An Australian man who fathered twin girls with a Thai surrogate mother has been charged with sexually abusing the children. The Irish Independent reports that the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was charged in an Australian court last year with indecent dealings of a sexual nature with the children.
The twins were born about seven years ago to a 23-year-old Thai surrogate mother, known as Aon.
Aon agreed to act as a surrogate for a couple from Australia who could not conceive on their own, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. The man was then aged in his 40s and his wife was older.
"They said they were just married and they really wanted to have a baby so much," Aon told ABC. "She said her husband wanted to have a baby so much, please help them, please help them."
Aon agreed to use her own eggs with the Australian man's sperm. Aon said she was paid 170,000 Thai baht (around €4000).
She said the twins were born with lung and other health problems. They were four or five months old before she handed them over to the Australians.
"They were so lovely, I wanted them to stay with me, I did not want to let them go," Aon told ABC.
"If they asked if they could cancel their payment and we kept the babies, I would definitely have said 'yes,'" she added.
Court documents reveal the father became unemployed, allegedly had a violent temper, and the marriage broke down, ABC reported.
The children are now in the care of the ex-wife of the accused man, and Australian child welfare authorities are working on plans for their care, ABC reported.
Australian social services have raised the possibility of returning the children to their biological mother in Thailand.
But Ilya Smirnoff, executive director of Childline Thailand Foundation, a child welfare organisation which runs safe houses for children, said that there are complications.
"They don't even speak any word of Thai, they don't know that they are half-Thai or have any connection to Thailand," Mr Smirnoff said.
Thailand is currently in the process of drastically tightening its surrogacy regime, after the seperate case of Baby Gammy, a child with Down Syndrome abandoned by Australian commissioning parents who took his genetically normal twin. It later emerged that the commissioning father was a convicted sex offender.
At least five couples – three Australian and two American – have already been stopped from leaving the country with their surrogate children, as the Thai governement works out a “transition process” for children already born, as well as the over 150 surrogate babies expected to be born in the next few months.