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Surrogacy, Customs, Criminal law in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, it's something of a follow-up to a previous video we did when we were discussing surrogacy. There's been an article written in the Bangkok Post regarding surrogacy. Apparently, there were some issues. Now that Thailand, through the act that specifically deals with surrogacy issues here in Thailand where once this was a, let's say, laissez faire jurisdiction with respect to matters pertaining the surrogacy. Now, it's actually quite a tightened rather restrictive jurisdiction with respect to matters pertaining to surrogacy.

It's recently come to my attention that there have been multiple situations in which those who have been detained in border crossings presumably transporting material, be it human biological material or other sort of supportive material with respect to surrogacy where we've seen people detained for transporting these kind of items.

Of interest recently, there was an article in May 22nd Bangkok Post "Customs aims to help to curb surrogacy." To just quote directly from this, "Customs authorities are discussing whether to seek cooperation from Cambodian authorities to more monitor closely surrogacy services that are illegal in Thailand who may have shifted their bases to these two neighboring countries.

Basically, what we need to take away from this overall is A) the Thai have gone ahead and made some serious restrictive changes to the law with respect to surrogacy. Now, I would make a strong argument that some change was necessary and the system as prior to the changes in the law was essentially a system in a void. There really wasn't a lot of jurisprudence with respect to surrogacy because quite frankly, the technology was not even thought of at the time when most of the laws that used to specifically pertain to surrogacy issues were initially drafted. But I would also argue that perhaps, and this is maybe more of an opinion-based thing, but maybe perhaps the rules that were created were a little bit more restrictive than were necessarily needed.

But that being said, you know it's Thai law and that was their take on the situation and they want to have that and made the laws that they deemed worthy for the country. That being said, there's also many other countries that have much more restrictive rules with respect to surrogacy so it's not as if Thailand is somehow in some kind of the spectrum. They're somewhere in the middle. They're not out there lying on one side of the other.

The thing to take away from this is I would say that those who are watching this who are really seriously considering surrogacy, first of all I know that it's an expensive proposition and it pertains to one's family so there's really nothing that hits more closely to all than that. So between expensive and family based, you don't have anything to quite inflame the passion as either one of those topics.

The thing to take away from this video I think is seriously think before undertaking surrogacy matters here in Thailand and I strongly urge anyone seriously considering doing so to consult professional legal services and get legal professional advice regarding not just the legality but the practical implications of undertaking surrogacy not only in Thailand. It was clear in this customs context cause Thai Customs does not seem very interested in any of this sort of gray area issues surrounding surrogacy. Thai Customs seems pretty much intent upon enforcing customs law but not only that, this is an issue - it's almost of a personal nature with people and it seems like the Customs authorities are almost taking it personally. The people are even trying to transport this kind of material in all the borders.

My only point with respect to this video, seriously contact legal professionals. Get legal advice before undertaking these kind of things in not just Thailand but in this entire region as it appears very clear to me that again, enforcement is on the rise and enforcement is being implemented in a very stringent manner and it seems very likely that at least in the foreseeable future, that's not going to change.

So for that reason, it would be a very good idea to look into perhaps other jurisdictions with respect to undergoing surrogacy procedures.