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  • Thailand : Surrogacy

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/australi...10-102f89.html

    Bangkok: 60 Minutes


  • #2
    Australian couples stopped from leaving Thailand with surrogate babies

    Two Australian couples stopped from leaving Thailand with surrogate babies
    15 Aug 2014

    Two Australian couples with surrogate babies have reportedly been prevented from leaving Thailand amid a crackdown on surrogacy laws.

    Two Australian couples have reportedly been stopped from leaving Thailand with their surrogate babies amid a crackdown on surrogacy laws in the country.

    The ABC reported that the two homosexual couples were prevented from leaving Bangkok's international airport on Thursday afternoon after Thai police ordered that no surrogate babies be allowed out of the country without a court order.

    Two American couples were also stopped, the broadcaster reported.

    The news comes as the South East Asia country looks to overhaul its commercial surrogacy laws following the case of a West Australian couple accused of abandoning a baby with Down syndrome.

    Thai surrogate woman, 21-year-old Pattaramon Chanbua, accused the couple of abandoning the boy, known as Gammy, and taking his healthy twin sister back to Australia.

    Surrogacy Australia says it knows of up to 200 would-be Australian parents who could be affected by Thailand's planned crackdown, but that the number may be higher.

    Foreign Minister Julie Bishop last week requested that Thai authorities allow for a "transition period" to allow for Australian couples who had already paid for surrogates to receive their children.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has updated its travel advice for Thailand, saying the commercial surrogacy laws are unclear and Australians involved in such arrangements should seek independent legal advice.

    "In particular, legal advice should be sought on the implications of any new exit requirements," DFAT said on its website.

    sbs.com.au
    http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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    • #3
      Bangkok 'baby factory'

      Bangkok 'baby factory' includes twins from Australian woman's eggs
      Lindsay Murdoch
      With Am Sandford
      August 17, 2014

      A photo of a man identified as Shigeta Mitsutoki.
      Photo: Supplied

      Bangkok:Mitsutoki Shigeta through 11 Thai surrogate mothers.

      Nine of the babies were taken from the condominium in the suburb of Lad Phrao almost two weeks ago amid a crackdown on surrogacy, and are being cared for in a Bangkok orphanage, their future uncertain.


      Nannies hold some of the nine babies alleged to be the surrogate children of one Japanese man, after a police raid at a Bangkok apartment.
      Photo: EPAJapan Times


      http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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      • #4
        Thailand vows leniency in surrogacy cases

        Thailand vows leniency in surrogacy cases
        August 23, 2014

        Thailand's junta has pledged leniency in the cases of babies born to surrogate mothers, as it looks to toughen rules in the lucrative but largely unregulated industry following a series of scandals.

        The junta has vowed to introduce a new law that could result in 10 years' imprisonment for anyone found guilty of involvement in the trade.

        Dozens, possibly hundreds, of foreign couples are thought to have been left in limbo after entering into surrogacy arrangements through clinics in the kingdom.

        Army chief General Prayut Chan-ocha, who seized power in a coup three months ago, said in his weekly televised address late Friday that the military rulers would move quickly to find "sustainable solutions".

        "We are concerned that Thai women who are already surrogates will not dare to consult doctors at hospitals while they are pregnant because they are afraid that they would be prosecuted," he said.

        "The clinics that hired them or asked them to do it have been closed, so it is dangerous for the babies," added Prayut, who was on Thursday picked as prime minister by the new junta-appointed legislature.

        "I have already ordered leniency on a case-by-case basis."

        Commercial surrogacy is officially banned by Thailand's Medical Council but until recently even top fertility clinics were believed to offer the service.

        In the past few weeks a number of fertility clinics have been raided and some have been closed down.

        Thailand's murky surrogacy industry has come under intense scrutiny following recent accusations that an Australian couple abandoned a baby born with Down syndrome but took home his healthy twin sister.

