Eleven Cambodian surrogate mothers arrested in November (see Surrogacy in Cambodia: fifteen new arrests in Phnom Penh) were released on bail last month “in return for promising not to sell their child”. According to Chou Bun Eng, vice-president of the Cambodian National Committee for Counter Trafficking, “some of them have already given birth,” but all of them have “refused to provide the identity of the people for whom they had carried these children”.
A few months ago, thirty-two surrogate mothers accepted the same agreement (see Cambodia: 32 surrogate mothers released on bail). Surrogacy has been banned in Cambodia since 2016, but a draft law has been under discussion for several months and, pressured by several NGOs that support surrogacy, could reverse the trend. These NGOs consider it “scandalous” that surrogate mothers are arrested and say they are “not prepared” to raise the children they bear, most often for Chinese couples.