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Australian ambassador talks surrogacy regulation

An embryologist at an in vitro clinic prepares to identify eggs after retrieval in preparation for a sperm injection in 2009. Monica Almeida/The New York Times
An embryologist at an in vitro clinic prepares to identify eggs after retrieval in preparation for a sperm injection in 2009. Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Australian ambassador talks surrogacy regulation

The Australian ambassador discussed the issue of laws on surrogacy with the Cambodian Justice Minister during an introductory meeting on Friday.

Ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap said ambassador Angela Corcoran raised the issue with Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana at the Ministry of Justice’s headquarters.

“Australia has aided the Ministry of Justice in the past on matters related to children,” said ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap. “Mostly they think about children’s rights.

“What they have mentioned is also related to children’s rights.”

Despite the legalities remaining murky, Cambodia has become a popular destination for intended parents seeking to have surrogate children after restrictions were placed on foreign surrogacy in Thailand, Nepal and India last year.

Santepheap added that brokers who arranged surrogate pregnancies could still be prosecuted under the existing criminal code.

An Australian embassy spokesperson confirmed that the meeting covered a range of topics but declined to reveal specifics.

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Australia had offered to help the Kingdom draft a law on commercial surrogacy. In fact, while the subject of such a law was discussed, Australia did not offer to help in its drafting.

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