BANGKOK, Feb 22nd, 2018: A Bangkok court has granted a wealthy Japanese man “sole parent” rights to 13 children he fathered through Thai surrogate mothers. The ruling, it’s believed, will pave the way for him to take custody of the group.
The Japanese man in question is 28-yr old Mitsutoki Shigeta, the son of a Japanese tycoon. Shigeta became the center of a “baby factory” scandal in 2014 after Thai police said DNA samples linked him to nine infants found under the care of 24-hour nannies in a plush Bangkok apartment.
The children were estimated to be between 2 weeks and 2 years old at the time and have since been under the care of the Thai state, while another four were later deemed to have been fathered by him.
The extraordinary discovery threw a spotlight on the kingdom’s then unregulated rent-a-womb industry, and helped push authorities to bar foreign nationals from paying for Thai surrogates in 2015.
Shigeta, the son of a Japanese tycoon, took Thailand’s Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to court for custody of the children.
On Tuesday a Thai court granted him legal rights to take the children, saying he had ample money to care for them and had prepared nurses and nannies to look after the brood at a safe residence in Japan.
“For the happiness and opportunities the 13 children will receive from their biological father — who does not have a history of bad behavior — the court rules them to be the plaintiff’s legal children,” Bangkok’s Central Juvenile Court said in a statement.