Thailand court gives Japanese man custody of his 13 surrogate babies

Thailand court gives Japanese man custody of his 13 surrogate babies”

A wealthy Japanese man was granted "sole parent" rights to 13 children he fathered through Thai surrogate mothers.

"The foster homes will seek my authorisation to release the children to their father's custody ... it won't take more than 10 days", Vitat Tachaboon of the Social Development and Welfare Department told reporters.

It said there is no evidence he was involved in human trafficking, and that the man has professional stability and an ample income to raise all the children in Japan.

Shigeta's case raised eyebrows in 2014 when police raided the Niche ID condominium in Soi Lat Phrao 130 and found babies and nannies living in unfurnished rooms there with a Japanese secretary. The children that he cared for in Japan now all have Japanese citizenship, it said.

After the case was brought to court in 2014, a law was passed banning commercial surrogacy in Thailand in 2015.

"For the happiness and opportunities which the 13 children will receive from their biological father, who does not have a history of bad behaviour, the court rules that all 13 born from surrogacy to be legal children of the plaintiff", Bangkok's Central Juvenile Court said.

On Tuesday, the Bangkok court said in its ruling that since Shigeta belongs to a wealthy family, he had enough money to take care of the children.

The children were estimated to be between two weeks and two years old at the time and have since been cared for by the Thai state, while another four were later deemed also to have been fathered by him. He was given the "sole parent" rights after the Thai surrogates surrendered their.

It is unclear where the children born in Cambodia are now.

Shigeta's mother has also been visiting the children in Thailand and "they have got used to her", he added.

Thailand was rocked by several surrogacy scandals in 2014, including allegations that an Australian couple had abandoned their Down Syndrome baby with his Thai birth mother taking only his healthy twin sister back to Australia with them. He carried out a three-year legal battle for custody, although he was not present in court on Tuesday as he left Thailand when the case emerged.

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