Australian parents of Gammy claim surrogacy clinic didn't tell them about boy
The biological parents of seven-month-old Gammy are now claiming that the Thai surrogacy clinic did not tell them about the boy.
The unnamed western Australian couple had hired Thai surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua and paid her AS$16,000 (S$18,600).
Ms Pattaramon, 21, alleged her agency told her the couple wanted her to abort one of the twins she was carrying because he had Down Syndrome. She refused.
"The agent said the couple would pay for an abortion... but we are in a Buddhist country, they don’t understand – if I had an abortion I would be arrested as it is like killing a person," she said.
Ms Pattaramon claimed the biological father visited the Bangkok hospital after she gave birth but only took the girl, leaving the boy behind.
But the Australian couple claim they didn't know about the other baby. The biological father said he had a lot of trouble with the agency and had been told it no longer existed, reported ABC.
Ms Pattaramon is now planning to sue the couple, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.
The young Thai mother vowed on Monday to “never abandon” Gammy, who is critically ill and has been in hospital with a lung infection and heart condition for the last few days.
The case has stirred an outpouring of sympathy for the mother and child. The “Hope for Gammy” fundraising page has already exceeded its US$200,000 target from thousands of donors.
"Gammy is getting better step-by-step," she said. "From all of these unlucky things I am glad that we are together. I love him very much, I will never abandon him."
The case has sparked a frenzied debate on the moral and legal grounding of international surrogacy, with Australians who travel overseas to side-step domestic restrictions falling under the spotlight.
Australia’s immigration minister on Monday labelled Ms Pattaramon a “saint” and “absolute hero” for taking on the disabled baby despite already having two young children of her own.
“It is terrible, just absolutely horrible and heartbreaking,” Mr Scott Morrison said of the case.
“But I have got to tell you who is an absolute hero in all of this and that is the Thai mother. She is a saint,” he said.
“Sure there are lots of Australians who are desperate to be parents, but that can never I think sanction what we have just seen here.”
The Australia government is considering whether Gammy is entitled to Australian citizenship, reported Bangkok Post.
Source: AFP, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC, SBS