I'll take care of him myself

Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, is held 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.

Surrogate mum forgives parents who abandoned critically-ill baby

Thai surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua says she is determined to bring up a critically-ill twin baby abandoned by his Australian biological parents.

Ms Pattaramon, from Chonburi province, the south-east of Bangkok, told Fairfax Media on Saturday that she wanted to take care of the boy, along with her two children aged six and three, in Thailand.

"I'll take care of Gammy on my own... I wish they will love my baby... I forgive them for everything," she said of the Australian couple.

"I want to see all my children back together again."

Fairfax had earlier reported that a surrogacy agent who helped coordinate the agreement between Ms Pattaramon, 21, and the Australian couple told her to abort the pregnancy after doctors learnt one of the twins had Down Syndrome.

She told the newspaper she refused the abortion because of her Buddhist faith.

Gammy is suffering from a lung infection and needs life-saving surgery for a congenital heart condition. But Ms Pattaramon does not have the money to pay for treatment.

Donors to Hands Across The Water, the Australia-based website raising funds to treat baby Gammy's condition, criticised the baby's abandonment.

"Poor innocent baby. He did not ask to be deserted," wrote a donor.

The charity has raised more than US$190,000 (S$237,000).

Mr Peter Baines, the founder of Hands Across The Water, told AFP that he would be flying to Thailand soon.

"I'll meet the family and then we can meet our representatives on the ground and get a good understanding of what are those needs over the next six months, and then three years, and then beyond," Mr Baines said.

Gammy and a twin sister were born in December after Ms Pattaramon was reportedly paid A$16,000 (S$18,600) to be a surrogate.

Australia's Immigration Minister Scott Morrison yesterday said a question of "moral responsibility" should determine the fate of baby Gammy.


"I think this is an absolutely heartbreaking story," Mr Morrison told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"I note there was a comment earlier that the mother of this child, baby Gammy, wants the child to remain in Thailand and that mother's wishes also have to be absolutely respected," he said.

In Thailand, the case has prompted renewed calls for an overhaul of surrogacy laws.

Mr Tanes Krassanairawiwong, deputy director-general of the Department of Health Service Support, yesterday told Bangkok Post that Gammy's case had been raised at a meeting to discuss planned changes to in-vitro fertilisation regulations.

The proposed changes would effectively ban all commercial surrogacy in Thailand, potentially affecting thousands of people from around the world who travel to Thailand every year to access such services.

This article was first published on August 04, 2014.
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