A Chinese couple and seven Thais have been arrested on charged with violating a law banning surrogacy for foreigners, Thai police said. Thailand banned surrogacy in 2015 after a string of scandals.
Thai police made the arrests in raids on several houses and offices in Bangkok. Also the central provinces of Patumthani and Sukhothai, police told a press conference.
They found eight surrogate mothers and also “saved” a 22-day-old baby boy and a four-month-old girl, police said.
They suspect up to 14 more children had already been trafficked back into China.
“This is a transnational crime,” said Police Major General Worawat Wattananakhonbanch.
“They planted the sperm in a neighbouring country, provided antenatal care in Thailand and then the mothers gave birth in China.”
Thailand for years hosted a thriving yet largely unregulated international surrogacy industry popular with same-sex couples.
But a string of scandals spurred the then Junta government to bar foreigners from using Thai surrogates.
One case saw an Australian couple accused of abandoning a baby with Down’s syndrome. The boy was kept by the Thai surrogate while the couple took his healthy twin sister.
In another high-profile controversy, authorities discovered nine babies fathered by a Japanese man using Thai surrogates.
Police expanded their investigations into surrogacy since 2017 when a man was arrested for trying to smuggle six vials of sperm into Laos, Police Colonel Mana Kleebsattabutra added.
Source: Asia One