Surrogacy Insights


Surrogacy in Thailand has undergone significant legislative changes in recent years.   In 2015, a law was enacted to safeguard children born through assisted reproductive technologies and to prohibit foreigners from hiring Thai women as surrogate mothers.  This followed a scandal involving a Thai surrogate mother, Gammy, who was left to raise a Down Syndrome baby after being abandoned by his Australian biological parents.


Currently, Thailand’s surrogacy laws restrict the practice of Thai heterosexual couples married for more than three years, banning commercial surrogacy for foreign clients and LGBTQ+ individuals.  However, the Public Health Ministry is proposing new legislation to legalize commercial surrogacy for both local and foreign couples, potentially reversing the 2015 ban.


The proposed reforms aim to expand access to surrogacy services for Thais, including same-sex couples, while also boosting Thailand’s medical tourism sector.  Additionally, ongoing legislative changes seek to ensure equal marital rights for all citizens.   The Thai government has proposed an amendment to redefine marriage with a change in the definition of marriage:


  • from “a man and a woman” to “two individuals” and
  • a change in legal terminology from “husband and wife” to “married couple.”


As Thailand progresses towards liberalizing its surrogacy laws and enhancing marriage equality, these developments hold promise for families, within Thailand and abroad, seeking alternative paths to parenthood.   It also marks significant strides toward inclusive reproductive rights.  Stay tuned for further updates on this evolving situation.


Future Legal Developments


January 2024: 

Legislators are set to submit a proposed law change in 2024 allowing foreigners to pursue surrogacy in Thailand. The new law will include a provision that the intended parents must be married, regardless of sexual orientation, and must provide proof that the child will be granted protection and rights in their home country.  If this new amendment gains Cabinet approval, the next step is approval by Parliament and the Senate, followed by the signature of the King.  This positive quote from the Deputy Director-General of Halth services: “We will amend the law that will allow foreign couples to receive surrogacy services here based on regulations”.


March 2024:

Reuters reports that the Public Health Ministry anticipates submitting a bill to the Thai cabinet this month to resurrect Thailand’s plans to resurrect its commercial surrogacy trade. Sura Visetsak, who heads the Public Health Ministry’s health service support department, announced plans for draft legislation to legalize commercial surrogacy for both local and foreign couples.

If it clears the Cabinet, the bill will then head to the National Assembly for a vote.  If enacted, the bill would reverse a ban on commercial surrogacy imposed in 2015 in the wake of controversial cases.


March 2024

A new bill currently progressing through the Thai government aims to amend the definition of marriage from ‘a man and a woman’ to ‘two individuals’ and propose a change in legal terminology from ‘husband and wife’ to ‘married couple.’ If passed, this legislation would ensure equal marital rights for all citizens. These amendments are expected to be approved this year.

Thailand is among the nine Asian countries that signed a declaration of LGBTQ rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011.


May 2024:

Thailand is taking significant strides towards marriage equality with the recent approval of the proposed marriage equality law by the Senate at its first hearing on Tuesday. Thailand’s lower house overwhelmingly approved the bill a week earlier.

This progressive law redefines marriage as a partnership between two individuals, regardless of gender, moving away from traditional labels of husband and wife or man and woman.

Moving forward, the bill will undergo 2 more readings before the Senate. The final step will be the presentation of the bill to the King before it can become law.