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Australians in surrogacy scandal offered to take Down syndrome baby: Agent

Published on Aug 6, 2014 8:20 PM
Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, is kissed by his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua at a hospital in Chonburi province on Aug 3, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - The agent who brokered a surrogacy deal for an Australian couple at the centre of a scandal that left a Thai mother caring for a baby with Down syndrome said on Wednesday the couple had offered to take the boy home with them along with his twin sister.

The case has raised questions about Thailand's lax laws on surrogacy and caused an outcry in Australia, sparking calls for an overhaul of laws to cut the number of couples travelling abroad in search of surrogates.

The agent told Reuters the biological parents made the offer to take the boy some weeks after the birth, despite claims by surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua that the couple had abandoned the baby after they found out he had Down syndrome. "In the end, they told me they would take both babies. They didn't want to be a problem for the surrogate mother any more but she (Pattaramon) did not take that chance," said the agent, who only wanted to be identified by her nickname, Joy.

The boy, Gammy, now seven months old, is being treated for a lung infection in a hospital east of Bangkok and also has heart problems.

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