The father was confirmed to be of Chinese nationality per DNA tests.
When: February 5th, 2021
Where: Bangkok and surrounding areas
Perpetrators: Surrogacy gang
What: On February 5th, ,2021, a conference between Royal Thai Police, Thai health officials, the DSI (Department of Special Investigation), and the Public Health Embassy of the United States was held to discuss the arrest of a transnational surrogacy gang in Bangkok and Nonthaburi.
The case unraveled when staff at a hospital treated a 4 month year old baby who suffered from bleeding in the brain and convulsions. The doctor diagnosed the baby with severe injuries. When the infant’s mother was interrogated, she said that she had been contracted for surrogacy using assisted reproductive technology. A foreign broker paid for all expenses, including travel to Cambodia for the embryo implantation and travel back to Thailand. The mother then went to a third country to give birth.
But due to travel limitations of the coronavirus outbreak, the surrogate mothers were unable to travel outside of the country. It became necessary to deliver the baby at a medical facility;ity in Thailand instead. The surrogate gang gave her 500,000 baht at the completion of the process.
The surrogacy gang started a nursery and birth facility called “GS Service Gig.” The facility offered natal and maternal care and babysitting at a nursery. Two other infants were found at this facility. Investigators found a group of Thai women who contracted with the outfit.
Two Filipino nationals were found to be caregivers at the facility where the found the two other infants, aged 6 and 8 months. The location had a front business as a cleaning company.
Three Thai women in total were found to have been hired as a surrogate. Lab results of the DNA found that the father was of Chinese nationality.
According to the Act on the Protection of Children born by Assisted Reproductive Technology, the offense of “Proceeding to have surrogacy for commercial purposes” is punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or 200,000 baht.
The investigation continues on who was behind the operation. A Chinese woman was associated with the facility in the report but it’s not clear if she was arrested or not.
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My take: I’m really conflicted about this story. At the end of the day I think it’s a private decision to become a surrogate mother for somebody. If the mother is fairly compensated and there’s no coercion, then I’m struggling to find the moral problem here.
That all changes, of course, if there is coercion or human trafficking involved. I need to look at more cases to see how other situations played out.
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