Cambodia unveils new surrogacy rules

Cambodia unveils new surrogacy rules

Cambodia has revealed details of its new guidelines on surrogacy after it banned the commercial practice last year.

Fathers of surrogate children will now be required to perform a DNA test to prove their paternity before a child can be handed over to its parents, the Cambodia Daily reported on Tuesday.

Under Cambodian family law, the birth mother is automatically recognised as a child’s parent and in most cases, her husband is legally assumed to be the father. The burden of proof is now on the adoptive couple to show otherwise in court.

They will, however, be able to apply for exit paperwork for their children but will still need to go to court to prove their ability to raise the child financially in addition to its paternity, the country’s Ministry of the Interior was quoted as saying.

Cambodia’s sudden decision to ban commercial surrogacy in November left many foreign couples in limbo.

Many Cambodian surrogates were relocated to Thailand, where exit post-birth was easier.

“For those unable to relocate, parents were often forced to apply for a Cambodian passport and take their surrogate and newborn to Vietnam as a route towards returning home.”

Cambodia previously had a thriving and largely unregulated surrogacy industry after Nepal, Thailand and India banned commercial surrogacy.

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