Aussie Parents: No One Told Us of Down Syndrome Baby

But surrogate mom in Thailand says that's not true

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 4, 2014 10:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – More details are filling in the story of an Australian couple accused of leaving behind a surrogate baby in Thailand who has Down Syndrome, though the additional details seem to be confusing the account instead of clarifying. The Aussie couple is denying the allegations, but the surrogate mom in Thailand thinks they're lying. It's also possible that the surrogate agency that functioned as a go-between wasn't relaying all the facts to both parties. This much is clear: The unidentified Australians paid Pattaramon Chanbua about $11,000 via the agency to carry their child, reports Reuters. She became pregnant with twins after the IVF procedure, and she says her doctors, the agency, and the Aussie couple learned that one of the twins was disabled at four months, but didn't inform her until late in her seventh month of pregnancy. At that point, she says the parents asked her, via the agency, to abort the disabled twin, but she refused on religious grounds. The couple adopted the healthy baby girl, but not Gammy, who also has lung and heart problems.

The Australian couple now tells ABC of Australia that they were never told about the boy, adding, "We saw a few people at the hospital. We [didn't] know who the surrogate was—it was very confusing. There was a language barrier." (It's not specified whether the husband or wife was speaking.) But Chanbua tells Fairfax Media that the couple knew about Gammy and explained to her they were too old to care for twins, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. They also paid her about $5,000 extra to keep Gammy, she says. The twins were next to each other at the hospital, and the husband came "to take care of the girl but never looked Gammy in the face or carried him," Chanbua recalls. "If they don't know about the twin then they wouldn't be crying the day that they took the girl out from the hospital [and home to Australia]," she adds to ABC. As the confusion gets sorted out, an online fundraising campaign for Gammy has raised more than $200,000, notes the Guardian. (Click to read about some US celebs who used surrogate mothers.)

A photo of Gammy from his GoFundMe page.
A photo of Gammy from his GoFundMe page.   (GoFundMe)
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