Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Only half of surrogate paperwork approved

Only half of surrogate paperwork approved

A surrogate mother pictured in a poor Cambodian neighbourhood in 2016. Just six applications have been approved by the court to allow foreign parents to leave the country with their babies.
A surrogate mother pictured in a poor Cambodian neighbourhood in 2016. Just six applications have been approved by the court to allow foreign parents to leave the country with their babies. Eliah Lillis

Only half of surrogate paperwork approved

Just half of an estimated dozen applications by parents trying to prove their DNA link to their baby born via a Cambodian surrogate have so far been approved by the Phnom Penh Municipal court, officials said yesterday.

Following an outright ban on the fraught practice of commercial surrogacy in Cambodia, where hundreds of babies are estimated to have been born to foreign couples, the Kingdom laid out guidelines in July last year, requiring intended parents to get DNA tests, have their paternity status verified by the courts and apply for exit visas through their embassies in order to legally take their babies home.

Sous Vichyea Randy, the court’s deputy administration chief, said six cases had been approved since late December, and another two decisions were pending.

Earlier this month, Chou Bun Eng, permanent vice chair of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking, said 12 cases had been lodged by intended parents.

But yesterday, she said she had approved just one exit visa, for an American couple.

“I want to emphasise that embassies are not cooperative with us. I have never received any requests from the embassies . . . The one case is from an individual who sent it directly to us,” she said.

The government’s guidelines also say that intended parents, brokers or surrogates connected to a child born after January 8 will face legal consequences.

“Currently we have not arrested any surrogate women who were after the deadline, and we keep looking for new cases,” Bun Eng added.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports