11/05/2016, 14.00
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Phnom Penh’s “total ban” on wombs for rent

The measure, which will remain in place until a special law is adopted, comes after Cambodia became a privileged destination for surrogacy following restrictions in India, Thailand and Nepal. Companies offering the service now fear for their business. The price of surrogate motherhood can range from US$ 32,000 to 45,000.

Phnom Penh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Cambodia announced a "total ban" on surrogate motherhood until the government approves a law regulating the possibility for a woman to give birth to the children of other parents.

Hok Khieu, director of the Health Ministry’s legislation department, said that the ban gives the government time to draft proper regulations for the practice, which developed quickly following a crackdown by governments across Asia.

Mr Khieu said it was too early to say when the new law would be introduced or what specific services might be allowed and regulated.

However, “The Justice Ministry,” he said, “will organize the drafting of the surrogacy law and figure out what advantages women can receive from surrogacy.”

It remained unclear how the ban would affect women who are already pregnant as a result of surrogacy arrangements with the would-be parents of the babies they are carrying.

Some experts estimate that up to 50 surrogacy providers and brokers are operating in Cambodia, many of which moved here in response to tighter regulations in other Asian countries like India, Nepal and Thailand.

Staff at one surrogacy provider, who asked not to be identified, expressed concerns about the economic impact of a total ban.

One company charges between US$ 32,000 to UW$ 45,000 per child for its services and pays mothers who “rent out” their wombs US$ 10,000 in installments – more for twins.

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