20 February 2015
Last updated at 07:57
Baby Gammy’s case made headlines around the world and provoked debate over surrogacy
Thailand has passed a law banning foreigners from paying Thai women to be surrogates, after two high-profile cases sparked debate last year.
The legislation also bans the use of agents, or any promotion of women willing to carry babies for others.
Last year the case of a little boy born with Down’s syndrome put Thailand’s surrogacy industry in the spotlight.
His Thai surrogate mother said his Australian parents abandoned him, but took his healthy twin sister home.
Concern about the industry increased when a Japanese man was found to have fathered more than a dozen babies by different Thai surrogates.
Commercial surrogacy was supposedly banned by Thailand’s Medical Council in 1997.
Nevertheless a booming surrogacy industry has sprung up, attracting many foreigners.
Lawmaker Wanlop Tangkananurak said the law – which was first read in parliament in November – aimed to prevent Thailand from being “the womb of the world”.
It sets out a maximum jail sentence of 10 years for anyone hiring a commercial surrogate.
Not all surrogacy is banned. Couples with at least one Thai partner will be allowed to use a surrogate and they cannot pay for the service.
A lawmaker told Reuters news agency that all surrogates would have to be over 25.
The case of baby Gammy made headlines around the world. He remained with surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua, 21, in Thailand after his Australian parents took his twin sister home.
The little boy has now been granted Australian citizenship so he can have access to medical care.