Australian in Cambodia Surrogacy Case ‘Lost Everything’

Australian Tammy Davis-Charles, right, charged with providing commercial surrogacy services, hides her face as she enters the Phnom Penh Municipal Court last month in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo: Heng Sinith / Associated Press

PHNOM PENH — An Australian woman charged with providing commercial surrogacy services in Cambodia has told a court she has “lost everything” since her arrest eight months ago and is suffering from cancer.

Cambodia banned commercial surrogacy last year after becoming a popular destination for would-be parents seeking women to give birth to their children.

Tammy Davis-Charles pleaded innocent in a hearing Monday. The judge adjourned the case until Aug. 3.

Developing countries are popular for surrogacy because costs are much lower than in nations such as the United States and Australia, where surrogate services are about USD $150,000.

Davis-Charles says she launched her business in Cambodia only after consulting three local lawyers who assured her the clinic was legal.