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Mon Nov 28, 2022, 04:19 AM

They Were Surrogates. Now They Must Raise the Children.

so much to unpack in this article. Cambodians trapped by predatory microloan companies. Surrogacy as a way out of debt. Chinese, sex selecting for boys. Using White European egg donors because it produced preferred look. Gay man wanting a child, surrogacy illegal for gays in most countries. When caught, Cambodian surrogate forced to raise child to avoid jail. Raising half white/ half Chinese child provokes curiosity of child's origin. Long article. A good read.

They Were Surrogates. Now They Must Raise the Children.
In Cambodia’s weak legal system, surrogacy exists in a gray market, endangering all involved when political conditions suddenly shift and criminal charges follow.

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The baby was not hers, not really.

Hun Daneth felt that, counted on that. When she gave birth to the boy, who didn’t look like her, she knew it even more.

But four years after acting as a surrogate for a Chinese businessman, who said he had used a Russian egg donor, Ms. Hun Daneth is being forced by the Cambodian courts to raise the little boy or risk going to jail. The businessman is in prison over the surrogacy, his appeal denied in June.

Even as she dealt with the shock of raising the baby, Ms. Hun Daneth dutifully changed his diapers. Over the months and years, she found herself hugging and kissing him, cajoling him to eat more rice so he could grow big and strong. She has come to see this child as her own.

“I love him so much,” said Ms. Hun Daneth, who is looking after the boy with her husband.


The practice flourishes in the nebulous space between those who can and cannot bear children; between those with the means to hire someone to bear their biological offspring and the women who need the money; and between those whose sexuality or marital status means they can’t adopt or otherwise become parents and those whose fertility spares them having to face such restrictions.

Xu Wenjun, center, the boy’s intended father, is serving a 15-year prison sentence. Like others involved in surrogacy in Cambodia, he was charged with human trafficking.

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