David and Wendy Farnell, who were accused of abandoning a baby born with Down’s syndrome to a Thai surrogate mother, say they wanted to take him home.
The Australian couple, speaking publicly for the first time, insisted the Thai mother would not hand over Gammy, now seven months old.
David and Wendy Farnell, who took Gammy’s twin sister, say they want to get him back.
The surrogate mother, Pattharamon Chanbua, originally said the couple deliberately left Gammy behind because of his disabilities.
However, in an interview with the Associated Press on Sunday, Pattharamon Chanbua, 21, appeared to backtrack, saying: “I did not allow Gammy to go back with them – that’s the truth. It is because they would have taken Gammy back and put him in an institute.”
In an emotional interview on Australia’s Channel Nine on Sunday, David Farnell said: “We did not abandon our son.
“(Pattharamon Chanbua) said that if we tried to take our little boy, she’s going to get the police and she’s going to try and take our little girl and she’s going to keep both of the babies.”
He added: “The surrogate mother – it is her choice if she wants to give you the baby or not give you the baby. Although you have a surrogacy agreement, it really doesn’t mean anything. It is her decision, and our surrogate mother said that she wanted to keep the baby boy.”
David and Wendy Farnell were accused of abandoning a baby born with Down’s syndrome to a Thai surrogate mother
The case took an even darker twist when it emerged that David Farnell had been convicted in the 1990s of multiple s** offences against young girls.
He insisted on Sunday that his daughter, Pipah, was not at risk of harm from him.
“I will do everything in the world to protect my little girl,” he said.
“I have no inclination of doing anything like this. I don’t have any thoughts about this at all. That is the 100% truth. I cannot do this again.”
Officials say they have contacted the couple, but have no major concerns at present.
Pattharamon Chanbua, who has two other children, said the couple had asked her to have an abortion when she was told of the baby boy’s condition four months after becoming pregnant.
She said she refused, as it was against her Buddhist beliefs. Abortion on the grounds of fetal impairment is illegal in Thailand.
David Farnell denied asking Pattharamon Chanbua to have an abortion but said they were angry that the surrogacy agency had not conducted tests earlier because by the time they found out about the baby’s condition, it was too late in the pregnancy to abort the fetus.
Had they known earlier, he said, they probably would have terminated the pregnancy.
“I don’t think any parent wants a son with a disability,” he said.
“Parents want their children to be healthy and happy.”
David Farnell said that was when Pattharamon Chanbua offered to keep Gammy.
“We were thinking, oh, maybe this might be OK,” he said.
When the babies were born, David Farnell added, he and his wife realized they wanted to keep both.
He said the surrogate mother then insisted she be allowed to keep Gammy, and threatened to keep Pipah as well.
Besides Down’s syndrome, Gammy has a congenital heart condition and a lung infection.
Australian child protection services are investigating a man accused of abandoning a baby with Down’s syndrome to a surrogate mother in Thailand to assess his suitability to have a young child in his custody.
It comes after local media reported he had served time for molesting two girls under 10 in the late 1990s.
The man and his wife took home only one baby from Thailand after the surrogate mother had twins, leaving behind son Gammy.
The case has made international headlines, causing uproar in Australia.
Besides Down’s syndrome, the six-month-old baby has a congenital heart condition and a lung infection.
Surrogate mother Pattharamon Chanbua has been looking after Gammy as well as two children of her own
Surrogate mother Pattharamon Chanbua has been looking after Gammy as well as two children of her own.
She claims his parents abandoned Gammy and had asked her to have an abortion when she was told of the child’s condition four months after becoming pregnant.
Pattharamon Chanbua, 21, has said the father met the twins, but only took care of the girl and refused to carry or look at Gammy even though the babies were side by side.
The parents have told local media in Australia that they did not know of his existence, and claimed that the allegations made by Pattharamon Chanbua are lies.
One local newspaper quoted a family friend saying the parents did know about the boy being born, apparently contradicting their version of events.
“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 said.
She suggested Pattharamon Chanbua had broken the surrogacy agreement by giving birth in a smaller hospital instead of an international one, which meant that the biological parents had no legal rights to the babies.
The couple had been locked in a legal battle with Pattharamon Chanbua to take home their daughter and she had insisted on keeping Gammy to give him a Thai funeral, the friend alleged.
Both the Australian government and Thai health authorities are now looking into the case and the larger issue of commercial surrogacy in Thailand, which is mostly unregulated.
The Australian couple and the Thai surrogate mother of baby Gammy who has Down’s syndrome have given conflicting accounts of how he was left behind.
Pattharamon Chanbua, 21, was paid by the Australians to have their child. But they took home only one baby when she had twins, leaving behind Gammy.
