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Surrogacy site involving Vietnamese to be blocked

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Thailand's Information and Communication Technology Ministry will be asked to block a website offering a surrogate mother service using Vietnamese women in Thailand.

Immigration police raided a Taiwanese company - Baby 101 Co - on Ramkhamhaeng Road on Wednesday and charged its executive with human trafficking after it was found to offer an illegal surrogacy service.

Police arrested four Taiwanese staff and one Chinese, and rescued 13 Vietnamese women, seven of them allegedly pregnant with children destined for other people.

Another had given birth on Monday at a private hospital in Min Buri district.

While the company is now out of operation, its website - - remains accessible.

Department of Special Investigation deputy director-general Narat Sawettanan said the broker company advertises its surrogate-mother service on the website, which breaks Thai law. He would ask the ICT Ministry to block the website.

Commercial surrogacy is prohibited in Thailand under a medical practice and hospital services regulation.

Pol Col Narat said the agency still could not pinpoint the network of people involved with the operation offering the surrogacy service for Taiwanese couples.

Samphan Komrit, secretary-general of the Medical Council of Thailand, said a preliminary check found two doctors could be involved.

The council's sub-panel on medical ethics will discuss the issue next week to determine if the doctors meet the qualifications to perform medical services involving reproductive technology as issued by the council.

Immigration police, meanwhile, say they need help from the Public Health Ministry to understand surrogacy birth arrangements and decide if additional charges should be pressed against those involved.

Deputy immigration police chief Pansak Kasemsant said a lack of cooperation from the suspect and the rescued women have also hindered the probe.

"We don't know if the process is done here or in Taiwan. The business was going on for a year," he said.

Mr Pansak said hospitals involved in the arrangement claimed that they are bound by a client confidentiality agreement.

"We need help from the health and medical sector. At least we need to know if the implanting of an embryo is a wrongful act," he said.

He said that so far only charges of human trafficking, detention and employment of alien workers have been levelled against the suspect.

The Vietnamese women told police that company staff lured them to work in Bangkok by promising them well-paid jobs.

The staff allegedly seized their passports on their arrival from Vietnam and asked them to work as surrogate mothers for the firm's clients. The Vietnamese women have entered the care of the Baan Kretakaan welfare home under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security while police investigate.

Somboon Kunatikom, president of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Thailand, said the 31-year-old Vietnamese woman who has just given birth is entitled to regard herself as the legitimate mother of the baby boy under Thai law.

Any foreign couples who hired her to be the surrogate mum could only apply to become foster parents of the baby if they wanted to keep it.

Otherwise they would have to have their DNA tested to prove that they are the baby's biological parents.

The two surrogate mothers who are 18 weeks and 20 weeks pregnant are likely to be returned to Vietnam. Authorities will discuss with the Vietnamese embassy on Monday about sending them back home.


Source:Bangkok Post

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