The United Nations Population Fund has come out strongly against the legalisation of commercial surrogacy for foreigners as the Cambodian government considers new laws on the practice.
UNFPA Cambodia representative Dr Marc Derveeuw yesterday told the Post that assisted reproductive technology – which has become available in the Kingdom in recent years but still operates in a legal grey area – should not be used for “commercial purposes and for financial gain”.
“Reproductive health, surrogacy and reproductive technologies should not be seen as a commodity that we can trade,” he said in an email.
He pointed to the previously unregulated Thai surrogacy industry – where people were “buying babies at wish” – citing problems such as unwanted or congenitally disabled babies being abandoned as reasons to develop the new laws.
Dr Derveeuw said the UNFPA had suggested for Cambodia a legal framework that would give Cambodian nationals legal access to IVF, with surrogacy eventually allowed only for legally married Cambodian couples related to the surrogate mothers.