Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Taiwan warns Thailand-based firm on surrogacy

Nation/Asia News Network

Bangkok-based Babe 1001 company has advertised on the Internet that it provides the services of surrogate mothers to those who are infertile depsite there being no law that allows the procedure in Thailand.

Taiwan warned the company against seeking infertile-parent clients there because Taipei's law bans using surrogate mothers to produce babies, according to the local Apple Daily yesterday.

Says the company on its website: "We provide the best solution for you, no matter what problem you have. We can create the finest procreation conditions for your baby." the company advertises on its website. "For this, your kids will acquire the vantage point initially in their life and you will absolutely be pride of them in the future."

Babe 1001 has been targeting potential Taiwan clients for quite some time through its Chinese-language ad on the Internet. The ad lists the telephone number of Babe 1001's headquarters as one in Bangkok, with a telephone number for its branch located in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

The cost of the surrogacy programme is about US$46,000 (S$66,230), but the cost can vary depending on actual demand and the situation.

The company does mention on its website that the surrogacy contract is not legal in Taiwan, but goes on to state that it is not illegal in the country where the company is located.

The Apple Daily also reported that the doctor who introduces infertile parents to a foreign surrogate mother faces losing his licence and being fined up to NT$250,000 (US$7,605).

The Medical Council of Thailand says there is no regulation allowing a private company to carry out the business of seeking and hiring surrogate mothers.

But the council accepts that there are a few companies involved in the business, with most of them getting the procedure done in medical schools.

Some of the women who want to have a baby from a surrogate mother have rushed to a developed country such as the United States where surrogacy is legal. This was caused by the loophole of law which no has penalty to punish the violator.

The ministry of social development and human security is now drafting a surrogate law, which will allow an infertile woman to have a baby from a surrogate mother. The law will appointed the rights of baby and surrogate mother. The draft is now in the hands of the Council of State, before it is passed on to the cabinet.

In a related development, India is emerging as a leader in international surrogacy and a destination in surrogacy related fertility tourism.

Despite the low cost, Indian surrogates have been increasingly popular with fertile couples in industrialised nations.

Clinics charge patients between $10,000 and $28,000 for the complete package, including fertilisation, the surrogate's fee, and delivery of the baby at a hospital.

Including the costs of flight tickets, medical procedures and hotels, it comes to roughly a third of the price compared with going through the procedure in the UK.

Of a $20,000 package for a gestational surrogate, approximately $6,000 will be paid to the surrogate as surrogate compensation.
--The Nation/ANN

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