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In a new twist to the tail the Australian couple who have been the centre of the baby Gammy surrogate twins scandal have now said they will fight to get the sick child they were accused of abandoning back.
David Farnell, 56, and his wife found themselves in the middle of a media frenzy after they paid a Thai national named Pattaramon to be a surrogate mother for their biological child. Pattaramon claims that when she found out she was expecting twins and one of them was suffering from Down’s syndrome the couple asked her to abort her pregnancy, a fact denied by the biological parents of the twins. When the twins were born the surrogate mother claimed that the couple abandoned baby Gammy who not only has Down’s syndrome but suffers from a heart complaint and returned to Australia with only the healthy twin, causing an international outcry. David Farnell claimed that Pattaramon said that if they tried to take their little boy home with them she would go to the police and find a way to keep both children, at this point the couple fled fearing they could lose both babies.
Farnell, who, it has been reported, is a registered sex offender, has now given an interview to Channel Nine news telling them that he and his wife Wendy now wish to bring the sick child back to Australia with them and has told reporters that the child was only left in Thailand as they were informed that his illness meant it was unlikely he would survive more than a few days.
This was the first interview he has given since causing global controversy after leaving baby Gammy with the 21 year old Thai surrogate and only taking healthy twin sister Pipha back home.
According to specialists in Bangkok,Gammy, now seven months old has been cleared of the heart condition, over $240,000 has been raised for the boy by an Australian charity Hands Across the Water.
David Farell does admit that since leaving Thailand he had not been in touch to find out how Gammy was doing, and said “We have been trying to make sure that Pipha is safe in Australia to ensure that nobody can take her away from us as she was born in Thailand is not yet legally Australian. He went on to say that once he knows she is 100% safe then he and his wife will return to Thailand to try to get their boy back.
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.
In the mean time Pattaramon has already agreed to carry another Thai donors egg fertilized by an Australian man in exchange for $14,900.
The Health Service Support Department is investigating a Bangkok clinic that provide surrogacy services to more than 100 clients, including Farrell and his wife. Australian authorities believe that Thai women are now carrying more than 100 surrogate babies for Australian couples.
Meanwhile, the Singapore-based Straits Times reported that Bangkok has been a popular choice for Singaporeans who wanted to “rent a womb.” Singaporean couples desperate to have a baby have gone to countries such as Malaysia, India, the United States and Thailand and paid large sums for a surrogate mother.
But Singaporeans prefer to go to Bangkok as it is nearby and the costs about the same as Malaysia, the facilities world-class and the doctors very experienced, the paper said.
The baby Gammy controversy may also deliver a big hit to surrogacy businesses in Singapore, as Thai doctors now fear doing the service as they risk losing their medical license.