Thailand: 10 clinics did surrogacy without authorisation, 6 doctors not licensed

PHOTO: Thailand: 10 clinics did surrogacy without authorisation, 6 doctors not licensed

BANGKOK - Ten out of 12 clinics in Bangkok inspected since a crackdown on surrogacy services operated without authorisation and six doctors have been found to have done this work without a licence, Department of Health Service Support director-general Dr Boonruang Triruangworawat said yesterday.

Five of the 10 violated a law about medical operations and two others did surrogacy with women who were not related to the parents, in violation of the same regulation under a different article. Three others were not licensed as clinics but solicited or promoted surrogacy services, which violated the consumer protection law.

Nine other clinics in the capital would be inspected by next month, plus 155 others located in other parts of the country, which provincial public health offices would check, he said.

Boonruang said the unnamed six doctors, who are not licensed by the Royal Thai College Of Obstetricians And Gynaecologists, had been reported to the Medical Council on ethical grounds, and that "results" were expected to be known in the next three months.

Some 240 doctors are qualified and certified to perform surrogacy in Thailand.

Medical Council chairman Dr Somsak Lohlekha said two doctors had been summoned for statements and face further investigation. He said one of them implanted eggs for babies for Japanese man Mitsutoki Shigeta and that doctor had given a written statement, but the other, handling a case involving a boy with Down's syndrome, had not submitted any information.

A police source said that no clear violation of anti-human trafficking law had been found in all surrogacy cases.

Meanwhile, Pol Colonel Decha Phromsuwan said that a study of laws was under way to charge surrogate mothers with perjury after they admitted lying to court adoption hearings that resulted in judges giving custody of babies to Shigeta.

Decha, a special interrogator, said surrogate mothers lied to the Central Juvenile and Family Court that they bore children with Shigeta through affairs and they were willing to give the babies to him in the hope he could offer them a better life, based on his claim he was rich and owned a finance firm in Japan.

Decha said there were another six mothers who contacted police to give statements, after four had met police. There are a total of 14 Thai women believed to have acted as surrogates to bear children fathered by Shigeta.

Pol Colonel Phanthana Nutchanart, an officer involved in the case, said Dr Pisit Tantiwatthanakul, who is believed to have performed unauthorised surrogacy operations for Shigeta, may face an arrest warrant if he failed on another occasion to meet police to give a statement. A summons has been issued for him but he had not complied.