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Man accused of fathering 12 surrogate babies in Thailand

26 August 2014
Appeared in BioNews 768

A Japanese businessman may have fathered up to 15 children using Thai surrogates, 12 of whom remain in Thailand, police have said.

Paternity testing showed that the man, who had provided a DNA sample in an effort to clear his name, was a positive match with 12 children in Thailand. He is also suspected of fathering a further three children who are now believed to be in other countries.

The story has been growing since Thai authorities discovered nine babies in a flat in Bangkok over two weeks ago. It was reported that neighbours had been complaining about the sound of crying infants and contacted the police over human trafficking concerns. When the police turned up, they also found a pregnant 20-year-old woman. The children were, the Daily Telegraph said, aged between one month and two years old.

Police then tracked down other children he is suspected to have fathered and tested 15 children against his DNA. 'It is confirmed that he is the father of all the babies - the 15 babies that we checked', Thai police doctor, Lieutenant General Jongjate Aojanepong, told news agency AFP last Wednesday. He is no longer in Thailand and has not yet been charged with any criminal offence.

Media reports suggested the 24-year-old suspect is the son of an IT millionaire who wanted a large family to whom he could pass down the business. Initially, he denied the children were his.

Seven nannies were also in the flat - dubbed the 'baby factory' by the press. Thai health officials told the Daily Telegraph they were being paid around £184 a month to look after the children.

Despite the case being publicised amid the Thai Government's attempts to crack down on surrogacy (see BioNews 767) and also human trafficking, the police have so far found no evidence to suggest the father was planning on passing the children on.

'From our checks of the living conditions of the babies, so far there has not been any abuse or involvement in human trafficking or unlawful use of the babies', Aojanepong told AFP. The Straits Times also reports that the mothers of the 15 babies did not use their own eggs.

Thailand is a popular destination for foreigners seeking surrogacy services and has been centre of another highly publicised case involving allegations made around an Australian couple and their Thai surrogate-born child, known as Gammy (see BioNews 765). Thailand's military government in May passed a draft law making commercial surrogacy illegal.

DNA of Japanese man in surrogacy case matches 12 babies in Thailand
The Japan Times |  20 August 2014
DNA shows Japanese fathered 15 surrogate babies: Thai police
Straits Times |  20 August 2014
Japanese man 'fathers nine in two years' using surrogate mothers
Daily Telegraph |  7 August 2014
Japan suspect in Thai 'baby factory' scandal hands over DNA samples
Reuters |  18 August 2014
19 January 2015 - by Ayesha Ahmad and James Brooks 
The surrogate mothers of nine of the babies fathered by a Japanese man and taken into care by the Thai authorities have filed for custody of the children...
13 October 2014 - by Ayesha Ahmad 
Reports of another surrogate-born baby abandoned in India by an Australian couple have further ignited the debate on international surrogacy in the wake of the Baby Gammy case....
1 September 2014 - by Rebecca Carr 
Thailand's military junta has pledged a transitional period of leniency in cases of babies born to surrogate mothers, as it prepares to tighten its laws on the country's surrogacy industry....
18 August 2014 - by Professor Eric Blyth 
The Baby Gammy case has sparked worldwide interest and comment. The case highlights troubling issues that have been exercising the minds of some of us for some time...
18 August 2014 - by Chee Hoe Low 
Thailand's Government has approved a draft law intended to make commercial surrogacy a criminal offence, leaving foreign couples reportedly unable to take their surrogate-born children out of the country....
11 August 2014 - by Sascha Callaghan and Ainsley Newson 
The story of the baby with Down's syndrome 'abandoned' in Thailand, which has dominated the news, illustrates how the international surrogacy industry has been booming...
4 August 2014 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
A child with Down's syndrome born to a Thai surrogate is reported to have been abandoned by the intended parents, an Australian couple, who have denied the allegations. Conflicting versions of the developing story have been reported....
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