BANGKOK – Four couples from the United States and Australia have been prevented from leaving Thailand with surrogate babies.
The move was part of a government crackdown on the burgeoning commercial surrogacy industry, Thailand’s immigration police spokesman, Col Voravat Amornvivat said.
Two Australian same-sex couples were prevented by Thai officials from leaving the Bangkok airport yesterday with babies born to Thai women, according to the report. One couple had attempted to travel with the Thai surrogate mother in the hope of avoiding a challenge at the immigration desk.
Two US couples had been prevented from leaving Thailand with babies in similar circumstances since Wednesday.
Thai officials said the couples would have to apply for court orders to take the babies from the country, a process that could take months.
Thailand’s immigration police spokesman, Col Voravat Amornvivat, said the Bangkok airport’s immigration departure section had no record of Australian couples with surrogate babies who were barred from leaving Thailand, but added that it might be possible that it was not flagged in the system.
“If it did happen, it could be because the couples could not provide sufficient documents to prove that the babies are theirs,” he said.
“Under the Thai law, in order to bring an infant out of the country, it has to be proven that the infant is travelling with or accompanied by the parents. And due to the recent surrogacy issue, the authorities are stricter in keeping an eye on those leaving the country.”
The military regime is also moving to repair what it regards as “moral damage” caused by the baby Gammy controversy.
As a result some Australians are among the many foreigners and their infants, who’re are the product of the Thai surrogacy system, in a state of limbo.