A New Zealand couple are in the middle of tense legal battle over a surrogate embryo mix-up that resulted in their biological embryos being lost.
The couple, who have refrained from being named in the press, travelled to Thailand five years ago to have a baby via gestational surrogate.
However, four years later, the couple have discovered that the son they got from the process, and have raised as their own for the past four years, has no biological related to them.
But despite having the DNA documentation to prove it, the Thailand clinic, Chiang Mai Ram Hospital, is unwilling to interfere and reveal their part in the mix-up, and have refused the couple access to their son’s paperwork.
"I was like, 'what's going on here?' Straight away I was on the phone to the lawyers up in Chiang Mai, they were trying to calm me down. There must have been a mistake," the husband told Essential Baby.
After undergoing two more DNA tests, the couple went back to Thailand to straighten out the ordeal, only to be made to sign a settlement waiving any rights to prosecute or sue the hospital.
"They basically screwed us," said the husband, "My wife was distraught, she was stuck in Thailand.”
"We were told you can't prosecute them criminally. They said it was best for our lawyers to step aside, and they didn't want to get their lawyers involved. We decided to take whatever, and move on,” he said.
"There was a verbal threat made to my wife. They said: 'I don't want to revisit this again, and if anything ever comes out about this again, I know people who will make your lives very difficult’."
Since then, the couple have begun reaching out to other couples who have had their surrogacy processed through Chiang Mai Ram.
"Any child that went through the clinic since August 2010 could potentially have their eggs mixed up. It could be a sequential mix-up,” said the husband.
"I would encourage every parent to get a DNA test. They can contact us and we will provide a DNA test. When this gets out, every family that's been to this clinic since 2010 is going to ask: 'Is this my child?'”
"I'm not looking for fame or infamy from this. I just want to find out if our kids are out there, and the only way we can do that is if other clients are made aware that something went wrong and they start checking,” he continued.
"We still need the answers one day, and I'd rather have them early than when the young fella gets to 18 and starts asking questions. He kinda knows now. He's only four, but we tell him that he's got a second mum."