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21 February 2018, 06:38 | Floyd Cook
Who is Mitsutoki Shigeta? Japan's 'baby factory' man who fathered 13 children gets parental rights
A Japanese man has won sole custody of 13 children in Thailand after he fathered them with Thai surrogate mothers.
Reports in Thai media in 2014 said he had fathered 16 children in Thailand, but the court's decision mentioned only 13.
The Japanese man was given custody of the 13 children on Tuesday largely due to his financial and professional stability, and he was found to have no links to human trafficking, the court statement said.
Multimillionaire Mitsutoki Shigeta, 27, caused an global incident in 2014 when Thai police found nine of his biological kids living with nannies in a plush Bangkok apartment. The children that he cared for in Japan now all have Japanese citizenship, it said.
The scandal at the time shone an global spotlight on Thailand's largely unregulated surrogacy business, prompting authorities to crack down on clinics with nationwide inspections and later to ban commercial surrogacy. According to her, Shigeta told the clinic's manager he "wanted to win elections and could use his big family for voting", and that "the best thing I can do for the world is to leave many children".
On Tuesday a Bangkok court granted him legal rights to take the children, saying he had ample money to care for them and had prepared nurses and nannies at a safe residence in Japan.
Mr Mitsutoki Shigeta, 28, became the centre of a "baby factory" scandal in 2014 after Thai police said DNA samples linked him to nine infants found under the care of 24-hour nannies in a plush Bangkok apartment. He was given the "sole parent" rights after the Thai surrogates surrendered their.
Thai officials had visited Shigeta's homes in Japan as well as in Cambodia and deemed the children would be able to adapt to new surroundings.
Thailand was rocked by several surrogacy scandals in 2014, including allegations that an Australian couple had abandoned their Down Syndrome baby with his Thai birth mother taking only his healthy twin sister back to Australia with them.
In 2015, the law was changed to make commercial surrogacy illegal.
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