A woman has been charged with human trafficking for holding pregnant women captive so their babies could be exported to paying clients.
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, a company called Baby 101 operated a facility in Bangkok where Vietnamese women were held against their will in order to bear children for Taiwanese customers (gestational surrogacy is illegal in Taiwan). The woman had their passports confiscated, and while some say they were offered money to act as surrogates, others say they were tricked into doing so. Some may have been artificially inseminated with clients' sperm — others appear to have been raped. On its website, Baby 101 calls itself a "eugenics surrogate" and says, "We could create the finest procreation condition for your baby, mainly through the efficient embryo refining, only the superior left for implanting." The company's proprietor, a 35-year-old Taiwanese woman, has been arrested on trafficking charges.
Basically, this story touches on all the biggest concerns about surrogacy — that women in developing countries will be exploited, that the practice could amount to "baby-selling," that it will be a gateway to eugenics and genetic engineering. And while the horrific practices of Baby 101 bear little resemblance to surrogacy arrangements between consenting, fairly compensated adults, they are a reminder that as reproductive technology advances, we need worldwide regulation and investigation to ensure it isn't misused.
Women Freed From 'Inhuman' Baby Ring [ABC.net.au]
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