Thai surrogate mother wants to reunite twins
THE Thai woman who served as surrogate mother for an Australian couple said she is ready to be reunited with the baby girl she handed over, after learning of accusations that the father is a convicted sex offender.
Pattaramon Chanbua, a 21-year-old food seller who has two young children of her own, has accused the couple, Wendy and David Farnell, of abandoning one of two babies she gave birth to because he is suffering from Down's syndrome.
The woman has been bringing up that baby, seven-month-old Gammy, since he was born in December. Now she has said she would be ready to be reunited with Gammy's twin sister that the couple took with them.
The young Thai woman spoke after an Australian television channel, the Nine Network, reported that Mr Farnell was a convicted paedophile. This was also reported by other media outlets.
"Personally, when I heard the news I was shocked but I can't say anything much right now," Ms Pattaramon said at a press conference in her home town, according to the Associated Press. "I want her back because she is my baby. She was in my womb.
"If she is happy, then I, as a mother, am also happy. I don't want to bring her back to suffer or anything. A mother would never want her child in trouble. But if she really cannot go on living there, then I'm very happy to have her back in my arms."
Ms Pattaramon has said she did not receive the full payment she was promised for serving as a surrogate mother. An online campaign by the Australian charity organisation, Hands Across the Water, to help Gammy has raised more than £127,500 since 22 July. The Australian government has said it could intervene in the case and a minister said the child might even be entitled to Australian citizenship.
"We are taking a close look at what can be done here, but I wouldn't want to raise any false hopes or expectations," the Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, said. "We are dealing with something that has happened in another country's jurisdiction."
Ms Pattaramon said she was promised around £5,500 by a surrogacy agency in Bangkok to act as a surrogate for the Australian couple. But she had not been fully paid since the children were born last December.
She said the agency knew about Gammy's condition four to five months after she became pregnant but did not tell her.
The couple have denied abandoning Gammy and issued a statement to local media saying they were only informed about the baby girl and not her twin brother.