Thai’s Crackdown on Commercial Surrogacy Exposes Aussie Couple’s Appalling Deed
By Athena Yenko | August 1, 2014 4:50 PM EST
Thailand's crackdown on commercial surrogacy has lead to the revelation of an Aussie couple's appalling deed of choosing one twin over the other with Down Syndrome, abandoning the latter to the care of the surrogate mother.
On Wednesday, after a review of 12 IVF clinics in Thailand, the officials had announced drastic changes to their surrogacy laws.
The new laws imposed that surrogacy will only be permitted if the would-be parents are heterosexual married couple who are medically infertile, that the surrogacy is done with altruistic purpose and that the surrogate had blood relation to the ones looking for surrogate.
Surrogacy is now illegal in Thailand if the parents seeking surrogacy are unmarried under Thai law, if compensation is given to the surrogate and if the child is being uprooted in Thailand without legal documentations from the Thai authorities.
These new laws have put ''hundreds of Australian and other foreign parents in a very difficult position," according to Sam Everingham, director of Families Through Surrogacy.
"Many of them had taken on trust the advice of Thai doctors and agents to enter into surrogacy arrangements in Thailand on the understanding that this was a reliable pathway to parenthood," he said.
In the course of the government's crackdown, an appalling deed of an Aussie couple was exposed.
An Aussie couple who sought surrogacy and had been born with twins - one with Down Syndrome - had only choose to bring and take care of the healthy baby girl.
The baby boy, Gammy, born with Down Syndrome and is now suffering a congenital heart disease. He was left in the caring of the surrogate mother. The Aussie couple were no longer to be found, leaving Gammy in total neglect.
The surrogate, Pattharamon Janbua, decided to take care of baby Gammy. However, her impoverished state makes it impossible to provide baby Gammy with the proper medication.
In 2013, Pattharamon agreed to be a surrogate mother for the couple because of poverty. She was offered the amount of $11,700 that can pay off their debts in an instant.
When it was explained to her that she will not sleep with another man, she agreed to do the business.
"The agent told me, 'We are going to make a galls tube baby,' but I didn't understand. My husband agreed because we didn't have money to pay our debt and I didn't need to have sex with another man."
Four months into her pregnancy a doctor found that she was having twins but that one of them has Down Syndrome.
The Aussie couple said outright they did not want the baby boy.
"They told me to have an abortion but I didn't agree because I am afraid of sin," Pattharamon said, referring to her Buddhist beliefs.
A "Hope for Gammy" campaign is now raising funds for the baby's much needed operation.
The couple, now living anonymously in the country, is being condemned around the world.
''... to leave a twin behind? Like a toy you bought from a shop you picked the one you wanted and ripped away the baby from its twin. Will they tell the healthy twin [she] has a brother that oh, we decided to leave behind and ignore and never supported, not even financially," an Australian donor for Hope for Gammy wrote on a Thai Surrogacy Forum.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Join the Conversation
- Eight Children Found Dead in Mass Stabbing at Queensland House, Mother Injured
- Sydney Siege Victim Katrina Dawson Killed by Man Haron Monis, Preliminary Report Suggests
- ISIS War to Last 3 Years More; Israel Border May Be Under Threat As ISIS Expands Scope
- Australian Muslim Says Sorry for Sydney Siege
- Australia's Julie Bishop Hailed 'Most Intriguing' Person 2014