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Outrage as Australian couple abandon baby with Down Syndrome in Thailand

The health of a critically unwell baby who was abandoned by his Australian parents in Thailand has deteriorated, even as Australians donated more than $50,000 for his medical treatment.

Six-month old Gammy has been rushed to a hospital with a lung infection by his 21-year-old Thai surrogate mother, Pattharamon Janbua, who fears he will die unless he undergoes surgery for a congenital heart condition.

gammyGammy, who has Down Syndrome, was treated by doctors and taken back to Ms Pattharamon’s village in Thailand’s Chonburi province, where they live with Ms Pattharamon’s husband and two other children aged six and three.

Gammy, who was abandoned in Thailand by his Australian parents, has Down syndrome.

Australians responded with an outpouring of generosity when Fairfax Media revealed an anonymous Australian couple took Gammy’s healthy twin sister to Australia but left Ms Pattharamon to try to save Gammy’s life.

Ms Pattaramon’s family was struggling to pay debts last year when she was offered the equivalent of $11,700 to be a surrogate mother.

An online fund-raising site, “Hope for Gammy”, established more than a week ago had received just $6,000 in pledges by Thursday, but donations began flooding in on Friday.

By 4pm, $55,000 had been donated to Gammy’s cause.

In the comments posted to the page by donors, Gammy’s Australian parents have been viciously attacked.

“What a disgrace these parents are [if you can call them parents],” one person wrote.

“Honestly who ever they are they don’t deserve to be parents in abandoning [their] son just because he is sick, how dare they even be called parents, shame on them. I too hope they are found and held accountable for this,” another said.

Ms Pattharamon’s family were struggling to pay off debts last year when she was offered the equivalent of $11,700 to be a surrogate mother for an Australian couple who could not conceive a baby.

Ms Pattharamon says three months after a doctor injected the Australian woman’s fertilised egg into her uterus, she discovered she was having twins.

The agent promised her an additional $1673 to have the second baby.

Four months into the pregnancy, doctors doing routine checks discovered one of the babies had Down syndrome. They told the Australian parents, who said they did not want to take the boy, according to a source familiar with the case.

“They told me to have an abortion but I didn’t agree because I am afraid of sin,” Ms Pattharamon says, referring to her Buddhist beliefs.

When the babies were born the agent took the healthy girl and left the boy with her.

Ms Pattharamon never saw the Australian couple.

Under the threat of not being paid, she lied to an official of the Australian embassy in Bangkok about the circumstances of the births, which allowed the Australians to take the healthy baby.

“But the agent never paid the rest of the 70,000 baht ($2341) owed to me,” she says
SMH

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