A same-sex couple have won a custody battle against a surrogate mother who decided she wanted to keep the baby when she found out they were gay.

A Thai court ruled that the legal guardian of the girl was her American biological father Gordon Lake.

Mr Lake and his partner, Manuel Santos, have been fighting the case in Thailand since Carmen was born in January 2015.

Wiping tears from his eyes as he left the Bangkok court, Mr Santos said: “We won. We are really happy … The nightmare is going to end soon.”

The couple and their daughter will now begin a new life at their home in Spain.

The legal fight was drawn out because a new Thai law has banned commercial surrogacy and the country does not recognise same-sex marriages.

Surrogate mother Patidta Kusolsang handed the baby over when she was born, but then had a change of heart and refused to sign the papers allowing the infant to get a passport.

Mr Lake and Mr Santos, both 41, were apparently told she was worried about Carmen’s upbringing.

But the couple said they were clear with the surrogacy agency, New Life, from the start that they were a gay couple.

A crowdfunding site raised $36,000 (£25,000) to help them stay in Thailand, with Carmen living with the couple since she was born.

Commercial surrogacy was banned in Thailand in July last year after a number of well-publicised scandals.