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Future Uncertain For Children In Thai Baby Scam

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Future uncertain for children in Thai baby scam.

Focus by Kelly Macnamara.

BANGKOK, February 27, 2011 (AFP) - The fate of around nine unborn children hangs in the balance as Thai authorities weigh what to do with the offspring of Vietnamese women freed from an illegal baby breeding ring in Bangkok.

A total of 14 women, half of them pregnant, were freed on Wednesday from an operation using them as surrogates for wealthy childless couples overseas who placed orders for newborns online.

Campaigners fear for the future of the infants who are born to desperate women -- perhaps not their biological mothers -- and into a legal grey area, with Thailand still mulling the ramifications of the case.

"There is a risk that those children might end up as stateless, that they won't get citizenship anywhere," said Benedict Phillips, Asia strategy director at Save The Children.

Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanawisit has described the gang, which operated under the name Baby 101, as "illegal and inhuman" and suggested some of the women had been raped.

A few were offered up to $5,000 per baby, but others said they had been tricked into the scam, said police, who have arrested four Taiwanese, one Chinese and three Myanmar nationals in connection with the operation.

One 35-year-old Taiwanese woman was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking.

In Thailand couples can only use a surrogate if she is a blood relation and is not paid.

The seven pregnant women are currently staying at a shelter north of Bangkok.

"They are between 12 weeks and eight months pregnant and we found two of the women were carrying twins -- 20 weeks and eight months old," said Paskorn Chaivanichsiri, director of a state-run hospital where they have been treated.

Two have requested abortions, although the procedure is only legal under Thai law in cases of rape or where the mother's health is at risk.

Phil Robertson of New York-based Human Rights Watch said Thailand had "excellent" social care, but stressed victims should be able to decide their own future.

"The women should be allowed the time to get over the shock and get their heads straight about what they want to do. They might not want to go back with another mouth to feed," he said.

Authorities want to send the women to Vietnam along with the babies, said police Colonel Chalermpol Jintarat of the immigration department, after a top level meeting with health officials on Friday.

Negotiations with Vietnamese officials are due to be held on Monday.

"To ascertain that the baby is not related to the mother, we have to have a DNA test, which we need to discuss with the Vietnamese embassy first," he said.

Phillips said Thailand has taken steps to protect the offspring of its many illegal migrants, but these children are not given Thai nationality and are largely excluded from the country's health care system.

"It is an extreme example of a much more common phenomenon of undocumented migrants who flee to escape poverty and find themselves without the protection of the law," he said.

Nearly 40 women, who are identified only by a numbered code, are pictured on a website, www.baby-1001.com, believed to be run by the gang.

The "eugenics" surrogacy service, from egg and sperm donation to the delivery of a baby, is advertised for $32,000 and appears to be aimed at Taiwanese customers.

Offices were listed in Bangkok, Phnom Penh in Cambodia and Vietnam.

"These four governments should be cooperating to smash this ring," Robertson said.

Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau had not been contacted by Thailand over the case when reached by AFP. Surrogacy is banned in the country but there have been reports of men paying foreign women to have their children.

Last May, police said three Taiwanese men had been arrested for illegally hiring Uzbek women as mothers for four babies because they thought mixed blood children were "cute".

In the upmarket Bangkok suburban housing estate, with manicured lawns and 24 hour security, there were a few people still working in an office at the modest house where police found nine of the Baby 101 women.

On the walls, among posters of Caucasian babies, hung lists of Vietnamese names, more than 20 in total. A whiteboard, written mainly in Mandarin, carried the English words "Ken's friend come" and what appeared to be a date in March.

"There were eight or nine Vietnamese women here. They came to Thailand because the medical service is better than their country," said a man, who did not give his name and claimed to be a translator. But he admitted none of them was pregnant when they arrived.

Down the street a second property, where another four women were found, was closed and quiet.

Two doors away, a house name plate suggested they may have been living within shouting distance of a policeman.

afplogo.jpg

-- (c) Copyright AFP 2011-02-27

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where is Angelina when you need her?

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Campaigners fear for the future of the infants who are born to desperate women -- perhaps not their biological mothers -- and into a legal grey area, with Thailand still mulling the ramifications of the case.

I don't get it. however desperate they are, these women still are the biological mothers of the children born to them, or? :blink:

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Campaigners fear for the future of the infants who are born to desperate women -- perhaps not their biological mothers -- and into a legal grey area, with Thailand still mulling the ramifications of the case.

