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Cambodian surrogate moms freed after vowing to keep babies

December 5, 2018

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodian officials say 32 women who acted illegally as surrogate mother and were charged with human trafficking have been provisionally released from detention after agreeing to keep the babies they gave birth to rather than giving them up as originally planned.

A spokeswoman for the National Committee for Counter-Trafficking said the women, who were charged in July for breaking surrogacy and human trafficking laws, were released on bail in three groups, the last 17 on Wednesday.

Acting as an intermediary between an adoptive parent and a pregnant woman carries a penalty of one to six months in prison. The human trafficking offense is punishable by seven to 15 years’ imprisonment.

A Chinese man and four Cambodian women accused of managing the business were charged with the same offenses.

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