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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Australian couple who 'abandoned' surrogate twin with Down's syndrome 'were unaware of his existence'

Published 04/08/2014 | 11:39

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Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, is fed by his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua at a hospital in Chonburi province August 3, 2014. According to Pattaramon, his Australian parents, through a local surrogate agency, asked her at her 7th month of pregnancy to terminate it because of his Down's Syndrome but she refused and kept the baby. The Australian parents instead took with them Gammy's twin sister who was born healthy. More than 3 million Thai baht ($93,360) was raised through an online campaign in Thailand in less than a day for the medical treatment of Gammy who suffers from potentially life threatening heart conditions and a serious lung infection, local media reported. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH)
Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, is fed by his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua at a hospital in Chonburi province

The Australian couple at the centre of the much publicised story concerning the apparent abandonment of a surrogate baby with Down’s syndrome have said they were unaware of the child’s existence.

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Last week, it was reported that the unnamed couple paid a Thai surrogate mother to have their children but refused to take one of the twin children born, a boy named Gammy, after they learned he had Down’ syndrome.

Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, is held by his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua (not seen) at a hospital in Chonburi province August 3, 2014. According to Pattaramon, his Australian parents, through a local surrogate agency, asked her at her 7th month of pregnancy to terminate it because of his Down's Syndrome but she refused and kept the baby. The Australian parents instead took with them Gammy's twin sister who was born healthy. More than 3 million Thai baht ($93,360) was raised through an online campaign in Thailand in less than a day for the medical treatment of Gammy who suffers from potentially life threatening heart conditions and a serious lung infection, local media reported.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, is held by his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua (not seen) at a hospital in Chonburi province

Australian media is now citing that the couple, who took six-month-old Gammy’s healthy twin sister into their care, were told by the surrogacy agency that only one child was born.

Quoted by Australia's Channel Nine and ABC News, the Western Australian couple said that this surrogacy agency is no longer in operation but that they were shocked that surrogate mother Pattharamon Janbua (21) gave birth to twins.

Ms Pattharamon has previously expressed no anger at the apparent rejection of Gammy by the couple but maintains that they were aware of his existence and that the biological father visited the twins at a hospital in Bangkok.

“I am very upset that the father said like that. I really want him to come to Thailand to see me … I would like to talk with him in front of the media,” she told Fairfax Media

“No one can lie and the truth will come in the public … people who don’t know me will think that I’m a bad person."

Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, is kissed by his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua at a hospital in Chonburi province August 3, 2014. According to Pattaramon, his Australian parents, through a local surrogate agency, asked her at her 7th month of pregnancy to terminate it because of his Down's Syndrome but she refused and kept the baby. The Australian parents instead took with them Gammy's twin sister who was born healthy. More than 3 million Thai baht ($93,360) was raised through an online campaign in Thailand in less than a day for the medical treatment of Gammy who suffers from potentially life threatening heart conditions and a serious lung infection, local media reported. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH)
Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, is kissed by his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua at a hospital in Chonburi province August 3, 2014. According to Pattaramon, his Australian parents, through a local surrogate agency, asked her at her 7th month of pregnancy to terminate it because of his Down's Syndrome but she refused and kept the baby. The Australian parents instead took with them Gammy's twin sister who was born healthy. More than 3 million Thai baht ($93,360) was raised through an online campaign in Thailand in less than a day for the medical treatment of Gammy who suffers from potentially life threatening heart conditions and a serious lung infection, local media reported. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH)

Gammy is currently being treated in hospital with a lung infection. There are fears that he will die unless he undergoes surgery for a congenital heart condition.

An online campaign titled Hope for Gammy has been launched to raised funds to assist with his necessary medical treatment.

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