Tammy Davis-Charles was sentenced Thursday in a court in the capital, Phnom Penh, along with two Cambodian associates, nine months after she was arrested and detained.
This led to an uptick in commercial surrogacy in neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, which then moved swiftly to impose a total ban.
Cambodia banned commercial surrogacy in November 2016, describing it as a form of human trading. It became an global destination for couples, who are wanting to have babies through surrogacy.
Davis-Charles charged foreign couples about £38,000 for surrogacy services and paid Cambodian women about £7,500 to carry babies on their behalf, said Judge Sor Lina at Phnom Penh municipal court.
From left to right: Samrith Chakrya; Tammy Davis Charles; Pech Rithy. Phnom Penh Post reports that parents desperate for their own biological children pay around US$50,000 (AU$63,000) for the process; the US$10,000 (AU$12,600) normally go to the surrogate mothers.More news: Usain Bolt, Mo Farah headline Day 1
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The judge said that Davis-Charles provided surrogacy services to 23 Australian and American couples.
Davis-Charles told the court her company Fertility Solutions PGD was only responsible for caring for surrogate mothers and another company was responsible for screening and preparing paperwork, such as the contracts between intended parents and surrogate mothers.
In the wake of Davis-Charles' arrest, Cambodian authorities declared an amnesty for babies already born. All three are sentenced to 18 months in prison.
She denied she recruited surrogates or falsified documents. Chakriya, who was the translator for Davis-Charles, also begged to be reunited with her one-year-old daughter.
The Cambodian government called on intending parents, including about 70 couples from Australia, to come forward and abide by temporary rules that would allow them to take their babies home.