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Monday, 11 August 2014

Australian couple in Thai baby scandal wants boy back

PERTH: An Australian couple at the centre of a Thai surrogate scandal denied they deliberately abandoned their baby son because he had Down syndrome and said they would fight to get him back.

David Farnell, 56, a convicted child sex offender and the biological father of the boy, Gammy, told Channel Nine he and his wife Wendy had “wanted to bring him with us”.

It was their first interview since sparking global controversy after leaving the boy in Thailand with his 21-year-old Thai surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua and taking only his healthy twin sister Pipah back home.

“We never said you (Pattaramon) can have this baby, no matter what,” said an emotional David Farnell.

The couple claimed Pattaramon wanted to keep the girl and said they left Thailand without Gammy because “we were getting scared that we would lose her too and we had to try and get her out”.

The Farnells, from Bunbury, south of Perth, previously claimed they were told Gammy had a congenital heart condition and left him because doctors said he would not survive.

Gammy, now seven months old, has since been cleared of a heart condition by Bangkok specialists, an Australian charity which has raised more than US$240,000 (RM769,800) for the infant said on Friday.

David Farnell claimed Pattharamon said: “If we try to take our little boy, she’s going to get the police and she’s going to come and take our little girl ... and she’s going to keep both babies.”

Farnell admitted the couple had not tried to contact Gammy since they left Thailand to check on how he was.

“We have been trying (in Australia) to make sure first that Pipah is safe and no one can take her away from us,” he said, explaining that as she was born in Thailand she was not yet legally Australian.

Their comments came as Canberra urged Thailand to allow for a transition period before implementing any ban on commercial surrogacy to protect earlier arrangements made by Australians.

The Thai government is proposing tighter controls on commercial surrogacy in the wake of the scandal. — AFP

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