Surrogacy in Australia is experiencing a quiet boom, after yet another South-East Asian nation cracked down on the practice.
Last November Cambodia announced a ban on commercial surrogacy, and arrested an Australian nurse who was running a surrogacy clinic in Phnom Penh. Around ten Australian couples are currently stranded in the capital as the government drafts new legislation to regulate the practice.
Meanwhile in Australia, there has been a significant increase in the number of couples looking for surrogates, according to IVF experts.
Dr Glenn Stirling, the medical director of Brisbane IVF clinic Life Fertility, told the ABC that the number of patients they see has risen dramatically, and that new patients arrive almost daily.
"We'd be doing at least, two or three couples a week that are doing surrogacy," he said.
Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Australia, yet reports suggest that in some cases surrogates are secretly remunerated. Payments can be close to $30,000, according to an ABC report.
“It's a very much do-it-yourself model in Australia in terms of finding a surrogate and managing the journey,” said Sam Everingham from the international advocacy and support group Families Through Surrogacy.
"There's lots of hush-hush around finding a surrogate. It's a really tough thing to manage and pull all the pieces together for a couple who just wants to have a family."
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