Baby Gammy: Australian couple who left Down's syndrome baby in Thailand break silence in televised 60 Minutes interview

David and Wendy Farnell say they want Australia to hear their side

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The Independent Online

The Australian couple who allegedly left a Down’s syndrome baby in Thailand with its surrogate mother are due to speak publicly for the first time this weekend.

Gammy’s case sparked international outrage when it emerged the Australian couple returned from Thailand with a baby girl born to the surrogate mother, but left her twin Gammy, who has Down's, behind.

Gammy, now seven months old, is being treated for a lung infection in a hospital east of Bangkok and also has a congenital heart defect.

In a statement released ahead of their appearance on the Australian TV show 60 Minutes, David and Wendy Farnell said they would like Australia to hear their side of the story before passing judgement on them.

They also said they have been cooperating with the Department of Child Protection since Wednesday morning, "and will continue to do so".

On Thursday, Child protection officers confirmed they have spoken with the couple and are in the process of assessing the baby girl’s safety and well-being.

Thai surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua (L) holds her baby Gammy,

The couple, who live in Bunbury, Western Australia, also insisted they “were feeding their dog every day” until it was removed by animal welfare authorities.

A trailer for the interview shows a tearful Farnell saying: "We wanted to bring him with us [...] We had to try and get out as fast as we could".

The surrogate mother Pattharamon Chanbua claims the couple asked her to have an abortion and left Gammy behind because of his disability. The couple initially denied this claim to Australian media, saying they did not know Gammy existed.

But Ms Chanbua, 21, says the father met the twins but only took his healthy twin sister.

Local media has since claimed court documents released by the Supreme Court of Australia Farnell was jailed in 1997 for a minimum of three years for sex offences involving three girls aged under 13.

Tom Malone, the Executive Producer of 60 Minutes, said the couple would not be paid for their appearance. Instead, the programme will be donating an undisclosed sum to the Hands Across the Water charity, which is raising money for Gammy’s care.

Mr Malone's statement added: "60 Minutes has not in any way interfered with any inquiries by the Western Australian Department of Child Protection, or Western Australian Police."

The interview will air at 9.10pm local time on Sunday.