Mitsutoki Shigeta: 'Baby factory' dad wins paternity rights |

Mitsutoki Shigeta: 'Baby factory' dad wins paternity rights

Sun Online Desk     20th February, 2018 02:40:45 printer

Mitsutoki Shigeta: 'Baby factory' dad wins paternity rights


A Bangkok court has awarded paternity rights to a Japanese man over 13 babies he fathered through Thai surrogate mothers.


The ruling allows Mitsutoki Shigeta, 28, to pursue custody of the children.


The son of a wealthy entrepreneur, he caused controversy in 2014 when he was revealed to have fathered 16 babies via surrogates in Thailand.


His so-called "baby factory" case and others led to Thailand banning commercial surrogacy for foreigners.


Mr Shigeta, who was not present at the trial, was awarded "sole parent" rights after the Thai surrogates forfeited their rights, according to the court, which did not name him.


"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 in a statement.


In 2014, Mr Shigeta was investigated by Interpol for human trafficking after it emerged he had fathered 16 surrogate children in Thailand.


His Bangkok apartment was raided and police found nine surrogate babies, nannies and a pregnant surrogate mother there.


He left Thailand soon after, but later sued the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security for custody of the children.


The children will not immediately be transferred into Mr Shigeta's custody.


His lawyer told AFP news agency that he would contact the Social Welfare Ministry about next steps, adding that the timelines still had to be agreed to avoid "abrupt changes" for the children.


Mr Shigeta was awarded custody of his three other children in 2015.


It was this case and that of "Baby Gammy" that shed light on Thailand's booming surrogacy industry.


Baby Gammy's Thai surrogate mother alleged that he was abandoned by his Australian parents after they found out he had Down's Syndrome. They took his twin sister home.