I declined to assist IPs going to Nepal and warned people against even considering places like Cambodia and China. As much as there are many IPs yearning for a child pursuing the cheapest option in “pop-up” destinations will only result in a nightmare for the IPs and almost certain exploitation of the surrogate mothers. The media will be drawn to such destinations for a public interest story on the last surrogacy gone wrong example and this will add further pressure on the relevant governments to close the industry down.
As with previous examples there are agents, with no experience in the country, offering up Cambodia as a destination and seeking to absolve themselves of responsibility by claiming to inform IPs of the risks. Surely if there is a strong possibility that the Australian government may not be able to grant citizenship to a child born through an illegal surrogacy arrangement that is not a risk any IP should take and certainly not a destination that should be proposed by the agency.
As I explained in a previous post – what one country considers to be commercial surrogacy another considers to be child trafficking. If the country in which your surrogate lives treats the surrogacy arrangement as illegal then there is a strong possibility that they will characterise it as child trafficking. If that happens then the Australian governments hands may be tied in relation to citizenship due to their commitments under UN Conventions and international treaties. This was not the case in Thailand. Surrogacy was not illegal in Thailand until very recently.
If the low cost makes Cambodia attractive be sure to take into account the cost of being stuck in the country for a lengthy period of time – lost wages, living expenses, medical expenses for newborn babies.
In my view there are only 3 countries where you can realistically undertake international surrogacy with safety and confidence in the level of medical care: