Thai surrogate mother refused to abort Down’s twin on religious grounds

By Reuters Staff
August 3, 2014
(Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, is held by his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua at a hospital in Chonburi province August 3, 2014. According to Pattaramon, his Australian parents, through a local surrogate agency, asked her at her 7th month of pregnancy to terminate it because of his Down's Syndrome but she refused and kept the baby. The Australian parents instead took with them Gammy's twin sister who was born healthy. More than 3 million Thai baht ($93,360) was raised through an online campaign in Thailand in less than a day for the medical treatment of Gammy who suffers from potentially life threatening heart conditions and a serious lung infection, local media reported. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj )

(Gammy, a baby born with Down’s Syndrome, and his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua at a hospital in Chonburi province August 3, 2014. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj )

A Thai surrogate mother left with one twin by his Australian biological parents after the child was born with Down’s Syndrome said on Sunday she was not informed of his condition until the seventh month of her pregnancy. The surrogacy agency asked her – at the parents’ request – to abort the disabled fetus, but she refused for religious reasons.

Pattaramon Janbua said her doctors, the surrogacy agency and the baby’s parents knew he was disabled at four months but did not inform her until the seventh month ,when the agency requested the abortion.

Pattaramon, 21, carried both him and his twin sister to term six months ago. The parents, who have not been identified, took only the girl back with them to Australia. Thai media reports said she was a Buddhist, the majority religion in Thailand.

The boy, Gammy, needs surgery for a congenital heart condition, according to media reports. An online campaign in Australia had raised nearly A$200,000 ($186,200) in donations so far for the operation.

“I want to warn those who are considering becoming a surrogate mother, don’t only think about the money,” Pattaramon said. “If the child is born with an unusual condition or if anything goes wrong, it will become a burden for you and society.”

Read the full story by Juarawee Kittsilpa here.

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