Parents Leave Behind Surrogate Baby With Down's

Australian couple took his healthy twin in Thailand, says birth mother
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2014 6:00 AM CDT
Parents Leave Behind Surrogate Baby With Down's
A photo of Gammy.   (GoFundMe)

An Australian couple who paid an impoverished woman in Thailand to be a surrogate mother left behind a baby boy with Down Syndrome but took his healthy twin sister, reports ABC News of Australia. The boy, named Gammy, is now about 7 months old, and mom Pattaramon Chanbua says he also has a congenital heart defect. Chanbua got paid about $15,000 to be a surrogate mother for the unidentified couple, and she learned of the child's condition 4 months after becoming pregnant, the BBC reports. The couple's surrogacy agent asked her to have an abortion, but she refused citing her Buddhist beliefs. Chanbua had the twins in December in a Bangkok hospital, and the agent came and took only Gammy's sister, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I don’t really think too much about the Australian couple," says Chanbua, who has two other children. "I don’t feel upset or angry about them anymore. They might have their own problems, too.” Gammy will reportedly need surgery to repair a hole in his heart, and an online campaign has raised about $150,000 since the story became public. “Incredibly sad," says Aussie PM Tony Abbott. "I guess it illustrates some of the pitfalls involved in this particular [surrogacy] business.” A spokesperson for Australia's foreign affairs department tells AFP that the department is "concerned" by the reports and is consulting with Thai officials about surrogacy rules between the two countries. It's a "booming" but largely unregulated business, reports the Morning Herald. (Click for a much happier story about a surrogate mother helping out a friend.)

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