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Assisted Reproduction

DNA Tests Link Japanese Man to 12 Thai Surrogate Babies

Surrogate babies that Thai police suspect were fathered by a Japanese businessman who has fled from Thailand are shown on a screen during a news conference in Bangkok. Photo: Reuters

I wonder how many more babies Mitsuoki Shigeta has around the world:

Preliminary DNA test results confirm a match between a Japanese man and at least 12 babies he was suspected to have fathered with Thai surrogate mothers, Thai police said on Wednesday. A lawyer for the 24 year old, who has not been charged, submitted samples of his DNA, or genetic fingerprint, to police. The man fled Thailand this month and the lawyer has refused to reveal his whereabouts.

“Preliminary results of the DNA test show a match,” Assistant National Police Chief Korkiat Wongworachart told reporters, adding that police had summoned the man for questioning. “I expect him to show up because it involves his children.”

Thai police this month discovered nine surrogate babies with their nannies and a pregnant surrogate mother in a Bangkok apartment, dubbed the “baby factory” by the media. Later, they said they had found more babies, all suspected of having been fathered by the same man, a Japanese national who often travelled in and out of Thailand.

Thailand has been gripped by a spate of surrogacy scandals in recent weeks, following accusations that an Australian couple had abandoned their Down Syndrome baby with his Thai birth mother, taking only his twin sister back home. Thailand and India are popular choices for foreign couples looking for a legally simple route to parenthood. But India last year banned commercial surrogacy for unmarried couples, gay couples and individuals, giving Thailand a competitive edge in the business.

The rent-a-womb industry is largely unregulated in the Southeast Asian nation and in the wake of the recent scandals Thailand’s military government has given preliminary approval for a draft law to make commercial surrogacy a crime.


6 comments for “DNA Tests Link Japanese Man to 12 Thai Surrogate Babies”

  • Monica

    It is completely true that the rent-a-womb industry is largely unregulated in Thailand and India. Less and less people are coming there for surrogacy. It turned to be dangerous and really unpredictable of course in negative sense. Sometimes you will not know is healthy or unhealthy children may born. And of course that scandal will worsen the situation.

  • Rosalia

    Health of a baby should directly be connected both with health of genetic father and mother. But how can we talk about surrogate mother s health if the majority of population as in India as in Thailand live in unsanitary conditions. Of course the possibility of health children is very little.

  • Dancer

    Such conditions can be noticed in many countries of third world and this is compeletely unacceptable for surrogacy or donation or ivf, averything connected with having children. I can’t even imagine what reasons force couples to visit such countries for that purpurse. There are so many options for surrogacy if it is prohibitted in your country. And it doesn’t always mean high prices. My SJ was in Ukraine in Biotexcom. It is European country with good service, everything is legal and moreover there is no problem with child registration.

  • Daniela

    Monica, that process is unregulated in many countries. The question is why couples go their and after have such big problems. I think they are not serious and think more about their money, or on the other hand about resorts and high conditions, but not about the possibility of having a healthy child. The surrogacy legislation in Ukraine is really good for foreign countries. People should forget about Thailand, India, Mexica and etc. I am absolutely for banning surrogacy in such countries.

  • Amber

    Daniela, we shouldn’t judge the people. Not many people know about existence of Ukraine. The less of them know about surrogacy in Ukraine. And much less of them know that surrogacy is very successful field in Ukraine)) You know there are a lot of couples who havent enough money but it doesn’t forbid them to want have a child. People think that Thailand for example is only option. They dream to be lucky and the child will avoid the dangerous infections.

  • Debby

    I heard that service in Ukraine leaves
    something to be desired. It’s a third world country, war and not to know what
    all. Nevertheless I also read a lot of comments concerning high efficiency in
    BioTexCom. So, deciding to visit Ukrainian clinic you have to weigh the scales
    on behalf of poor service and bad infrastructure or long-awaited baby.

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