April 16, 2024

Australian Surrogate Babies Stuck in Cambodia

Surrogacy was flourishing in the country a year ago before the government banned it

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that up 10 surrogate babies with Australian biological parents are stuck in Cambodia because the government is refusing to issue exit visas.

According to the report, “The Cambodian government is refusing to issue exit visas for all surrogacy cases where the newborn babies have a foreign passport, in a developing human crisis in the country.”

The report also stated that the government “had previously warned that if intending Australian parents failed to present themselves to the authorities the government would not facilitate them bringing their babies to Australia.”

Cambodia’s Secretary of State at the Interior Ministry Chou Bun Eng, said that the government wants to ensure that promises made to the surrogate mothers are fulfilled and that the contract is completed.

Commercial surrogacy was flourishing in the country after it was banned in Thailand and India. However, government officials abolished the trade over human rights violation concerns.

Commercial surrogacy in Thailand is banned for foreigners, but couples residing in Thailand can choose to have a surrogate baby.

Read more here

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Cross Recognition of Thai- American Parentage

An Illinois court ruled in favor of a Thai woman recognising an American as her child’s father


An Illinois Court has ordered a man to pay child support in Thailand to triplets he had fathered through assisted conception methods.

Justice Lampkin of the Circuit Court of Cook County ruled in accordance with a judgment order from Thailand recognizing Harlow to be the biological father of triplets conceived by gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) and imposed child support obligations on him.

The mother, Wipaporn T. petitioned the Circuit Court of Cook County to recognize and enroll the Thai judgment under the principles of comity.

Harlow tried to get the petition dismissed under  claims that it contradicted an Illinois Parentage law that does not recognize sperm donors as fathers. However, Harlow had signed the consent form for the transfer under “husband”. Wipaporn also submitted photographs showing Harlow and herself participating in a traditional Thai marriage.

The Illinois court ruled that since Harlow had acted like the father prior to conception and had “plans to claim the three boys as dependents, take tax deductions for his support payments to them and enable them to access their rights of U.S. citizenship,” he must support the three children.

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Egypt’s Proposed Child Custody Law Sparks Outrage

The law proposes that remarried women should lose custody of their children


A proposed child custody law has garnered widespread criticism from women’s rights activists in Egypt reports Al-Monitor.

The proposed law was submitted by female parliament member Soheir El-Hadi along with 60 other MPs as an amendment to Egypt’s Personal Status Law 25 of 1929.

As the current law stands, if a divorced mother possessing custody of her children decides to remarry, custody will shift towards her mother, mother-in-law or sister. The new law proposes that in such an instance, the mother will effectively lose custody of her children and the custody will then be given to the wife of the father if he happens to be remarried, or to his relative, if he is still single.

Thailand family attorneys practice Thai child custody law and assist in custody battles between international and domestic couples in Thailand 

The proposal has left women’s rights activists fuming.  Dina Hussein, a senior member of the National Council for Women (NCW), told Al-Monitor, “This illogical draft law must be withdrawn and canceled out in order not to be resubmitted.”

Although she agreed that the current law needs to be updated, Hussein argued that the law “suffocates” mothers and restricts women from remarrying.

The law has also received backlash on social media with topics #Against New Child Custody Law and #Over Our Dead Bodies trending on twitter.

Read more here

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Israel May Consider Both Spouses’ Incomes in Cases of Child Support

The recommendation was submitted to the Supreme Court by Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit


In a first of its kind, a recommendation was sent to the Supreme Court by Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit in which he suggests that in cases of child support, not only should the father’s income be considered, but also the mother’s.

In his opinion Mendelblit said, as quoted by Haaretz, “There is room for flexible thinking with regard to the father’s obligation to pay child support in cases of joint custody. In appropriate instances, there is room for considering the incomes of both parents when ruling on child support.”

Under the current Jewish law, the father is fully responsible in providing for his children regardless of whether he and his estranged spouse share joint custody or if she earns more than him.

Head of the Justice Ministry’s Jewish law department Dr. Michael Vigoda also wrote an opinion on the matter saying that the mother’s income should be taken into account when deciding child support for children above the age of 6.

