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Surrogacy Insights


The relatively unregulated and underexplored landscape of surrogacy in Laos arises from the absence of a formal legal framework governing the practice. While there are no specific laws addressing surrogacy, this absence has created a grey area where surrogacy arrangements are facilitated through informal agreements between intended parents and surrogates.


Laos has attracted attention as an international surrogacy destination due to its lack of specific legislation and potentially lower costs. However, this absence of regulation should also raise concerns regarding the protection of the rights and well-being of all parties involved.  The surrogate’s name is entered on the birth certificate and considered the legal mother of the child.  Despite these concerns and the lack of regulations,  Laos has become a favored destination for intended parents, particularly from China.


The lack of clear legal guidelines has resulted in varying interpretations and practices within the country.  While some surrogacy arrangements have proceeded smoothly, others have encountered complications, particularly concerning parental rights, citizenship, and the legal status of children born through surrogacy.


Laos does not recognize same-sex marriage or any form of same-sex unions. Nevertheless, gay couples seeking to start their families are turning to Laos as a destination. This is because there is no legislation prohibiting their participation.


Currently, babies born in Laos must be registered with the government to obtain a Laos birth certificate.  The birth certificate will include the names of both the father and the surrogate mother. The advantage of this is that it will grant the father equal parental rights over the newborn without the need for formal court procedures.  However, the newborn can only leave Laos with the surrogate mother’s permission and a signed statement.




Future Legal Developments


2021- 2023

Rumors suggest that the Ministry of Health has backed the idea of legalizing surrogacy in Laos for married couples facing infertility issues. Discussions are underway to draft legislation to regulate surrogacy within the framework established by the medical science community. However, no legislation has emerged thus far.



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