Australian parents of Thai surrogate twin say they feared losing both babies

Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:54am EDT
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SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Australian biological parents of twins caught up in a surrogacy scandal in Thailand wanted both babies but the surrogate mother threatened to involve the police and they feared she would keep both children, they said on Sunday.

David and Wendy Farnell were speaking publicly for the first time since the story broke more than a week ago of 7-month-old baby Gammy, who has Down's syndrome and is being cared for by his surrogate mother in Thailand.

The couple told Australian television they felt they had little choice but to leave Thailand with Gammy's healthy sister.

"We wanted to bring him with us," David Farnell, 56, told the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes program.

They returned to Australia with Gammy’s sister Pipah as the surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua had told them “if we try to take our little boy, she’s going to get the police and she’s going to come and take our little girl… and she’s going to keep both of the babies,” he said.

The couple have been criticized for apparently rejecting the boy, who also has a hole in his heart and is being treated for a lung infection in a Thai hospital.

60 Minutes said the couple were not paid for the interview.

Pattaramon said doctors, the surrogate agency and the baby’s parents had known that Gammy was disabled when she was four months pregnant but had not told her until the seventh month.

She said she had feared she would be asked to abort him but would have refused due to her Buddhist beliefs.   Continued...

Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, is held by his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua at a hospital in Chonburi province August 3, 2014.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj