The actions of one Australian couple following the birth of twins by their Thai surrogate has brought about some questions of ethics and possible action by the nation’s top officials.
21-year-old Pattaramon Chanbua was asked to be a surrogate for the unidentified couple.
After it was discovered that one of the two babies Chanbua was carrying had Down syndrome and a congenital heart condition, the couple opted to only take the healthy twin back to Australia with them, leaving the other in the care of Chanbua.
The Thai food vendor said that she only met the couple once, when the babies were born.
Now that the parents have only taken one of the two children, Australian officials are considering intervening in the matter.
Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that the laws involved in the case can be “very, very murky.”
“We are taking a close look at what can be done here, but I wouldn’t want to raise any false hopes or expectations,” Morrison told Sydney Radio 2GB. “We are dealing with something that has happened in another country’s jurisdiction.”
In a later statement, Morrison’s office said that “the child may be eligible for Australian citizenship” but declined to go into further comment. Citizens of the country are entitled to free health care.
Pattaramon said she was not angry with the parents for leaving seven-month old Gabby behind and hoped that they would take care of Gabby’s brother.
“I’ve never felt angry at them or hated them. I’m always willing to forgive them,” Pattaramon told The Associated Press. “I want to see that they love the baby girl as much as my family loves Gammy. I want her to be well taken care of.”
She added that she was promised 300,000 baht, approximately $9,300, by a surrogacy agency in Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, to be a surrogate to the couple but she said she has not received the full payment since the babies were born last December.
Doctors informed Pattaramon that the boy had Down syndrome during the seventh month of pregnancy and suggested that she abort the fetus.
She said that was never an option, adding that her personal beliefs call an abortion “sinful.”
“I asked them, ‘Are you still humans?’ I really wanted to know,” she said.
Children First Foundation said that they are in discussion with Hands Across the Water about possibly bringing Gammy to Melbourne for heart surgery.
“I believe that this child should be able to access our health care system here in Australia,” Kelly told Australian Broadcasting Corp. “This child, in essence … should be an Australian citizen.”
The foundation did say that Pattaramon and her family’s wishes would have to be considered before any decision is made to fly Gammy to Australia.