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.