Women tempted to earn money by becoming surrogate mothers in countries where there are no laws to regulate the practice have been warned about its potential health and social implications.
They could end up in a bad way if anything goes wrong, if they agree to become surrogate mothers in countries where the practice is not regulated, said Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of the Department of Health Service Support (DHSS) on Thursday.
In the event that a hired surrogate mother becomes sick while working in such a country, it will not be possible for her to ask the parents to pay for her medical bills, Dr Tares said.
There is also no law which requires the identity of the father and mother of a child carried by a surrogate mother to be made public, which means that women may end up having to take care of the child themselves if the parents change their mind and abandon the baby, Dr Tares added.
"This is different to legal non-commercial surrogacy in Thailand that is protected under the law on the protection of babies born with the help of assisted reproductive technology."
Legal surrogate mothers in Thailand are well protected under this specific law as the biological parents of these babies are required to formally sign an agreement to cover all medical services and related healthcare services of surrogate mothers.
In addition, surrogate mothers in Thailand do not have to worry about parents potentially abandoning their babies if anything goes wrong as the law states their status as legal guardians.
Meanwhile, Arkhom Praditsuwan, deputy director-general of the DHSS, said certain medical complications commonly found in surrogacy are serious and sometimes lethal including heart failure, bleeding, and infections that may cost a surrogate mother the ability to carry a baby of her own later.
"Think twice before you go for such a job [in a country without a surrogacy law] which pays a little money in exchange for risking your health and safety and your future ability to carry a baby," he said.