Several couples from the United States and Australia have been prevented from leaving Thailand with surrogate babies as part of a government crackdown on the burgeoning commercial surrogacy industry, an Australian broadcaster reported Friday.
Thailand’s military junta, which seized power in May, has indicated it wants to ban commercial surrogacy in the Southeast Asian nation following recent publicity over allegations that an Australian couple had abandoned a baby boy born to a surrogate Thai mother after learning he had Down syndrome. The couple, who took the boy’s healthy twin sister home, has said they wanted to bring the boy with them and the Thai surrogate has acknowledged she kept him because she feared he would end up in a state institution.
On Thursday, two Australian same-sex couples were prevented by Thai officials from leaving the Bangkok airport with babies born to Thai women, Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. One couple had attempted to travel with the Thai surrogate mother in the hope of avoiding a challenge at the immigration desk, ABC said.