December 13, 2017

Campaign to Ban Surrogacy in Ireland

Currently, surrogacy is legal in the country

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Campaigners in Ireland are moving towards the ban of surrogacy in the country reports Irish Times.

Jennifer Lahl, founder and president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture in California, spoke in Dublin at an event held by the Iona institute, a group also campaigning against surrogacy.

Lahl said that surrogacy was unsafe for women as it exploits and damages their mental health.  She added that commercial surrogacy deprives children of “natural parentage” and treats them as commodities.

As the law currently stands in Ireland, the surrogate is the lawful mother of the child. If she is not married, she is the sole guardian but if she gets married, then her husband is the lawful father according to newstalk. There is no legislation to cover legal issues arising from surrogacy in Ireland.

This move follows several others in countries around the world. Recent reports show that Cambodia is also looking to ban surrogacy. Under Thailand surrogacy law, commercial surrogacy is banned, but married couples of the opposite sex can use a surrogate.

Read more here

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U.S Judges Order Boy to Stop Wearing Girl’s Clothes

Sexual minorities’ expert says judges need to be educated about gender identity

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Two Alberta judges have ruled that a boy suffering from gender identity crisis should not wear girls’ clothes out in public according to a report by Calgary Sun.

The case appears in a custody battle for the five year old child in Medicine Hat, Alberta. The mother feels the child should have the right to express himself while the father disagrees blaming the mother for the child’s gender confusion.

In separate rulings last year, two Alberta judges ruled against the mother stating that the boy was required to wear boys’ clothes in public. A recent ruling by a third judge overturned the ruling, allowing the boy to choose what to wear.

Kris Wells with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta was quoted by Calgary as saying, “These kinds of decisions shouldn’t be happening, particularly when our human rights legislation has changed- Some of these attitudes need to be challenged and corrected.”

This is not the first instance in which Alberta judges have sparked controversy. In a recent sexual assault trial, a provincial court judge in Calgary asked the rape victim why she didn’t keep her knees together.

Read more here

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Cambodia Looks to Ban Surrogacy

Currently, no laws prevent commercial surrogacy in the country

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The Justice Ministry of Cambodia announced that it is investigating allegations of ongoing commercial surrogacy in the country reports Khmer Times.

The investigation is being led by Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana in collaboration with the police and Ministry of Health.

Vong Vathana said that the accusations were a problem that would not have taken place if Cambodia had laws preventing surrogacy.

“This is a problem that we must think about carefully because it will be more difficult in the future as we won’t know the exact identity of the child,” he is quoted as saying by Khmer Times.

He further said, “And we also need to have a law to prevent surrogacy services because it doesn’t happen from a person’s desire, but to do business related with children that we do not need in Cambodia.”

The statements were made at a three day workshop that launched the “Explanatory Note of Domestic Adoption,” a move that hopes to ensure adoptees are protected and placed in families that are able to take care of their needs.

Surrogacy is banned in many Southeast Asian countries. Surrogacy in Thailand was banned for foreigners recently due to a controversy that arose when a western couple refused to take the child because it was born with a genetic defect.

Read more here

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Cambodia to Draft First Surrogacy Laws

UN envoy to help draft the laws

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Image Source: pixabay.com

The Cambodian Daily reports that U.N. envoy Rhona Smith will help draft the country’s first surrogacy laws.

Smith is a rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia and is on a ten day visit to talk about issues surrounding the country including crimes against women and children.

Cambodia’s ministry spokesman said that Smith encouraged the idea of regulating laws on commercial surrogacy in Cambodia.  According to Cambodian Daily, the ministry has been working with Australian officials in regulating the trade and more than 50 surrogacy brokers have already advertised the service in the country.

The aim of establishing the law is to prevent surrogates from being taken advantage of by brokers and to avoid instances in which foreign couples refuse to take a baby born with a genetic defect.

Thailand abolished commercial surrogacy last year because the western couple who had used the services of a local woman to have twins, refused to take one of the twins because the child suffered from Down’s syndrome. Surrogacy law in Thailand allows commercial surrogacy only for opposite-sex married Thai residents.

Read the full story here

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Sharia Law May Protect Child Rapists Says Judge

Under current law, girls under 16 can marry if granted approval by State headmuslim-972544_960_720

A former sharia judge is moving to change a sharia law that allows underage girls to marry in Malaysia reports The Star.

Datuk Ismail Yahya said that although the legal age for marriage is 16 under sharia law, girls under 16 can also be married if they get consent from the State’s head of government.

Yahya wants the age of consent be raised to 18 in order to avoid future complications and health problems that may arise from girls marrying too young.

Thailand’s family law team have decades of experience in child custody and child support cases in Thailand

The amendments are championed by Executive Director of Sisters in Islam, who organized the forum, Rozana Isa. The director fears that Islam is being manipulated by men who use sharia law to escape rape charges by marrying their victims who are, often, underage girls.

According to the Star, amendments to Section 10 of the Malaysian Civil Laws Act were suggested at the forum which consisted of UNICEF representative to Malaysia Marianne Clark-Hattingh and sharia law committee chairman Datuk Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari.

Recent reports show that sharia has led to the legislation of child marriages in 6 countries. In Saudi Arabia, wives can be not only pre-pubescent, but even babies, because Saudi Arabia has no minimum marriage age at all.
Read the original article here

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Zika Scare Alarms Pregnant Women in Thailand

Abnormal births were first reported in the country in SeptemberAedes aegypti, one of Zika virus transmitters by Rafaelgilo

The Thai ministry of health said that it is considering having pregnant women in Thailand tested for the Zika virus after two detected cases of microcephaly were confirmed in September reports Reuters.

The procedure is said to cost THB2000, but repeat tests are necessary.

Women found to carry the Zika virus give birth to babies that have unusually small heads, a condition called microcephaly.

Zika Virus was first detected in 2007 in a small Island off the coast of the Pacific called Yap. After six years, the virus reappeared in the French Polynesia bringing with it the spread of a rare auto-immune disease that led to paralysis.

Child adoption in Thailand  is regulated by the Thai government which has an international department for non-Thai prospective parents. 

In 2015, the virus was found in Brazil and the first reported case of microcephaly was brought to doctors.By the end of 2015, “public health officials estimated Zika had infected more than 1 million people in the Americas, and Brazilian doctors were investigating microcephaly in nearly 3,000 babies.”

By September of this year, Zika has been reported in 48 different countries in the Americas and 10 others in the Pacific, Asia and Africa.

Apart from transmission by mosquitoes, sexual transmission has also been reported.

Read the full story here

Spread of Zika Virus

California Single Stall Restrooms to be Gender Neutral

New California law requires all public restrooms to be made gender neutral

Gender Neutral Restroom Sign - Baby Wale Restaurant DC

Gender Neutral Restroom Sign – Baby Wale Restaurant DC

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that requires all restrooms in businesses, restaurants, and areas of public accommodation to be gender neutral starting March 1st of 2017.

Chaninat & Leeds lawyers in Thailand specialize in family law, Thailand and handle child adoption as well as child custody cases in Thailand

State Assemblyman, Phil Ting, who authored Assembly Bill (AB) 1732 said in a press release “Restricting access to single-user restrooms by gender defies common sense and disproportionately burdens the LGBT community, women, and parents or caretakers of dependents of the opposite gender. Bathroom access is a biological need. This law will ensure more safety, fairness, and convenience access for everyone.”

Read more here

Image Credit: Ted Eytan