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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Twenty-eight years old and 19 children


A young Mitsutoki Shigeta was recently granted the sole parenting rights on 13 children born of surrogacy. Because the Japanese began to “father” their offspring before the 2015 law banning that kind of conception in Thailand, he has been legally authorized to be with his progeny at their new home in Tokyo.

If you thought you have read it all, get this. There is a man known as the man of "the baby-making factory". Mitsutoki Shigeta, a 28-year-old Japanese man, is the single father of 13 children who were born by surrogacy in Thailand, a Bangkok court recognized on Tuesday. The children were incubated by nine women that Shigeta hired in 2013. The case generated controversy in Thailand and was one of those that prompted the ban, in 2015, of this type of conception in the Asian country.

The Central Juvenile and Family Court of Bangkok has granted Mitsutoki Shigeta all the rights of a sole father over the children, who were conceived by nine women with donor eggs. "For the happiness and opportunities that the 13 children will receive from their biological father, who does not have a history of bad behavior, the court rules that the 13 born of surrogate motherhood are legal children of the plaintiff," the court has decided. The judge has estimated that the Japanese, who is outside of Thailand and did not attend the trial, has taken care of the children through the frequent visits of their legal representatives. The Justice, in addition, has issued as valid the DNA tests that confirmed his paternity, according to the local newspaper Bangkok Post.

It was known that nine of the children were discovered in August 2014 in an apartment in Bangkok with seven nannies and another pregnant woman, who later gave birth to a girl. The authorities then confirmed that Shigeta, son of a wealthy Japanese businessman, entered the country 65 times since 2012 and was seen at least three times leaving Thailand with a baby in his arms.

Pregnant women gave birth before enacting the laws passed to restrict these pregnancies in July 2015. Thailand enacted laws that prohibit foreigners from accessing surrogate mothers that year, following the abandonment of a baby with Down syndrome by an Australian couple. In this sense, the Japanese had the opportunity to demand their rights to Justice. The court dismissed the accusation of human trafficking filed against the Japanese, who previously opened several bank accounts in Singapore on behalf of the children.

Shigeta's lawyer said that the process of moving children from government facilities where they are to their new home in Tokyo will be done gradually. Shigeta has a total of 19 children. In addition to the 13 that the court of Thailand has recognized on Tuesday, the Japanese has six children living in Cambodia and Japan, and four of them were born by surrogate gestation of Thai mothers. One can only assume he’s not worried for the usual parenting “headaches”.