Cambodia proves fertile ground for foreign surrogacy after Thailand ban
https://www.theguardian.com/global-deve ... ailand-banWith surrogacy bans now in place in Thailand, India and Nepal, the business is being pushed across borders.
“Many would-be parents whose budget limits them to Asia have no other options than to try their luck in Cambodia, especially gay couples,” says Sam Everingham, director of the Australian non-profit organisation Families Through Surrogacy, which informs aspiring parents on overseas surrogacy options.
Everingham has observed how agencies and clinics forced to close in Thailand simply moved their lucrative business into Cambodia, where infertility treatment was non-existent until two years ago.
Today, clinics in the capital, Phnom Penh, are offering IVF and embryo-transfers, and agencies offer services for overseas couples. Some claim to be fully booked for months. Here, surrogacy packages start at $33,000 (£25,400), compared with $90,000-$150,000 in the US.
“We have to be aware that surrogacy is a foreign concept in Cambodia. No laws are in place to regulate the process, leaving both parents and surrogates unprotected,” warns Everingham.
For Preeti Bista, owner of the Nepalese surrogacy agency My Fertility Angel, the unclear rules and low costs are precisely what make Cambodia an attractive place to set up what she says will be an ethical surrogacy business. “Since surrogacy has been put on hold in Nepal, I have both desperate surrogates and parents calling me non-stop, asking me if I can help them. I am now trying to do just that in Cambodia. The key is to provide transparency to all parties involved.”
Bista has been accused of exploiting people’s poverty and lack of options. She says all she does is to help people have babies – “the most beautiful thing in the world”...