Funds raised for abandoned Down's Syndrome baby
Well-wishers have raised nearly US$100,000 for a baby reportedly left with his surrogate Thai mother after his Australian parents discovered he had Down's Syndrome and returned home with his healthy twin sister.
Pattaramon Chanbua from Chonburi province, southeast of Bangkok, agreed via an agent to be a surrogate for the couple for a fee of A$16,000, giving birth to twins - a boy and a girl - in December.
But when the Australians discovered the boy, named Gammy by his surrogate family, had Down's Syndrome they abandoned him in Thailand and returned to Australia with only the healthy girl.
"The money that was offered was a lot for me. In my mind, with that money, one, we can educate my children, two, we can repay our debt," said Pattaramon, already a mother to two children.
But instead the 21-year-old was left to care for the boy, who also has a life-threatening heart condition requiring treatment she cannot afford. "I don't know what to do. I chose to have him... I love him, he was in my tummy for nine months."
Pattaramon has never met Gammy's Australian parents, according to Thai newspaper Thairath, and their identities remain unknown.
A spokesman for Australia's foreign affairs department said Canberra was "concerned" and was consulting Thai authorities over surrogacy issues.