        The couple have denied deliberately leaving the boy, called Gammy, with the surrogate mother, who was paid around $A15,000 to carry the twins.

        In a separate case, police believe a Japanese man fathered at least 15 babies with surrogate mothers for unknown motives.

        Earlier this month, a gay Australian couple were stopped from leaving Thailand with a baby because they had incomplete documents.

        Thai immigration officials say they cannot disclose how many couples have been prevented from leaving Thailand with babies born to surrogates because they do not keep records.

        The support group Surrogacy Australia says it knows of 100 couples who are currently going through surrogacies in the kingdom, which has long strived to be a hub of medical tourism.

        Australia has asked Thailand to make "transitional arrangements" to help its citizens who have already entered into surrogacy arrangements.

        9news.com.au




        http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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        • #5
          Thailand : Father of 16 probed for baby-farming

          Father of 16 probed for baby-farming
          JOCELYN GECKER AND THANYARAT DOKSONE
          23/08/2014


          QUESTIONS RAISED: 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 at the headquarters of the Royal Thai Police in Bangkok. Surrogacy scandals have gripped Thailand after an international outcry over a Down Syndrome baby left with his Thai birth mother when his Australian biological parents took his twin sister back to Australia.

          Reuters

          Interpol said it has launched a multinational investigation into what Thailand has dubbed the "Baby Factory" case: a 24-year-old Japanese businessman who has 16 surrogate babies and an alleged desire to father hundreds more.

          Police raided a Bangkok condominium earlier this month and found nine babies and nine nannies living in a few unfurnished rooms filled with baby bottles, bouncy chairs, play pens and nappies. They have since identified Mitsutoki Shigeta as the father of those babies - and seven others.

          "What I can tell you so far is that I've never seen a case like this," Thailand's Interpol director, police Major General Apichart Suribunya, said Friday. "We are trying to understand what kind of person makes this many babies."

          Apichart said that regional Interpol offices in Japan, Cambodia, Hong Kong and India have been asked to probe Shigeta's background, beginning last week. Police say he appears to have registered businesses or apartments in those countries and has frequently travelled there.

          "We are looking into two motives. One is human trafficking and the other is exploitation of children," said police Lieutenant General Kokiat Wongvorachart, Thailand's lead investigator in the case. He said Shigeta made 41 trips to Thailand since 2010. On many occasions he travelled to nearby Cambodia, where he took four of his babies.

          Shigeta has not been charged with any crime. He is trying to get his children back - the 12 in Thailand are being cared for by social services - and he has proven through DNA samples sent from Japan that he is their biological father.

          He quickly left Thailand after the August 5 raid on the condominium and has said through a lawyer that he simply wanted a large family and has the means to support it.

          Kokiat said Shigeta hired 11 Thai surrogate mothers to carry his children, including four sets of twins. Police have not determined the biological mothers, Kokiat said.

          The founder of a multinational fertility clinic that provided Shigeta with two surrogate mothers said she warned Interpol about him even before the first baby was born in June 2013.

          "As soon as they got pregnant, he requested more. He said he wanted 10 to 15 babies a year, and that he wanted to continue the baby-making process until he's dead," said Mariam Kukunashvili, founder of the New Life clinic, which is based in Thailand and six other countries.

          He also inquired about equipment to freeze his sperm to have sufficient supply when he's older, she said in a telephone interview from Mexico.

          As for Shigeta's motives, Kukunashvili said he told the clinic's manager that "he wanted to win elections and could use his big family for voting" and that "the best thing I can do for the world is to leave many children".

          Kukunashvili declined The Associated Press' request to talk to the clinic manager.

          Kukunashvili, who is based at the company's headquarters in the country of Georgia, said she never met Shigeta but received reports from her Thai staff.

          She said that in April 2013, she sent faxes in English and French to Interpol's head office in Lyon, France, and an email through the agency's website, but they went unanswered.

