IVF Surrogacy in Thailand: A Legal Overview
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1. What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a process in which a woman (the surrogate) agrees to carry and give birth to a child for another couple (the intended parents). The child is conceived using the intended parents' sperm and eggs, or donor sperm and/or eggs.
2. Is surrogacy legal in Thailand?
Yes, surrogacy is legal in Thailand, but it is strictly regulated. The following are the key requirements for surrogacy in Thailand:
- The intended parents must be legally married and have been married for at least three years.
- At least one spouse must be a Thai citizen.
- The surrogate mother must be a sibling of one member of the couple.
- The surrogate mother must be married, have her husband's consent for the surrogacy process, and have her own child.
- Commercial surrogacy is prohibited. This means that the surrogate mother cannot be paid for her services.
3. Process of surrogacy
The surrogacy process in Thailand typically begins with the intended parents finding a suitable surrogate mother. This can be done through a surrogacy agency or through personal connections. Once a surrogate mother has been found, the intended parents and the surrogate mother will need to enter into a surrogacy agreement. This agreement should outline the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved, including:
- The financial arrangements between the intended parents and the surrogate mother.
- The medical care that the surrogate mother will receive during the pregnancy.
- The decision-making process in the event of any complications during the pregnancy or childbirth.
- The process for transferring parental rights to the intended parents after the child is born.
Once the surrogacy agreement is in place, the intended parents and the surrogate mother will need to obtain approval from the Department of Social Development. This process can be lengthy and complex, so it is important to seek legal advice.
Once approval has been granted, the surrogate mother can begin the IVF process. The IVF process typically takes several months. If the IVF is successful, the surrogate mother will carry the child to term and give birth.
After the child is born, the intended parents will need to apply for a birth certificate for the child. The birth certificate will list the intended parents as the legal parents of the child.
4. Benefits of surrogacy in Thailand
There are a number of benefits to surrogacy in Thailand, including:
- The cost of surrogacy in Thailand is relatively low compared to other countries.
- The quality of medical care in Thailand is high.
- The surrogacy laws and regulations in Thailand are clear and well-defined.
- Thailand is a relatively stable and safe country.
5. Risks of surrogacy in Thailand
There are also a number of risks associated with surrogacy in Thailand, including:
- The surrogacy laws and regulations in Thailand are complex and can change frequently.
- There is a risk of exploitation of surrogate mothers.
- There is a risk of legal complications, especially for international intended parents.
6. Legal challenges of surrogacy
One of the biggest legal challenges of surrogacy in Thailand is that it is a relatively new area of law. This means that there are some areas of the law that are still unclear or untested.
Another challenge is that the surrogacy laws in Thailand are different from the surrogacy laws in many other countries. This can create legal complications for international intended parents.
For example, if you are an international intended parent, you may need to obtain a court order in your home country to have the Thai birth certificate recognized. You may also need to obtain a visa for your child so that they can travel to your home country.
Surrogacy can be a wonderful way for couples to build a family. However, it is important to be aware of the risks and challenges involved, especially when considering surrogacy in Thailand. By carefully considering the risks and benefits, and by taking the necessary precautions, you can increase your chances of a successful surrogacy journey.
Read More: Surrogacy: Thai Legal Insights (healthtrip.com)