A gay couple is stranded in Thailand after their baby daughter's surrogate mother has refused to sign the necessary papers to allow the girl to be taken out of the country with her fathers.
Although the surrogate has handed over daughter Carmen to American Gordon Lake and his Spanish partner Manuel Valero in January, she has refused to sign the papers that would allow the couple to leave Thailand with the child.
The couple claims the surrogate has refused the sign the papers after realising that they were gay, according to Essential Baby.
The surrogate is not Carmen's biological mother, they said in the #BringCarmenHome crowdfunding site.
"For the last six months, we have been stuck in Thailand, faced with the possibility of losing our jobs and our house back in the US because we cannot leave, Lake wrote on the crowdfunding site they had set up to help them with the legal fees.
"If we leave, we risk the greatest loss of all – our beautiful baby daughter, Carmen. All this because our surrogate doesn't want Carmen to be raised by gay parents, and the law that should give me full parental powers excludes me from obtaining them because I am gay," Lake added.
The couple have a two year old son who was born through an Indian surrogate.
They have so far raised $33,261 through the site, surpassing the $30,000 target they had set, with 15 days more to go.
They claim the surrogate was friendly and willing to sign all the documents right up until Carmen was three days old when she met the couple.
Surrogacy laws changed after series of incidents
Thailand enacted a new law in February making it more difficult for foreigners to use local surrogates after a series of incidents over surrogacy in the country.
In the first case, Down Syndrome baby Gammy was left behind in Thailand by his parents who chose to only take his healthy twin sister back to Australia.
The second incident involved a Japanese man who fathered nine babies using Thai surrogate mothers.
The newspaper says that the new law has a temporary provision that allows couples who had already started the surrogacy process to claim parental rights over their babies. The only hitch is that the provision uses the words "husband and wife", thereby excluding gay parents.
"We are good people who have gotten tangled up in a big problem. We only want to return home to our families with our daughter."
Carmen's surrogate told local television station Channel 3 that she had no issues with the couple's sexual orientation but was worried about the baby and her future, claiming that she had concerns the child may "fall into the hands of human traffickers."
Bangkok Post said Carmen's great grandmother and Valero's grandmother, whom she was named after, died two weeks ago. "She didn't even get to meet her, so that's made everything so much harder,"...
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