          Apichart of Interpol in Thailand said the local office never saw the warnings. An Interpol spokesman in Lyon did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

          Kukunashvili also sent Shigeta an email to express suspicion, and attorney Ratpratan Tulatorn responded on his behalf in an August 31, 2013, email that the clinic owner provided to the AP.

          The attorney said Shigeta was involved in "no dishonesty, no illegal activities." He said his client hoped to keep using New Life, but the company then stopped working with him.

          Shigeta's activities drew no attention until early this month, when an Australian couple was accused of abandoning a baby with his Thai surrogate mother - but taking his twin sister - after learning the boy had Down syndrome. Though the couple disputes the allegation, the case prompted a crackdown by Thai authorities on what had been a largely unregulated industry.

          After the Australian case emerged, police received a tip that prompted the raid on Shigeta's Bangkok apartment.

          Ratpratan, the lawyer, appeared during the raid to insist that Shigeta had done nothing wrong.

          "These are legal babies, they all have birth certificates," Ratpratan told Thailand's Channel 3 television station.

          "There are assets purchased under these babies' names. There are savings accounts for these babies, and investments. If he were to sell these babies, why would he give them these benefits?"

          Ratpratan is no longer Shigeta's lawyer, and his replacement has not responded to requests for comment. Shigeta's current whereabouts are unknown.

          stuff.co.nz
          http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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          • #6
            Technically, he could produce about 250 million babies in one ejaculation. The limiting factor would be getting 250 million women together before his little swimmers went silent. More practically, he could produce between five and seven babies a day, but would require a new set of eggs for each cycle. If he made seven babies every day for a year, that would be 2,555 little Shigetas. He could recycle the egg-donors every 10 or 11 months.

            As Mitsutoki-san is only 24 years old, he could conceivably (ha!) keep it up (HA!) naturally for another 26 years -- without the need for petri dishes and test tubes -- until he is 50. Banzai!

            More than 66,000 offspring, (not counting how many he already has) and after 18 years or so, they can start making grand kids.

            "he wanted to win elections and could use his big family for voting"
            Another champion idea I didn't think of first.
            Last edited by Texpat; 08-23-2014, 04:04 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Struggling Phetchabun is Thailand's baby farm
              Patsara Jikkham
              24/08/2014

              Lom Sak district in Phetchabun has long been known for its sweet tamarind. But a new development that has brought unexpected notoriety to the area is leaving a bitter taste in everyone's mouths.
              There's little to distinguish Pakchong from other crossroads villages in Phetchabun - except the pregnant women in this surrogate capital of Thailand.
              Bangkok Post SundayStory continues below)


              This house of a 26-year-old woman in Phetchabun's Ban Huai Chan Moo 14 that accommodates 10 members unveils part of her motive to become a surrogate mother for money.
              (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

              The 26-year-old woman was contracted to be a surrogate mother for 350,000 baht, her relative said. She needs to earn money for 10 family members who are crammed into a dilapidated hut.

              The family does not want to get rich from surrogacy, the woman's aunt said. They only want enough money to pay their debts and repair what they called "home" and to make merit by helping others.

              Not everyone in tambon Pak Chong shares the feeling. Ban Pak-ok Moo 9 head Nom Mueangming disagrees with the humanitarian claim. It is about business, he said.

              Lum, a 70-year-old resident of Ban Namkham Nuea Moo 5, said money had tempted some rural people to become surrogates. They make little from farming, he said. "But calling us a 'surrogacy village' is unfair and hurts our feelings. Not all villagers do it," Mr Lum said.

              Mr Nom said commercial surrogacy flourishes because the law is unclear and many people are struggling with poverty.

              "If we don't want this problem then the government must solve the root causes, and do it in a sustainable manner," Mr Nom said, urging authorities to think more seriously about career development and land reform for the poor.

              bangkokpost.com
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              • #8
                Surrogates identify service provider
                23/08/2014

                Two Thai women who served as surrogate mothers for a young Japanese man have identified the doctor who ran a Bangkok fertility clinic as the service provider.

