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Surrogate Coverage Under Health Insurance in Thailand on Standby

By the third quarter of 2024, surrogacy may receive a significant boost as a result of its incorporation into the country’s health insurance scheme, which would increase the likelihood of struggling couples having a child of their own.

The Health Service Support Department, the Office of Insurance Commission, and insurance providers aim to provide comprehensive coverage with collaborative effort, offering hope to families who have had a hard time embarking on the journey of parenthood.

This move is induced by Thailand’s declining birth rates and aging population, aiming to help overcome the challenges faced by couples with conception difficulties or pregnancy complications. 

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Overview of Surrogacy

Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction, involving an arrangement in which a woman (the surrogate) agrees to carry and give birth to a child on behalf of another person or couple (intended parents).

Surrogacy is a viable option for conception, usually if:

  • A woman is unable to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy because she has had a hysterectomy or defective uterus
  • A woman who has a health condition that makes pregnancy dangerous

It is a complex process that not only encompasses medical technology to succeed but also involves transparent and open communication between the parties, on the boundaries and mutual understanding of the relationship and interactions between the surrogate and the intended parents, as well as the fairness of expenses covered.

Surrogacy: Addressing Aging Population

Thailand is among the fastest-aging countries in the world, with 12 out of 67 million Thais being elderly.  Simultaneously, Thailand’s birth rate plummeted from 780,975 in 2012 to 485,085 in 2022, dropping by nearly 40% in just a decade. 

In light of the phenomenon, the Thai government recognizes the importance of addressing the needs of couples seeking surrogacy to generate more young, productive forces.

Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) in Thailand

According to Dr. Sura Wisedsak, director-general of the Health Service Support Department, there are a total of 114 hospitals and clinics across Thailand currently offering ART services to couples with conception challenges or pregnancy complications.

Along with the impressive success rate of 46% of such technology, it is evident that Thailand is equipped with substantial medical and human resources, technology, and experience in delivering ART services, including surrogacy.

Legal Framework for Surrogacy

Thailand was a popular international destination for surrogacy until stringent laws were implemented due to the abuse of commercial surrogacy. If you wish to have a child through surrogacy, you have to fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Heterosexual couples (homosexual couples are not recognized), married for at least 3 years, with at least one person in the marriage must hold Thai nationality
  2. Only Thai citizens are allowed to be surrogates, and they must be at least 25 years old, have a child of their own, and have the husband’s consent
  3. The intended parents must be genetically related to the child. The use of donor eggs, sperm, or embryos is not permitted.
  4. Only altruistic surrogate is allowed, meaning that the surrogate cannot receive any financial compensation beyond medical and other necessary expenses, such as dietary supplements

The current surrogacy act makes international surrogacy impossible, and even difficult for local nationals to access such services. 

Potential Revision of the Surrogacy Act

In anticipation of the impending legalization of same-sex marriage in Thailand, there is a push to revise the existing Surrogacy Act. This revision seeks to open doors for homosexual couples to adopt a baby through a surrogate mother, addressing personal desires and contributing to resolving a national crisis. 

Integration of Surrogacy into Health Insurance Scheme

Despite the pursuit of successful outcomes from ART, ensuring the safety and well-being of mothers undergoing ART procedures remains a paramount concern. 

With the integration of surrogacy into a health insurance scheme, both the intended parents and surrogate mothers can be physically and lawfully protected, and provide financial assistance and support for couples navigating the complexities of ART.

Under the proposed insurance service, surrogate mothers will receive comprehensive coverage starting from the day of conception to a month after delivery. The coverage area includes protection against illnesses, pregnancy complications, and essential postnatal care.

Considerations Before Starting Surrogacy

While the option of surrogacy has been a blessing for many childless couples, make sure you take the following advice into account:

Make Sure You’re Ready

Surrogacy can be a long and often stressful process that could take a few attempts to succeed, or even fail.

There have been past cases of parents only wanting one of the two newborns, or the surrogate finding it difficult to give up the baby due to physical bonding. Therefore, it is always advisable to set up clear boundaries and talk through your thoughts between the parties.

Plan Your Finances

Surrogacy is expensive. Do some research on such services in Thailand before stepping your foot into the process. There are various expenses outside of the insurance coverage you will need to pay out-of-pocket.

Check Your Health

The surrogate’s health will greatly determine the health of the baby. Your and your partner’s health is also impactful on the success rate of the fertilization process. Therefore, it is always recommended to get some basic health check-ups beforehand.

Prioritize Your Health with Pacific Prime

Having a baby via surrogacy is truly a blessing for many who want to have a child of their own. The process is indeed long and stressful. Hence, consulting a good physician and psychologist when making such a life-changing decision will get you well-prepared.

You can also find out if your current health insurance plan will cover the health risks associated with surrogacy by contacting your insurance provider.

With over 20 years of experience in delivering health insurance solutions, Pacific Prime has a team of experienced and impartial insurance experts to give you advice and suggestions on insurance plans that could be beneficial for your current medical needs. 

If you haven’t secured health insurance yet, contact us today for an obligation-free quote!

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Eric is an experienced content writer specializing in writing creative copies of marketing materials including social media posts, advertisements, landing pages, and video scripts.

Since joining Pacific Prime, Eric was exposed to a new world of insurance. Having learned about insurance products extensively, he has taken joy and satisfaction in helping individuals and businesses manage risks and protect themselves against financial loss through the power of words.

Although born and raised in Hong Kong, he spent a quarter of his life living and studying in the UK. He believes his multicultural experience is a great asset in understanding the needs and wants of expats and globe-trotters.

Eric’s strengths lie in his strong research, analytical, and communication skills, obtained through his BA in Linguistics from the University of York and MSc in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Bristol.

Outside of work, he enjoys some me-time gaming and reading on his own, occasionally going absolutely mental on a night out with friends.
Eric Chung