Nearly three weeks after announcing a way for intended parents to exit the country with babies born to surrogate mothers, few applications appear to have been submitted to the courts to begin the process.
Under the protocol, intended parents must submit a formal request, birth certificate of the child and a DNA test to a court for approval. Ey Rin, the administrative chief at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, confirmed that the court had yet to receive any applications, as did court officials in Takeo and Kampong Speu.
One intended parent, who is preparing the documentation and asked to remain anonymous, complained yesterday about the process involved in applying. “I think it takes too long and the costs for a lawyer and DNA tests are crazy,” he said. “A lot of people have financial problems now because of the ban and their stay in Cambodia . . . [That’s] money that was to give the children a good life.”
Representatives from the National Committee for Counter-Trafficking and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs met yesterday to discuss the enforcement of the guidelines. At the meeting, Ministry of Interior official Chou Bun Eng told participants that “some intended parents bring their babies illegally across the Cambodian-Vietnam border”.
“We don’t have the exact figures for the number of people doing this,” she said, according to a post on the National Police website. She could not be reached for further comment.