were approved by Thai Cabinet in 2010. The Assisted Reproductive Technologies Bill (167/2553) was approved in May 2010. The Bill prohibits commercial surrogacy but doesn't define it and commissioning parents must be legally married. You can find more information here: Thai Draft surrogacy law
As with any Bill in any country anywhere in the world, it takes time for the Bill to be tabled for debate, and then be passed. As yet there is no date for the Bill to be debated, there was talk of it being heard in 2014 ... but nothing definite. My advice, if you want to use Thailand for surrogacy, get in and get out fast or you may be facing what is going in with India ... all dressed up and nowhere to go ... then your only options will be USA and Mexico - oh Mexican surrogacy, what a scary prospect! But that's for another post.
I will be posting information gathered from my trip on the Thai surrogacy forum which is open to anyone wanting information about surrogacy in Thailand Thai Surrogacy Forum