The parents of baby Gammy have told local media that they only knew about his healthy twin sister.
However, the surrogate mother said the father visited the twins in the hospital.
Pattharamon Chanbua has claimed that she was asked by the couple to have an abortion once they knew about Gammy’s condition. But she refused as it was against her Buddhist beliefs.
She plans to keep Gammy and raise him as her own child. Besides Down’s syndrome, the six-month-old baby has a congenital heart condition and a lung infection.
Pattharamon Chanbua has claimed that she was asked by the Australian couple to have an abortion once they knew about Gammy’s condition (photo Reuters)
The case has made international headlines and caused an uproar particularly in Australia, where both Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison have expressed regret over the situation.
The parents reportedly told Channel 9 that they had a daughter of Gammy’s age but she did not have a brother.
They said they had experienced trouble with the surrogacy agency, describing it as “traumatizing”.
The unnamed couple, who live south of Perth, also denied any knowledge of a son to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
“We saw a few people at the hospital. We [didn’t] know who the surrogate was – it was very confusing. There was a language barrier,” they said.
They added that they had saved for a long time to pay for the surrogacy and it had “taken every cent we have”. They have been told that the agency now no longer exists, claims the father.
But Pattharamon Chanbua told Fairfax Media that the father, who is in his 50s, “came to the hospital to take care of the girl but never looked Gammy in the face or carried him”, even though the two babies stayed next to each other.
She also said she was now considering suing the parents.
Politicians have since weighed in, with Australian PM Tony Abbott calling it an “incredibly sad story”. He said the Australian government would look into the case.
It is illegal to pay for surrogacy in Australia, so couples have to find a surrogate who is happy to carry the child for no payment beyond medical and other reasonable expenses.
The difficulty in finding such surrogates has prompted some Australians to head overseas for commercial surrogacy arrangements.
Surrogacy campaigners call for clearer regulation after a surrogate mother in Thailand was left with a Down’s syndrome baby when his Australian parents refused to take him.
The boy, whose twin sister was taken to Australia by the unidentified couple, needs urgent medical care.
The surrogate mother in Thailand says she will raise the boy as her own and an online campaign has raised $185,000 for his treatment.
The case has raised fears Australia could ban international surrogacy.
The baby boy, named Gammy, has a congenital heart condition and a lung infection as well as Down’s syndrome. He is currently receiving urgent treatment in a Thai hospital.
Gammy has a congenital heart condition and a lung infection as well as Down’s syndrome (photo ABC)
Pattaramon Chanbua was paid $15,000 to be a surrogate mother for the Australian couple.
The couple asked Pattaramon Chanbua to have an abortion after doctors informed her of the child’s condition four months after becoming pregnant. She refused, saying it was against her Buddhist beliefs.
Australian PM Tony Abbott said it was “an incredibly sad story” and illustrated “some of the pitfalls involved in this particular business”.
It is illegal to pay for surrogacy in Australia so couples have to find a surrogate who is happy to carry the child for no payment beyond medical and other reasonable expenses.
Advocacy group Surrogacy Australia said this “red tape” means many couples choose to go abroad to find a surrogate, with 400 or 500 each year venturing to India, Thailand, the US and other places.
Rachel Kunde, the group’s executive director, said she hoped the case would lead to better regulation by the Australian authorities of international surrogacy, rather than an outright ban.
“Our greatest fear is that Australia is going to ban international surrogacy altogether,” she said.
“We are hoping that the government will make accessing surrogates in Australia easier.”
A caring cat named Sonya plays surrogate mother to an adorable litter of orphaned hedgehogs.
Sonya, the ginger cat from central Russia, only had one kitten of her own meaning there was plenty of milk to spare, so she readily adopted the four baby hedgehogs into the family.
She treats them, exactly as if they were her own, allowing them to suckle to their hearts content and then snuggle up to sleep in her fur when they’re full.
It is common practice for abandoned animal babies to be placed with surrogate mother’s of the same species to avoid re-abandonment at a later date – but sometime a mother of the same species just isn’t available.
There are cases of cats adopting rabbits, racoons, squirrels and even, in the case of a cat named Smaigel from Jordan – puppies as their own children, but this is the first time we’ve heard of one adopting hedgehogs.
Mother dogs, in particular, are well known for taking on all sorts of unruly youngsters including lions and tigers.
Sonya, the ginger cat from central Russia, only had one kitten of her own meaning there was plenty of milk to spare, so she readily adopted the four baby hedgehogs into the family
As the milk from mammals is very similar, it is a better option than bottle feeding. The youngsters are provided with all what they need, and suckling means they are less likely to be rejected in later life.
