Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thailand ... people are getting home

People are getting home, one by one . . . several since reports couples were turned back by immigration last week. As hard as it is to be patient and to not worry, there are many working behind the scenes, officials from various countries, embassies, various Thai government officials, support reps, SA and FTS, and others.
To those who have turned their own personal circumstance into a media circus, one couple even setting up a public fundraiser for $50K legal fees for a court order no-one knows anyone stuck actually needs to get at this stage, which actually costs approx AU$1,500 (I have quotes from three Thai lawyers for the same), spreading their own case to world media - you make things worse for not only yourself, but for others in your situation. This is not about you, it's about everyone, not even just about the dozen or so families in Thailand right now waiting to get home, who are unfortunate to be stuck in this transitional period, but for the hundreds more to follow. It is a horrible position to be in, the frustration and fear I know all too well having my own parents-in-waiting wondering what on earth is going on. I have no crystal ball, however let negotiations take their due course. There is a lot being done behind the scenes at high levels that none of us are privvy to. Comments by Thai Government in the latest round of media reports are encouraging, see in blue below, this is good news!
Bangkok (AFP) - Thailand's junta has pledged leniency in the cases of babies born to surrogate mothers, as it looks to toughen rules in the lucrative but largely unregulated industry following a series of scandals.
Dozens, possibly hundreds, of foreign couples are thought to have been left in limbo after entering into surrogacy arrangements through clinics in the kingdom.
Army chief General Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who seized power in a coup three months ago, said in his weekly televised address late Friday that the military rulers would move quickly to find "sustainable solutions"."We are concerned that Thai women who are already surrogates will not dare to consult doctors at hospitals while they are pregnant because they are afraid that they would be prosecuted," he said.
"The clinics that hired them or asked them to do it have been closed, so it is dangerous for the babies," added Prayut, who was on Thursday picked as prime minister by the new junta-appointed legislature.
"I have already ordered leniency on a case-by-case basis."Commercial surrogacy is officially banned by Thailand's Medical Council, but until recently even top fertility clinics were believed to offer the service.
The junta has vowed to introduce a new law that could result in 10 years' imprisonment for anyone found guilty of involvement in the trade.
In the past few weeks a number of fertility clinics have been raided and some have been closed down.

Thai officials are making transitional arrangements to protect people caught up in the country's commercial surrogacy crackdown, as 10 Australian families with 14 children are set to face lengthy delays before being cleared to depart.Thailand is under pressure to quickly put the arrangements in place for families using commercial surrogacy to speed up the court clearance process that officials expect may take up to six months.Australian officials have been in talks with Thai authorities amid increasing anxieties held by Australian couples and Thai surrogate mothers."It is a complex issue; it involves a range of different government agencies, and so they are working among themselves to see what they can do to come up with a transitional arrangement," an official familiar with the issue said.Thai government sources told AAP senior officials will meet next week to discuss transitional arrangements under new legislation, to be presented to the military-backed government.Thai Prime Minister, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, also expressed concern that some surrogate mothers, fearing possible legal consequences, may cut contact with medical facilities and access to proper medical care."At present, the laws are not clear-cut," Prayuth was reported as saying."We are going to handle this on a case-by-case basis, based on the evidence."Health authorities have moved to reassure surrogate mothers and private hospitals about the proposed legislation, following cases of surrogates being moved to public hospitals due to fears of prosecution.The new laws will ban commercial surrogacy and associated advertising promotions with a 10-year jail term for anyone found guilty of involvement in the trade.The crackdown followed a media frenzy over a West Australian couple departing Thailand with a healthy twin girl, but leaving behind her twin brother with Down Syndrome. It was later revealed the man had faced pedophile charges in the 1980s and `90s.Further media revelations included a Japanese man who allegedly fathered up to 16 children through Thai surrogate mothers. Interpol is now investigating the case amid fears of child trafficking.In the past year some 200 Australians have sought the services of Thai surrogate mothers, often through clinics promoted on line targeting foreign couples.There are an estimated 150 Thai women, who are surrogates to Australian couples, caught up by the legal changes that will require a court clearance before the foreign couples are allowed to leave Thailand.Officials say the Australian families face sharply higher costs due to delays including accommodation as well as Thai and Australian legal fees.Analysis of commercial surrogacy in Thailand has put the costs as high as $A44,000 in overall fees.

1 comment:

Sophie Talor said...

I found an English copy of the draft surrogacy laws in Thailand--good news for anyone else who has been looking to read the potential laws themselves. My husband and I had been researching surrogacy in Thailand, but are now unfortunately waiting to see what direction this goes.