US gay couple in Thai custody battle

2015-07-23 22:10
(<a href=''>Shutterstock</a>)


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bangkok - A gay couple from the US said on Wednesday their lives were being "destroyed" after a Thai surrogate mother refused to sign papers allowing them to take their baby out of Thailand.

The controversy is the latest over surrogacy in Thailand after several cases last year including accusations that an Australian couple abandoned their Down Syndrome baby with his birth mother, taking only his healthy twin sister back to Australia.

In the latest case, Gordon Allan Lake and his Spanish husband, Manuel Valero, say Thai surrogate Patidta Kusolsang, who is not the baby's biological mother, decided she wanted to keep their baby, Carmen, as the couple was preparing to leave Thailand.

Patidta "had issues" with the couple's sexual orientation, said Lake, and did not show up at the US embassy in Bangkok in January to sign Carmen's passport application and give them the papers needed to leave Thailand.

"We have been here six months and our lives are being destroyed," Lake told Reuters.

"Our families have missed out on the first six months of Carmen's beautiful life."

Patidta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Thailand has been a popular destination for foreign couples seeking surrogacy services, partly because of loose regulations and low costs compared with some other countries.

But following last year's surrogacy scandals, Thailand passed a law in February that bans foreigners from seeking surrogacy services.

The law does not come into effect until July 30 and Lake and Valero are not in violation of Thai law for commissioning surrogacy last year.

The US embassy in Bangkok said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters, US citizens in Thailand were subject to Thai law.

"Pursuant to US law, the Department cannot issue passports to minor children without the consent of the legal parent/s or guardians/s," said embassy spokesperson Melissa Sweeney.

Under current Thai law, the birth mother is recognised as the mother of the child and commissioning parents have no automatic legal rights over a child, said Wanlop Tankananurak, a member of the National Legislative Assembly who helped draft the surrogacy law.

Lake said the couple, who have a son, Alvaro, who was born through surrogacy in India two years ago, chose Thailand because regulations in India had changed.

"Thailand has great medical facilities, hospitals, embryologists and surrogacy has been going on for years in Thailand," he said.

"Everyone had great expectations, there was no reason to think anything could go wrong."

Read more on:    thailand  |  gay rights

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.