An American-Spanish same-sex couple has opened a high-profile custody battle in Thailand for a baby girl born to a surrogate mother, who decided she wanted to keep the child when she found out they were gay.

The couple — Gordon Lake and Manuel Santos, both 41 — have been stuck in Thailand since launching their legal battle after Carmen was born in January 2015.

Lake is the biological father of baby Carmen, while the egg came from an anonymous donor, not the Thai surrogate.

The case is complicated by the fact that Thai law does not recognize same-sex marriages and also by a new law that took effect after baby Carmen's birth, which outlaws commercial surrogacy.