UK & World News
Thai Surrogate: I Love Abandoned Baby Gammy
The surrogate mother of a baby with Down's Syndrome who was abandoned by his Australian parents has said she loves the little boy and will continue to care for him.
Pattharamon Janbua, 21, told Australian broadcaster ABC: "I don't know what to do. I chose to have him... I love him, he was in my tummy for nine months.
"I felt sorry for the boy. This is the adults' fault and who is he to have to endure something like this even though it's not his fault?"
Six-month-old Gammy, who also suffers from a life-threatening heart condition, was left behind by the anonymous couple after they discovered he had Down's Syndrome. They took his healthy twin sister back to Australia.
More than 3,786 people around the world have so far given more than $165,000 (£98,000) to a website set up to help Ms Pattharamon who says she is unable to afford his medical bills.
Ms Pattharamon said she was offered the equivalent of £6,500 by a surrogacy agency to have a baby for the couple.
Three months after a doctor injected the Australian woman's fertilised egg into her uterus, she discovered she was pregnant with twins.
The agency promised her another £930 to have the second child.
A month later, doctors discovered one of the babies had Down's syndrome.
They told the Australian parents, who said they did not want to take the boy, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
"They told me to have an abortion, but I didn't agree because I am afraid of sin," Ms Pattharamon told the paper, referring to her Buddhist beliefs.
She gave birth to Gammy and his healthy twin sister in a Bangkok hospital five months later.
Speaking from her village in Thailand's Chonburi province, she told the Sydney Morning Herald that when she looks at Gammy, she feels guilty and sorry for him.
"But I think this is not a bad karma ... it's good karma that make us be together," she said.
"I would like to tell Thai women - don't get into this business as a surrogate.
"Don't just think only for money... if something goes wrong no one will help us and the baby will be abandoned from society, then we have to take responsibility for that."
Ms Pattharamon says she agreed to be a surrogate mother to pay off her family's debts and the arrangement was set up through an agency.
They said the child would be looked after by an Australian man and his Asian wife, who could not conceive a baby themselves.
Ms Pattharamon, who has not met the couple, says she is still owed £1,300 by the agency.
Her case was taken up by Thai newspapers. It sparked outrage on social media and a fund-raising campaign was organised to help her.
Shannon Castle, a poster on Gammy's campaign page, wrote: "Down syndrome or not how can they possibly justify separating him from his twin sister?! Absolutely appalling."
Another, Jenny Bridge, said: "Makes me feel ashamed to be an Aussie."