The entire recommendation took place in front of a seven-justice panel on Tuesday.

Under Thailand’s child support law, child support cases are decided by considering relevant income of both the parents.

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Ontario Passes Equal Parenting Law

This marks another win for fathers and LGBT families around the world


Ontario just passed a legislation that gives equal parenting rights to all parents regardless of whether they come from an LGBTQ family, are straight, whether their children were conceived naturally or artificially.

According to the press release, the law will come into effect on January 1st 2017. The All Families Are Equal Act will

Provide greater clarity and certainty for parents who use assisted reproduction to conceive a child

Provide a streamlined process for the legal recognition of parents who use a surrogate, together with requirements meant to protect the rights of all parties through independent legal advice and confirmation of the surrogate’s consent both before conception and after birth

Reduce the need for parents who use assisted reproduction to have to go to court to have their parental status recognized in law

The global parenting scene is gradually becoming more open to unconventional parenting and breaking the mold from the previously though notion that only opposite sex parents can have legal rights over a child.

Some countries, however, are still lagging behind on equal rights for LGBT individuals. For instance, child custody laws in Thailand do not apply to same sex couples, because under Thai law, same-sex marriages are still not recognized.

Read more here

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Israel to Give Father Legal Parity with Mothers

Current law gave mothers custody of the children if an agreement is not reached between the parents


An Israeli child custody law is being amended to give fathers legal parity with mothers in cases concerning custody of young children reports Haaretz.

According to Haaretz, “The bill would grant joint custody to both parents for all children, regardless of age, if the parents cannot reach an agreement between themselves.” Under the present law, a disagreement between the parents will result in the mother getting sole custody of the children.

The bill is said to be brought to vote on Monday. The age at which children would automatically be placed in joint custody is yet to set.

The so-called “parents and children bill” was proposed by Knesset Member (MK) Yoav Kisch (Likud) who felt that the current law created “an absurd situation in which the legal system does not consider the interests of children of separated parents” according to a report by Jerusalem Post.

In most countries, child custody battles usually favor mothers to fathers. In Thailand child custody law, women are normally favored as caregivers. However, fathers can also win custody of their children if the mother is proved an unfit parent.

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Mississippi woman denied custody rights over a child because of her gender


Christina Strickland divorced her wife in 2013. She was refused custody of her youngest child, a 5 year old boy because of her gender reports Wapt News.

According to the report, Judge John S. Grant III said that two women cannot make children and so their youngest child, who was conceived with the help of a sperm donor “has got a natural father somewhere”.

In the case of divorce or separation, child custody lawyers in Thailand have experience in handling both domestic as well as international custody battles in Thailand

The Judge granted the woman visitation rights of the children, a 16 year old and 5 year old. She could not apply for joint custody of the 16 year old because there was no legal option to.

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Germany to Fine Imams Officiating Child Marriages

Ministry also considering banning child marriages


Germany is proposing to fine imams found officiating marriages of people under the age of 16 reports RT. Imams will be charged of fines up to $1100.

The German Interior Ministry is also looking to ban child marriages. Under existing law, the legal marrying age is 18 but 16 year olds can also obtain marriage licenses under special request provided the person they’re marrying is 18 years and above.

Justice Minister, Heiko Maas is hesitant on the issue and believes that the law should be dependent on individual cases. He also said that for refugees, not all child marriages should be automatically annulled because there could be reasons for exception based on child welfare.

Dynamic and professional family lawyers in Thailand are experts in drafting and registering internationally recognized prenuptial agreements in Thailand

Many politicians and human rights’ activists oppose Maas’ stand. Stephan Harbarth, the head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) faction in the German parliament, told Die Welt, a German news outlet,  “It is high time we introduced a clear ban on child marriages-there should be no child marriages in Germany as well as no legal ‘grey zone’ for them.

He added, “We need a clear age limit of 18 years for marriage in Germany. A child’s welfare should always prevail over protection of marriage,” and insisted that it is not in any child’s interests to stay married to a 30 year old spouse.”

Read more here

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Campaign to Ban Surrogacy in Ireland

Currently, surrogacy is legal in the country


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.

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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


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.

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