I don't get it. however desperate they are, these women still are the biological mothers of the children born to them, or? :blink:

yes maybe but what if you where raped and beaten into being pregnat would you want that scum bags baby with no hope of raising it and staying poor all your life as single mother if they have the baby im sure there are many in the western world who can legally adopt them and maybe give them some money to get there lifes back on track if not maybe they keep them and the thai goverment can help them maybe that is

poor people always troden on

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This is a tragic story but I am starting to question the rape and being held hostage but that is kind of a moot point in terms of what is going to happen to the babies. Clearly if the mothers want them then they should be free to return to their homeland and have them. If they don't want them then I believe it is up to Thai Authorities to contact the biological fathers and put them together with the mother so they together can sort out the details of having the father pay for expenses and getting the babies delivered to them. I'm not sure why the fathers (along with their wives) would not want these babies and if the sperm did come from them they are the fathers regardless of any laws in Thailand about surrogates.

Edit: the above assumes the fathers had no idea of any of these alleged rapes and hostage takings.

Edited by Nisa

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"Two doors away, a house name plate suggested they may have been living within shouting distance of a policeman."

and nobody shouted?:whistling:

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Campaigners fear for the future of the infants who are born to desperate women -- perhaps not their biological mothers -- and into a legal grey area, with Thailand still mulling the ramifications of the case.

I don't get it. however desperate they are, these women still are the biological mothers of the children born to them, or? :blink:

No, surrogate mothers are merely vessels.

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I don't get it. however desperate they are, these women still are the biological mothers of the children born to them, or? :blink:

When an ovum of Anne is fertilised in a test tube and then implanted in the uterus of Beatrice to carry to full term and give birth, which of the two women is the biological mother? Anne, would be my guess.

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I hope that the total assets of this scummy organisation are realised and handed over to these unfortunate women - without 'commission' being deducted by Thais.

If, Human Rights Watch is correct and that the welfare services available in Thailand are excellent (I'm very sceptical about that), I would hope that a measure of compassion be shown and the victims allowed to stay in Thailand and such support as they may need, provided. That would be the charitable Christian thing to do but then Thailand struggles to deserve description of being truly Buddhist.

This story has already appeared in the international media and, rightly or wrongly, does not bolster the reputation of Thailand. An act of compassion would redress this and would earn many brownie points. But then we must remember the treatment of the Rohingya castaways.

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I don't get it. however desperate they are, these women still are the biological mothers of the children born to them, or? :blink:

When an ovum of Anne is fertilised in a test tube and then implanted in the uterus of Beatrice to carry to full term and give birth, which of the two women is the biological mother? Anne, would be my guess.

Depends on legal requirements on a country by country basis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrogacy

What I didn't realise was how many countries ban "commercial" surrogacy.

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Phil Robertson of New York-based Human Rights Watch said Thailand had "excellent" social care...

Doubt Mr. Robertson has ever been to Thailand. :ermm:

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Phil Robertson of New York-based Human Rights Watch said Thailand had "excellent" social care...

Doubt Mr. Robertson has ever been to Thailand. :ermm:

I agree. Who is this prik? Thailand seems not to give a crap about 'social care' (please explain - donations of gold to wats which end up - where? - outside Guiness Books of Records).

Has this blind idiot ever been to a terminal ward in a government hospital/babies home? Imbecile.

Edited by inmysights

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Bangkok baby ring women 'to return to Vietnam'

BANGKOK, February 28, 2011 (AFP) - Fifteen Vietnamese women involved in an illegal surrogacy service in Bangkok will be sent back to their home country along with two mothers' newborn babies, Thai police said Monday.

The women -- seven of whom are pregnant -- were discovered after a raid last week on two houses in a suburb of Bangkok, where an illegal ring was providing babies for couples overseas, the authorities said.

"The victims will be questioned this week and sent back to Vietnam," said Police Colonel Chalermpol Jintarat of Thailand's immigration department.

"They will not be charged because they are victims of human trafficking. We will clear up their overstay charges and help them until they are back home."

Thailand's public health ministry said the Vietnamese embassy would assist with the women's return. A non-governmental organisation will pay the cost.

Nine of the women have admitted they volunteered to be surrogates for a payment of about 5,000 dollars for each baby while several others said they were tricked, according to police, who said their passports were confiscated.

In Thailand it is illegal for a woman to act as a surrogate except for a blood relative, or to be paid to carry another person's child.

Thai Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanawisit has described the gang, which operated under the name Baby 101, as "illegal and inhuman".

Police have arrested four Taiwanese, one Chinese and three Myanmar nationals in connection with the operation.

The public health ministry said that the operators of the surrogacy ring would be charged with human trafficking and detention, while any doctors and hospitals involved could also face prosecution.

afplogo.jpg

-- (c) Copyright AFP 2011-02-28

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