SYDNEY - Reports that an Australian couple abandoned a baby with his surrogate mother in Thailand because he has Down Syndrome have raised fears Australia will ban international surrogacy, a support group said Saturday.
The boy was born to Thai woman Pattaramon Chanbua in December and while an Australian couple took his healthy twin sister, they left him behind, according to media reports.
"They [the surrogacy agency] told me to carry a baby for a family that does not have children... They said it would be a baby in a tube," Pattaramon told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The 21-year-old from Chonburi province southeast of Bangkok said she agreed to carry the child for a fee of Aus$16,000 (US$14,900) -- enough to educate her own two children and pay back debts.
But she was now left with the baby boy, who also suffers from a life-threatening heart condition, and cannot afford to pay for the medical treatment he needs.
"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.