World

Thailand bans commercial surrogacy for foreigners, Thais after string of scandals

Thailand's military-picked legislature has passed a law that criminalizes commercial surrogacy and prohibits foreigners from seeking surrogacy services in the kingdom after a string of scandals last year.

Lawmaker Wanlop Tangkananurak said Friday that the law aims to stop Thailand from being a commercial surrogacy hub for foreign couples or "the wombs of the world."

Thailand was rocked by several surrogacy scandals last year. One involved an Australian couple who but left behind a twin baby who had Down's syndrome. The other case involved a Japanese man who fathered at least 16 babies via Thai surrogates.

The parliament voted to pass the law Thursday.

Under the new law, anyone involved in hiring women commercially to carry fetuses to term will face a maximum jail term of 10 years.