Today: Tuesday, 16 August 2022 year

Japanese tycoon wins custody of 13 surrogate children

Japanese tycoon wins custody of 13 surrogate children

The Japanese tycoon had his sperm fertilise donor eggs, which were then planted in the wombs of the surrogate mothers in 2013. In 2018, Mitsutoki Shigeta won the sole custody of 13 surrogate children, Bangkok Post reports.

The Central Juvenile and Family Court’s  decision regarding the sole custody of 13 surrogate children based on one principle: growing up with a biological parent will also be in the children’s best interests.

The court determined that Mr Shigeta was the son of a founder and chairman of a well-known listed company in Japan and owned several companies himself – including one that paid him more than 100 million baht in annual dividends – and had sufficient wealth to raise all 13 children. The director-general of the Department of Children and Youth did not oppose his sole parental rights, even though Mr Shigeta was unmarried.

DNA examination confirmed Mr Shigeta was the biological father, and the court found that he had taken good care of the infants before officials from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security took them to care facilities in Nonthaburi and Chiang Mai provinces.

“The petitioner is an heir and president of a well-known company listed in a stock exchange in Japan, owner and shareholder in many companies, and receives dividend of more than 100 million baht ($3.18m) from a single company in a year, which shows the petitioner has professional stability and an ample income to raise all the children,”

the Central Juvenile and Family Court said in a statement. No details were given where the donor eggs were from, the only thing for sure is Mr Shigeta has 13 babies with nine Thai surrogate mothers.

Kong Suriyamonthol, Mr Shigeta’s lawyer, said the process of removing the children, now four years old, from the state facilities would be undertaken gradually, with all due care and love, since the children had already become familiar with the staff there.

According to yesterday’s court statement, Mr Shigeta has taken care of other children, born from surrogacy, and raised them in Japan and Cambodia, where they were well looked after. The children that he cared for in Japan now all have Japanese citizenship, it said.

It is unclear where the children raised in Cambodia are now. Cambodia inherited much of the surrogacy-for-hire business for foreigners after Thailand banned it, but later passed its own law against it.