Surrogate children to be sent to Muak Lek home to gain familiarity with their nannies

The Department of Children and Youth says the 13 surrogate children will be sent to a special lodgings and tutorial facilities in Muak Lek district of Saraburi province to gain familiarity with their nannies before they are handed over to their birth father Mitsutoki Shigeta and move to Japan.

The department’s director-general Withas Techabun said now Thai authorities were in coordination with Mr Shigeta’s Thai lawyer to arrange the move to the facilities in Muak Lek after winning the four year long legal battle.

According to him, all 13 children 8 boys and 5 girls are between 3 to 4 years old.

Twelve are currently under the care of the Pakret Babies Home and the last is at the Ban Wien Phing Babies Home.

Each are reported to be healthy and of normal development aided by Mr Shigeta who has paid for all expenditures for their care and hired teachers to teach them Japanese.

According to authorities at both homes, Shigeta’s mother made frequent visits to the children and nannies have been introduced to them to gain familiarity in preparation of the handover.

Mr Withas said he expected that all the paper work and details would be worked out within 1 week after which the children would be handed over to their birth father.

He disclosed as far as he knew, the Japanese father has hired at least six nannies that rotate their rounds to look after the children.

He said Mr Shigeta has hired professional nurses and prepared a special lodgings and tutorial facilities at an international school in Muak Lek for the children before they are finally moved to Japan.

He said he saw no problems for familiarity as children at these ages are quick to adapt themselves which would take about a week.

But he said Thai authorities would still follow up the children while they are in Japan by asking their staff at the Thai Embassy to look after regularly.

The case made headlines in 2014 after police raided a condominium complex in Ladprao district and found nine 1 year old children. DNA tests later revealed that all the children were fathered by then 24 year old Mitsutoki Shigeta whose travel records showed him entering and leaving the country on more than 65 separate occasions which aroused official suspicion.

Following the discovery of a further 4 children fathered by the Japanese, authorities suspected that he was involved in a human trafficking operation.

More evidence later surfaced after it was found that Shigeta had already taken 6 children out of the country, bringing the total to 19 children he fathered.

Shigeta told authorities during questioning that he wanted the children to succeed him in his enterprise.

In December 2016, he filed a lawsuit in the Central Juvenile and Family Court for parental rights of the 13 children still under the care of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

In yesterday’s statement issued by the court, it said Shigeta had a genuine fatherly interest in the children and deemed that in light of his background and social standing, the children would be provided with a better future than under welfare.