Cambodia’s Ministry of the Interior on Wednesday revealed details of its new guidelines on surrogacy after it banned the commercial practice in 2016.
Traditional surrogacy, also known as partial, genetic, or straight surrogacy, involves natural or artificial insemination of a surrogate.
If the intended father’s sperm is used in the insemination, then the resulting child is genetically related to the intended father and genetically related to the surrogate.
“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,’’ it said.
Report says 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.
However, 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 they will still need to go to court to prove their ability to raise the child financially in addition to its paternity,’’ the ministry noted.
Cambodia’s sudden decision to ban commercial surrogacy in November left many foreign couples in limbo.
Sam Everingham, a director at Australian non-profit group Families through Surrogacy, said following the sudden ban many families had to find alternative and often complex arrangements.
“I am aware that the sudden policy change meant 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,’’ he told newsmen.
A report said Cambodia previously had a thriving and largely unregulated surrogacy industry after Nepal, Thailand, and India banned commercial surrogacy.