PHNOM PENH, Nov. 3 (FN) -- Cambodian has banned surrogate pregnancy arrangements in the country, putting the brakes on what appeared to be a quickly expanding industry, the Cambodia Daily reported Thursday.
The move comes just days after Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana called for the practice to be outlawed, describing it as a form of human "trading."
Addressing representatives of Cambodia's medical community during a meeting at the Health Ministry on Monday, Health Minister Mam Bunheng announced a ban on surrogacy, according to staff from a Phnom Penh fertility clinic who were present.
The ban is among other measures outlined in a new proclamation on the management of blood, ovum, marrow and human cells that Bunheng approved last week.
"Surrogacy, one of a set of services to have a baby by assisted reproductive technology, is completely banned," the newspaper quoted the proclamation as saying.
It also bans commercial sperm donation and requires clinics and specialist doctors providing in-vitro fertilization services to receive permission from the ministry.
Experts estimate up to 50 surrogacy providers and brokers are operating in Cambodia, many of which moved their businesses here from other countries, including India, Nepal and Thailand, according to the newspaper.