Cambodia Jails Australian Nurse Over Illegal Surrogacy Charges

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Australian nurse Tammy Davis-Charles jailed for 18 months in a Cambodian prison after being charged for running an illegal surrogacy clinic in Cambodia.

Tammy Davis-Charles, 49, was arrested in late November by anti-human trafficking police for running an illegal commercial surrogacy clinic in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s busy capital. Two Cambodian nationals -a nurse and a civil servant, Penh Rithy and Samrithchan Chariya, were also accused of falsifying the documents to procure birth-certificates of the new babies.

The detentions came a fortnight after Cambodia authorities banned the commercial surrogacy industry. Ms. Davis-Charles, who is originally from Melbourne, runs the Fertility Solutions clinic, denied the charges against her. She told the court that her job was to give medical care to 23 surrogate mothers. She also said that during the time of her arrest she did not even know surrogacy was banned in Cambodia.

Penh Rithy and Samrithchan Chariya, they both were aware of the ban on commercial surrogacy in Cambodia but still, they were into this business and accompanying her, as stated by Phnom Penh Municipal Court Judge So Lyna. It has been said that Ms. Davis-Charles receives between US$50,000 to US$70,000 for surrogacy services from each foreign parents and she has also paid surrogate mothers between US$10,000 to US$12,000 for their services. Penh Rithy was paid US$600 to US$800 to organize fake papers for new born babies.

In recent years Thailand outlawed the commercial surrogacy after a medical issue found in a new born baby. Following that The Cambodian Government banned commercial surrogacy following Thailand and Nepal which actually leads to very limited options for the foreign couples and at the same time increasing the risk of illegal surrogacy operators underground. In different other countries, such as China, these services are getting relocated, where there are no proper strict regulatory authorities to handle them.

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