Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials lay out surrogacy families’ exit requirements



Officials lay out surrogacy families’ exit requirements

A surrogate mother photographed earlier this year in Kampong Speu province.
A surrogate mother photographed earlier this year in Kampong Speu province. Heng Chivoan

Officials lay out surrogacy families’ exit requirements

Ministry of Interior officials unveiled the details yesterday of a plan to allow foreign intended parents to exit Cambodia with the babies born to surrogate mothers.

Foreign intended parents who hired a Cambodian surrogate to carry and deliver their child will need to bring a formal request, drafted themselves, to any Cambodian court, along with the baby’s Cambodian birth certificate and proof that the foreign intended parent has a genetic link with the child, said ministry official Chou Bun Eng.

The application form must explain why the foreign intended parent chose to use a surrogate mother, and why the parent would like to take the baby abroad.

“After the DNA test, then they will need to obtain a birth certificate from the country of the intended parent,” Bun Eng explained. “Then there will need to be an agreement over who will raise the baby. So if the surrogate mother agrees to give the baby to the intended father, he can take the baby out of the country.”

According to Bun Eng, the process can be carried out in any provincial court or in the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, and is sanctioned by the Ministry of Justice. Foreign intended parents can begin preparing the documents to bring to court immediately, Bun Eng said, but it is not clear how long it will take to process each of the documents.

If the foreign intended parent does not come forward, however, the surrogate mother and her spouse will be given custody of the child.

Despite the move to legalise the exit of babies now being born to surrogate mothers, Eng said the government will not tolerate new cases of surrogacy. “This process is for cases of women who were pregnant before the announcement,” Bun Eng said. “If people continue to engage in surrogacy after the announcement, we will charge them.”

Cambodia currently lacks a law regulating commercial surrogacy, which began to take off in the Kingdom a little over a year ago. Government officials have formed an inter-ministerial working group to draft legislation regulating the industry, and it is widely believed that the industry will be banned.

Currently, dozens of foreign intended parents are believed to be waiting in Cambodia to exit the country with their children.

Read more: A trio’s surrogacy saga

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants