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Bud Lake and his husband Manuel Santos decided to expand their
family by enlisting the help of a surrogate mother in Thailand. Using Lake's
sperm with a donor's egg, the embryo was implanted into a surrogate mother and his
child was born in January.
He named her Carmen.
Lake flew to Thailand to meet his daughter, fully aware that
until he had her in his custody with a U.S. passport, there was a chance that
the Thai police, social services or the surrogate mother could take her away.
"I have no legal rights over Carmen. The woman who gives
birth has all legal rights," Lake told CNN from his apartment in Bangkok.
A week after Carmen was born, Lake says he received a text from
the translator for Patidta Kusolsang, the surrogate mother. She said she wanted
to keep the baby.
During the first meeting with Kusolsang to resolve the issue, Lake
says she mentioned that they were not an ordinary family which leads him to
believe that she has a problem with him being gay.
Kusolsang denied the allegations, claiming that she changed her
mind months before Carmen was born.
"I miss her every day," Kusolsang said to CNN.
"You see how cruel the world is today. And I just don't know what they are
going to do with my baby."
offered to return the surrogacy fees to the couple if she is allowed to keep
Lake and his family, including a 2-year-old son and baby Carmen, have
been living in Thailand for the past 6 months waiting for the final decision on
whether Carmen will be issued a U.S. passport and allowed to leave with them.