Aussie father a sex offender
THE Thai surrogate mother of a baby with Down syndrome - allegedly rejected by his Australian parents - said yesterday that she wants his twin sister returned to her, after finding out that the biological father is a registered sex offender.
"I am in shock after hearing this story," Pattharamon Chanbua was quoted as saying by Australia's Fairfax Media about the latest revelation.
"I need help from anyone who can bring my girl back to me as soon as possible," she said.
"This news makes me sick. I am worried about my baby girl."
The 21-year-old Thai woman, who gave birth to in-vitro fertilised twins, said last week that the couple refused to take the boy, Gammy, after learning that he has Down syndrome.
Australia's Channel Nine News said the man's wife confirmed that he was jailed in 1998 following a conviction on charges of indecently assaulting a child under the age of 13.
"He is a good man - people make mistakes - that doesn't mean he is a bad person forever," she was quoted as saying.
The Australian Associated Press said court documents show that a man, believed to be the 56-year-old father of the twins, was convicted of sexually molesting three girls.
In a statement issued through a friend to their local newspaper the Bunbury Mail, the couple said yesterday the allegations that they had abandoned Gammy were false and they did not know he had Down syndrome, although they were aware he had a congenital heart problem.
"Gammy was very sick when he was born and the biological parents were told he would not survive and he had a day, at best, to live and to say goodbye," the friend, a woman, told the newspaper, without saying who told them this.
This contrasts with an interview the couple had given to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation earlier, in which they claimed that they did not know about Gammy's existence.
As the controversy boiled over, Thailand's Public Health Ministry has launched a fact-finding probe into the case.
The surrogacy experts involved in this case would ultimately face disciplinary action, and even suspension. Thai reports said the ministry is also considering charges against Ms Pattharamon.
Under regulations in Thailand, a surrogate can only accept an embryo from a woman who is a relative. It is illegal for money to be given to the surrogate who bears the child.
AFP, THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK