Baby Gammy granted Australian citizenship

Baby Gammy became mired in a surrogacy scandal last year

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Baby Gammy, who was embroiled in a surrogacy scandal at birth after he was born to a surrogate mother in Thailand, has been granted Australian citizenship.

Gammy, who was born with Down syndrome and a congenital heart condition, was left behind in Thailand by his adoptive Australian parents - who took home his healthy twin sister Pipah.

Pattaramon Chanbua, 21, who carried Gammy, said she applied for Australian citizenship for the infant because she wanted to safeguard his future, Australia’s ABC News reported.

As Gammy’s father, David Farnell, is an Australian national, the young child is now eligible for a passport, although the process has not yet started.

Gammy turned one on 23 December last year. As reports of his tragic situation spread online last summer, the public raised more than $240,000 (£129,174) to help him.

Pattaramon Chanbua poses with baby Gammy

A portion of the money, which is being managed by an Australian charity, has  been used to buy the Pattaramon family a new home in Chonburi, 90 kilometres south of Bangkok.

The Farnells were heavily criticised last year for leaving one infant behind, prompting robust discussion about laws and regulations surrounding international surrogacy arrangements.

It was later revealed that David Farnell, 56, had 22 child sex convictions, including indecent dealing with young girls - prompting the Department for Child Protection to launch proceedings in the Family Court.

The family retained custody of Pipah, subject to strict court conditions.

Ms Chanbua claimed that the Farnells wanted her to abort Gammy when doctors told them he would be born with Down's syndrome, but she refused and said doing so would be against her Buddhist beliefs.

Speaking in a TV interview following Gammy’s birth, the Farnells said they wanted to bring both infants home. Ms Chanbua later told the Associated Press that she had then not allowed Gammy to go with them.