Businessman 'fathered nine babies by surrogate mums'
A Japanese businessman is believed to have fathered nine babies in the past two years using Thai surrogate mothers, amid growing concerns about the global surrogacy industry.
The babies - six boys and three girls - were found at an apartment in Bangkok, Thailand, where seven nannies had been hired to care for them. The identity of the mother - or mothers - is unknown.
Thai authorities raided the flat after a neighbour reported hearing crying infants. The babies, aged one month to two years, have been taken to a state-run nursing home. A pregnant 20-year-old was found in the apartment.
Ratprathan Tulathorn, a Thai lawyer who claims to represent the father, said the Japanese businessman wanted a "big family" and hoped the children would eventually take care of his business. "The Japanese father loves his babies and comes to visit them every week," he said.
Thai police were reportedly investigating the possibility that the father was involved in child trafficking. The raid was publicised as part of the Thai government's crackdown on paid surrogacy.
Authorities plan to outlaw paid surrogacy for foreigners and had raised the case of surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbu whose baby, Gammy, was apparently abandoned by his Australian parents.
Eight of the babies looked Caucasian and one appeared to be Asian. Five babies were found on the first floor of the apartment building and four on the seventh floor.
In Australia, child protection authorities confirmed yesterday they had been in contact with the couple accused of abandoning Down Syndrome baby Gammy. (Independent News Service)