A report in Australia over surrogate childbirth in Thailand has triggered public indignation. A Thai woman says an Australian couple left a Down syndrome baby boy with her, but took his healthy sister.
Australia's foreign ministry said Saturday it was checking reports that a 21-year-old Thai surrogate mother was left with the baby boy she bore for an Australian couple, and who has since developed a life-threatening heart condition.
A fundraising campaign for the boy - named as Gammy - has raised more than 105,000 euros ($140,000) in Australia since the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) carried the original story.
Commercial surrogacy is not permitted in Australia, but an estimated 500 Australian couples opt annually to contract and pay women in countries such as India and Thailand to carry a fertilized embryo through to birth.
Born with heart condition
The Bangkok Post on Saturday quoted the mother, identified as Pattaramon Chanbua, as saying that the boy also needed a heart operation.
ABC said Pattaramon worked in a street cook shop in Chonburi province, 90 kilometers southeast of Bangkok, and already had two children aged three and six.
She had given birth last December for 10,000 euros arranged through an intermediary. It turned out to be a twin pregnancy.
She claimed the couple took only the baby girl and left her with the ailing boy.
"I don't know what to do. I chose to have him … I love him, he was in my tummy for nine months," she told the ABC.
She had planned to use the fee to pay off debts and to educate her children.
ipj/slk (AFP, dpa)