Foreign media has uncovered that the illegal business produces turnarounds of more than four billion baht a year.
The Department of Consular Affairs has revealed that there are at least 50 Israeli children born from illegal surrogacy and they could not be taken home by their parents as they used Israeli travel documents.
The Consular Affairs officials said children born from Thai surrogate mother hired by parents who are not blood relatives could be considered human trafficking.
Thatri Chaowa-chada, director of Passport Division for the Department of Consular Affairs, said “When this problem came to light we had to act because it is immoral, unethical and unlawful and will cause problems for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because we are the one who has to guarantee the birth certificate for travel documents.”
He admitted that the problem arises because the genetic mother of the child is a Thai national whereas the hiring party intends that the baby will have the same nationality of their home country.
In a recently introduced Thai law, babies are automatically granted citizenship of their birth mother which will mean that the couples cannot legally take the child out of the country. The issue has also been handed over to the police to see if it violates any human trafficking laws.
Director-general of the International Affairs of the Office of the Attorney General, Nattachak Pattanasingh na Ayuthaya, commented on the issue of Israeli nationals entering into surrogacy arrangements with Thai women but cannot legally take the newborn home.
He stated that this issue can be categorized under human trafficking but as of the present there are no laws in the country that directly addresses the issue of surrogacy.
Laws which directly addresses the issue of assisted reproductive technology is as yet unavailable in Thailand and awaits lawmakers efforts to formulate acts that will have to be passed by parliament.
Besides this, there are also concerns that the selling of human female eggs and commercial surrogacy may result in Thailand being categorized as a Tier 3 country on human trafficking.
Authorities are asking that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) take immediate action on the matter.
“This falls under human trafficking laws which are considered a serious issue in the USA. Even though legal contracts have been entered into by both consenting parties, it is still is commercial human production. Furthermore, because it is a commercial enterprise, Thailand may in turn be categorized as a Tier 3 nation by the USA and the EU,” he said.
Foreign media have recently revealed that as many 100 same sex couples have hired Thai women to carry pregnancy on their behalf.
The children are now expected to be born from the period of November of the previous year to the present.
Beside Israeli nationals, there are also Australian and Chinese nationals who have employed the services of Thai women. The activity has generated more than four billion baht in revenues.
Meanwhile president of the Medical Council of Thailand Dr Somsak Lohaleka said that a meeting will be held during the middle of August to address the issue of surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology.
The meeting will attempt to formulate measures to regulate surrogacy as well as offspring sex selection.
Laws must be more detailed and will also not allow surrogacy contracts to be undertaken by same sex couples or single parents.
Advertising for female egg sale and surrogacy must also be made illegal and surrogacy can only be undertaken by parents who have had at least one child or couples with the same bloodline.