                The women, aged 38 and 33, made the revelation during two hours of questioning by Pol Col Decha Promsuwan at the Lumpini police station on Saturday.

                The officer said the women identified Dr Pisit Tantiwatanakul, owner of the All IVF clinic on Witthayu Road, as the person who arranged the surrogacy services.

                One of the women was quoted as saying that she was hired last year and gave birth to male and female twins at a hospital in Bangkok last September. The other said she bore a baby girl in January at the same hospital. Each was hired for between 300,000 and 400,000 baht.

                Pol Col Decha said staff of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security were now caring for the three infants.

                He said he planned to interview five other women on Monday to collect evidence for further legal action.

                The officer is also seeking to question Dr Pisit but the latter's lawyer has sought a postponement until Sept 6. Pol Col Decha said that was too long a delay and if the two sides can't agree on an earlier date, and arrest warrant could be issued.

                The babies born to both of the women questioned on Saturday had been brought to The Niche ID condominium in Bang Kapi district, where authorities later found many babies and nannies reportedly hired by Mitsutoki Shigeta, a 24-year-old Japanese man.

                The two women said they returned to their home provinces shortly after the babies were brought to the condo.

                Pol Maj Gen Thitirat Nonghanpitak, the Bangkok deputy police chief, said that Dr Pisit was now the key to helping unravel the surrogacy case. If he did not cooperate, he would face actions including a request for the revocation of his specialty licence, said Pol Maj Gen Thitirat.

                Police are also trying to gather more information about Mr Shitega, he added. The Japanese man left Thailand earlier this month as reports emerged that linked him to as many as 16 babies born in Thailand.

                Interpol has launched a multinational investigation into what has become known as the "baby factory" case and into reports that Mr Shitega intended to father hundreds more children.

                "I've never seen a case like this," said Apichart Suribunya, the Interpol director for Thailand. "We are trying to understand what kind of person makes this many babies."

                Pol Maj Gen Apichart said regional Interpol offices in Japan, Cambodia, Hong Kong and India had been asked to probe Mr Shigeta's background. Police say he appears to have registered businesses or apartments in those countries and has frequently travelled there.

                "We are looking into two motives. One is human trafficking and the other is exploitation of children," said Kokiat Wongvorachart, the local lead investigator in the case. He said Mr Shigeta made 41 trips to Thailand since 2010. On many occasions he travelled to Cambodia, where he brought four of his babies.

                Mr Shigeta has not yet been charged with any crime.

                bangkokpost.com
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                • #9
                  9 Steps a Japanese Man Took to 16 Surrogate Babies
                  Sep 2, 2014

                  Police say Japanese businessman Mitsutoki Shigeta followed nine key steps on his path to fathering 16 surrogate babies in Thailand, born starting in June 2013. It's unclear whether he went through all of the steps for every baby; four are in Cambodia and the rest remain in Thailand.

                  Here's how he did it:

                  1. Shigeta hired surrogacy scouts and a fertility doctor in Bangkok.

                  2. The doctor's fertility clinic handled implantation of the embryos.

                  3. The clinic handled prenatal care and deliveries of the babies spread out at nine Bangkok hospitals. The babies, all born via cesarean section, include four sets of twins.

                  4. Newborns were taken to a Bangkok condominium owned by Shigeta, where nannies cared for them.

                  5. Birth certificates were issued from at least five district offices in Bangkok.

                  6. The babies' names were registered at the address of Shigeta's Bangkok condominium.

                  7. Shigeta went to juvenile and family court to get custody from the surrogate mothers, some of whom told police they were instructed to lie about having an affair with Shigeta to facilitate the transfer of custody.

                  8. District offices issued documents stating that he is the biological father and has custody.

                  9. Those documents were used to issue the babies' passports.

                  abcnews.go.com
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                  • #11
                    Surrogate babies' fate still up in air
                    22/12/2014

                    The 12 babies born to surrogate mothers and a Japanese father in a recent surrogacy scandal are still in state care.


