The law was passed with 160 members of Parliament voting in favour and two against, while four members abstained.

It stipulates a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine of around USD 6,000 for violations of the new surrogacy law.

Under the new legal framework, commercial surrogacy will be available only to Thai couples or couples with at least one Thai partner.

In such cases, a marriage certificate will be needed to show they have been married for at least three years, according to National News Bureau of Thailand.

The surrogate mothers need to be above 25 years of age and to have had children before.

The law aims at prohibiting child pornography, said Sappasit Kumprabhan, an activist, who had participated in the drafting of the law.

Thailand has witnessed several surrogacy-related scandals in recent years, such as the case of a baby born with Down syndrome allegedly abandoned to the care of its Thai surrogate mother by the biological parents.

Another case was that of a Japanese businessman who had at least 16 children through surrogacy.

The legislators claimed that the provisions in the new law would prevent the use of surrogacy for commercial or illegal purposes, while its critics argued that it would only help to strengthen the black market in this sector.

Latest News from World News Desk