Baby Gammy: Australian parents deny abandoning Down’s syndrome boy
Couple nonetheless admit they wanted to ‘get a refund’ when they found out Gammy had Down’s – but insist they changed their minds when the twins were born
The Australian couple accused of abandoning their son because he had Down’s syndrome have denied the claims in a TV interview, saying instead that his Thai surrogate mother demanded to keep the child.
Baby Gammy’s case sparked international outrage when it was reported that Wendy and David Farnell returned from Thailand with his healthy twin sister but left Gammy behind.
The child, now seven months old, is being treated for a lung infection in a hospital east of Bangkok and also has a congenital heart defect. An international charitable fund has been set up to pay for his care.
Speaking publicly for the first time to Australia’s 60 Minutes programme, an emotional Mr Farnell said: “We did not abandon our son.”
He and his wife told the programme that the surrogate mother, 21-year-old food stall worker Pattaramon Chanbua, had said she would “get the police” and keep both children if they tried to take Gammy away.
Mr Farnell explained that the couple had been told Gammy would be born with Down’s syndrome before the twins were born, and that at that point they “expected the surrogacy agency to give them a refund and find a solution”.
Thai surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua (L) holds Gammy Ms Chanbua offered to keep Gammy instead, the Farnells said, but when the children were born the couple changed their minds and said they wanted both twins.
Today Ms Chanbua admitted to reporters that she had been the one who ultimately refused to let the Farnells take Gammy away – but that she did so because she feared for his welfare.
“I did not allow Gammy to go back with them — that's the truth,“ she said. “It is because they would have taken Gammy back and put him in an institute.”
Mr Farnell said today that if they had known earlier about Gammy’s condition, they probably would have tried to terminate the pregnancy.
Gammy's Thai surrogate mother says he his parents had decided before the birth that they would only be taking his healthy twin sister “I don't think any parent wants a son with a disability,” he said. “Parents want their children to be healthy and happy.”
The complicated case, which has focussed global attention on the booming but largely unregulated surrogacy industry in Thailand, became even murkier when it emerged that David Farnell had been convicted in the 1990s of multiple sex offenses against young girls.
Mr Farnell, who has three children from a previous relationship, insisted today that his new daughter is not at risk of harm from him.
“I will do everything in the world to protect my little girl,” he said. “I have no inclination of doing anything like this. I don't have any thoughts about this at all. That is the 100 percent truth. I cannot do this again.”
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'naked pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Isis in Syria: 60,000 Kurds flee terror in new exodus
Alan Henning kidnapping: Wife appeals for Isis to release 'peaceful and selfless' British aid worker
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...
£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...
£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...
£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...