Thai court gives Japanese man custody of surrogate kids

A Thai court has granted legal custody of 13 babies carried by surrogate mothers to a Japanese millionaire who is their biological father.

Bangkok's Central Juvenile and Family Court on Tuesday gave Mitsutoki Shigeta sole legal custody of the children he fathered using Thai surrogate mothers, ruling that he's financially stable and showed his plans to care for them.

Shigeta's case raised eyebrows in 2014 when police raided a Bangkok condominium and found nine babies and nine nannies living in unfurnished rooms. Shigeta was identified as the father. The case helped usher in a Thai law prohibiting commercial surrogacy for foreign clients.

The court ruling said Shigeta had a right to custody because the children were born before the new law, and because the surrogate mothers waived their custody rights.