15/08/2014 08:46 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Couples With Surrogate Babies Banned From Leaving Thailand, Following Baby Gammy Case


Four couples have been prevented from leaving Thailand with surrogate babies in the wake of the baby Gammy case, according to reports.

The move is thought to be part of government plans to overhaul the country's surrogacy laws, following the recent case of baby Gammy, in which a Thai surrogate mother claims a baby with Down's Syndrome was abandoned by his Australian biological parents.

The couple, David and Wendy Farnell, dispute surrogate Pattharamon Janbua 's account.

They claim they didn't want to leave Gammy behind when they took his twin sister Pipah home, but they had to leave Thailand 'as fast as possible' as they feared Janbua planned to keep their daughter.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) have reported that following the scandal, two American couples and two Australian same-sex couples have been prevented from flying out of Bangkok airport with babies born to Thai women.

Thai officials said the couples would need to apply for court orders to take the babies from the country - a process that could take months.

On Wednesday (August 13), Thailand's military government gave preliminary approval for a draft law making commercial surrogacy a criminal offence.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has urged Thai authorities to allow a transitional period so that parents already in the surrogacy process are not affected by the changes.

A DFAT spokesperson said it would not confirm whether the couples had been stopped from leaving Thailand.

"For privacy reasons, the Department will not be releasing the details of individual cases of Australians affected by Thai exit requirements," the spokesperson said in a statement.

Story Of Baby With Down Syndrome Shows Surrogacy's Pitfalls