Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Surrogate mothers testify

Surrogate mothers testify

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The police arrested 33 women in June 2018 for acting as surrogate mothers. FRESH NEWS

Surrogate mothers testify

Seven Cambodian women on Tuesday testified before the judge in a case involving 33 women arrested in June 2018 for acting as surrogate mothers.

The women are accused of “selling, buying or exchanging a person for cross-border transfer,” and face between seven and 15 years in prison if found guilty.

The hearing resumed on Tuesday at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court with the women giving an account of the situation that led them to become surrogates and how the process unfolded.

Garment worker Phai Sopha, 33, told the court she was divorced with two children – currently six and 11 years old – when she met a woman named Thai Phanna who introduced her to potential clients, who promised her $10,000 to carry another woman’s baby in her womb.

Sopha said she accepted because she was poor and needed the money. She told the court that she was paid $300 monthly during pregnancy.

Phanna, said to be married to a Chinese man, asked for $1,000 to act as an intermediary between Sopha and clients.

After signing a contract with one of the clients introduced by Phanna and undergoing a medical examination, Sopha was artificially inseminated. She spent the initial three months of the pregnancy living with eight other surrogate mothers at Borey Vimean, in Phnom Penh.

During the eighth month of the pregnancy, Sopha was arrested by anti-human trafficking police. She later delivered a boy who is now over a year old.

“Even though the boy is not my child, I love him as if he was mine. I would not give him to anyone,” Sopha said.

The court also heard the testimonies of Yon Lin and Ry Y, 34, was arrested three days after the insemination and released on bail. Her baby is currently 11 months old.

Ry Y was arrested during the seventh month of pregnancy and gave birth to a boy who is now 17 months old.

“I do not know who the father is or where he is from. All I know is that I want to keep the boy,” she said.

According to the police report read in court, the police arrested the 33 women in June 2018. They also arrested a Chinese man named Liu Qiang and four other Cambodians. Another Chinese man and two Cambodians are still at large.

The hearing is set to resume on an unspecified date.


  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • ‘No chance Cambodia booted out of ASEAN’

    A group of former and current Cambodian diplomats on Tuesday fired back at retired Singaporean diplomat Bihalari Kausikan after he proposed that ASEAN dismiss Cambodia and Laos from the bloc. In an open letter, the Cambodian diplomats said Kausikan’s remarks were made from a

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Show evidence of Chinese military base, critics told

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday said he had had enough of certain countries and opposition groups claiming Cambodia had allowed China to base its military in Cambodia and dared critics to show clear evidence. Hun Sen made the remarks while presiding over a groudbreaking