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22 Jul 2015

Gay parents stuck in nightmare surrogacy battle in Thailand

Couple from US and Spain is hiding in Thailand with baby girl after surrogate refuses consent to LGBT parents

A same-sex couple, Gordon Lake and Manuel, have been embroiled in a legal battle over their daughter. The surrogate refused to sign documents to allow the baby girl to get a passport after finding out the couple are gay.

The couple have been living, together with the daughter and their 23 month old son, in fear in a secret location in Bangkok, afraid that the surrogate mother will track them down/

The couple describe a very positive relationship with the surrogate initially but that things went sour when she found out their sexuality. “She said she thought she was doing this for an ‘ordinary family’ and when she found out that it wasn’t she was worried for Carmen’s wellbeing,” Lake told the Guardian.

Speaking to the Guardian, the surrogate’s lawyer, Verutai Maneenuchanert, said the surrogate found out the men were gay only when she saw documents Lake left in the hospital room on the day of the birth. But she denied that was the reason the surrogate wants to keep the baby. “It is because ... she will never ever sell her baby for money,” she said.

Lake and his family are annoyed that the surrogate did not know they were a gay family, as they used a surrogacy agency that has helped LGBT couples before.

Although Thailand had a fairly established surrogacy industry for gay couples, things have changed in the last few months. The military coup last year was followed by a number of high-profile surrogacy scandals that led the Junta to ban the industry. This occurred whilst the couple’s child was in the surrogate’s womb.

The couple are now waiting for a court case for which Lake has crowdfunded $23,000. Thai law does not recognise same-sex marriages but they hope for a sympathetic judge.

Reader's Comments

1. 2015-07-22 20:53  
Sad... but she knew enough to take the money and sign and thus should have no rights to do this. I suspect it's a money grab....extortion.
Comment #2 was deleted by its author on 2015-07-22 20:53
3. 2015-07-23 10:01  
Money grab extortion is so common here in Thailand. Wouldn't be surprised.
4. 2015-07-23 15:12  
Selfishness strikes yet again.

Why didn't they simply adopt one of many American kids?

The kids aren't coming first yet again.

5. 2015-07-26 01:13  
oh well, again episode of nasty UN-happy endings...If they realized that they would be in trouble why declare as gay couple in the first place? It is their stupidity and they blame money extortion. Yes, I know that is fact but money cannot buy everything in this world. One should be extra cautious to face the consequences and hope their attorney will make things easier for them so they can take the child???

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