                    They are being cared for at the Pakkred Babies' Home in Pak Kret, Nonthaburi, where they fall under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security as the case unfolds.


                    Nine babies found at a condominium in Bang Kapi are among the 12 babies at the centre of a surrogacy scandal.
                    (Bangkok Post file photo)
                    http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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                    • #12
                      Man sues Thailand over surrogate babies
                      14 Jan 2015

                      Mitsutoki Shigeta is reportedly suing Thailand for the release of nine babies he had by surrogate mothers.

                      A Japanese man has sued Thailand for the release of nine babies he had by surrogate mothers, the Bangkok Post reports.

                      Mitsutoki Shigeta, 24, made headlines last year when it emerged he had paid several women in Thailand to have his babies, and was keeping them in a Bangkok apartment.

                      Thai authorities placed the babies in a home while authorities investigated Shigeta, who fled Thailand for Japan, for possible human trafficking violations.

                      He earlier said he wants to produce between 100 and 1000 babies, according to the co-founder of an organisation that provides surrogacy services in Thailand and other countries.

                      "The best thing I can do for the world is to leave many children," Shigeta told Mariam Kukunashvili of New Life Global Network.

                      Thailand revised its surrogacy laws last year following the Shigeta case and another scandal in which surrogate baby Gammy with Down syndrome was left behind by an Australian couple, who took his twin sister.

                      A bill was then passed by the National Legislative Assembly explicitly banning commercial surrogacy in Thailand.

                      sbs.com.au
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                      • #13
                        Japanese Man Gets Custody of Three Surrogate Babies in Thailand
                        30 January 2015

                        BANGKOK(DPA)
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                        • #14
                          Thailand bans surrogacy for foreigners in bid to end "rent-a-womb" tourism
                          Aukkarapon Niyomyat
                          Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Nick Macfie

                          BANGKOK, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Thailand's interim parliament has passed a law that bans foreigners from seeking surrogacy services to end a "rent-a-womb" industry that made the Southeast Asian country a top destination for fertility tourism.

                          Thailand was rocked by several surrogacy scandals last year, 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.

                          Another case involved a Japanese man who fathered at least at least 16 babies using Thai surrogates in what local Thai media called the "baby factory".

                          Thailand gave preliminary approval in August for a draft law to make commercial surrogacy a crime. The draft passed its first reading in November and became law on Thursday.

                          "This law aims to stop Thai women's wombs from becoming the world's womb. This law bans foreign couples from coming to Thailand to seek commercial surrogacy services," Wanlop Tankananurak, a member of Thailand's National Legislative Assembly, told Reuters.

                          The law bans foreign couples from seeking surrogacy services and stipulates that surrogate mothers must be Thai and over 25.

                          "The important part is if the couple seeking surrogacy services is Thai or the couple is mixed-race, they can find a Thai woman to be their surrogate providing she is over 25," he said, adding that violation of the law carries a "severe prison sentence".

                          Critics say making commercial surrogacy illegal could push the industry underground, making it harder for patients to access quality physicians and medical care.

                          Thailand's junta, known as the National Council for Peace and Order, disbanded the upper house Senate following a May coup and placed all law-making authority in the hands of an interim parliament hand-picked by the military rulers.

                          trust.org
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                          • #15

                            Sounak Mukhopadhyay
                            March 26 2015

                            rtr45icz.jpg
                            IN PHOTO: A woman, who identified by herself as a surrogate mother, looks on during a news conference at Pavena Foundation for Children and Women, in Pathum Thani September 9, 2014. The 35-year-old surrogate mother for a foreign couple said she was forced by a Thai agent to deliver her baby in another country due to fear of a crackdown on surrogacy by the Thai authorities, according to Pavena.
                            REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
                            http://thailandchatter.com/showthrea...ll=1#post45112

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