One of the weirdest cases of animal adoption is that of Sai Mai The Tiger from Thailand’s Sriracha Tiger Zoo who adopted and a group of orphaned piglets.
And perhaps one of the most heartwarming is that of Owen the baby Hippopotamus who was rescued after being swept into the Indian Ocean in the 2005 tsunami and adopted a giant male Aldabran tortoise as his “mother”.
Giuliana and Bill Rancic are revealing the identity of the surrogate mother who helped them bring their son into the world.
A clip from the couple’s reality show Giuliana & Bill shows the mom and dad-to-be being coached in the delivery room with their surrogate, Delphine.
Delphine, who carried the Rancic’s son Edward Duke to term, is seen with the couple and a hospital worker who talks them through the process of what will happen the day of delivery.
While Giuliana and Bill Rancic bicker over who will first get to hold the child, and who will cut the umbilical cord, Delphine seemed at ease and open to letting the pair be as much a part of the process as possible.
Delphine, Giuliana and Bill Rancic surrogate mother, seemed at ease around the couple
Delphine eventually gave birth at a Denver, Colorado hospital on August 29 with the Rancics by her side.
Edward Duke Rancic was born at 10:12 p.m. and the baby’s umbilical called was cut by Giuliana and Bill moments before they held him ahead of anyone else.
The couple named the tot after Bill Rancic’s father, who was called Edward, and Giuliana’s dad, Eduardo.
The American entrepreneur and reality star tweeted the news of the then-anonymous surrogate going into labor.
“It’s game time,” Bill Rancic posted on his Twitter account.
After little Edward was born, the couple said they felt “blessed beyond words” to have become parents for the first time.
Giuliana Rancic, 37, took to Twitter, writing: “It’s true what they say (and what u all told us)…. @BillRancic and I couldn’t love little Duke anymore than we do. He’s a dream….”
Bill Rancic, 41, tweeted: “The <<Duke>> has landed! Edward Duke Rancic was welcomed into the world last night at 7 lbs 4 oz. G& I feel blessed beyond words…We did it!(sic).”
The happy arrival came after Bill Rancic and his E! News host wife struggled to conceive naturally, undergoing three failed cycles of IVF.
Then last year during her treatment Giuliana Rancic was diagnosed with breast cancer, putting their dreams of a family on hold.
She underwent a lumpectomy followed by radiation before undergoing a double mastectomy.
Following her recovery the couple decided to use a surrogate to try for a baby, and they were thrilled when their attempt ended in a pregnancy.
Bill Rancic earlier this year opened up about the journey, telling the TODAY show how he and his wife “hit the gestational carrier lottery”.
Presenter Giuliana Rancic, meanwhile told E! News: “Bill and I are blessed beyond words to welcome Edward into our lives.
“Thank you so much to everyone who supported us along the way. We are so in love with the little guy already!”
Giuliana & Bill is scheduled to premiere on the STYLE network on October 2 at 8:00 p.m. EST.
Robert de Niro and his wife Grace Hightower De Niro, 56, welcomed a baby daughter through a surrogate mother, Entertainment Tonight reports.
The baby, whom they’ve named Helen Grace Hightower, weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces.
Robert de Niro and Grace Hightower also have a 13-year-old son, Elliot.
The Oscar-winner has four other children – daughter Drena, 40, and son Raphael, 35, with former wife Diahnne Abbott, as well as 16-year-old twin sons Julian and Aaron, born via surrogate with ex-girlfriend Toukie Smith.
Robert de Niro and his wife Grace Hightower De Niro welcomed a baby daughter through a surrogate mother
Robert de Niro and Grace Hightower have been married for almost 14 years but are rarely photographed together, choosing to keep their relationship out of the spotlight.
They met in 1987 and married ten years later.
After hitting a rough patch, Robert de Niro and Grace Hightower managed to reconcile and renew their vows in front of friends and family at a romantic ceremony back in 2004.
The couple’s early marital troubles played out on a public scale, with a 1999 divorce filing by Robert De Niro and a 2001 custody case over their son Elliot.
But after their second set of vows, the couple became resolutely private about their renewed relationship.
They’ve been solid ever since, and the actor is a devoted father to all this children.
Robert de Niro said: “One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my years as a father is to keep the lines of communication open with my kids.
“I have five of them, ranging in age from 14 to their 30s, by three mothers, so I guess you could call it a fractionalized family of sorts.”
“But I care deeply about all of them, and I have made a conscious effort to talk to and to listen to them.
“Sometimes it’s hard to talk to kids, especially when they’re teenagers.
They’re in their own world, and they don’t look like they’re even listening to you.
“But that’s the time when it’s most important to find a way to talk to them – not to lecture them, but to tell them things I think are important for them to know.”