David Farnell’s past came to light after the surrogate accused the 56-year-old electrician and his wife of abandoning one of the children – a boy called Gammy who has Down’s Syndrome. “We need to stop putting the perpetrators first and allowing different laws only at different times, because there are so many innocent babies and children that are abused day in day out. It’s disgusting,” the West Australian newspaper quoted the woman identified only as Sarah.
In 1997, Farnell was convicted of sexually abusing Sarah and her sister when they were aged 7 and 10. His three-year prison term was extended by 18 months when he was found guilty of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.
“It is my belief he should not have any children – not just him, all paedophiles,” Sarah said.
The baby Gammy case prompted a public outcry and put the spotlight on Thailand where thousands of foreigners seek the services of surrogate mothers each year. The Farnells are raising his sister Pipah in Australia.
In Thailand, two surrogate mothers yesterday provided additional testimonies to Bangkok’s Lumpini Police, affirming that Dr Pisit Tantiwattanakul of All IVF clinic was the one who had carried out the surrogate pregnancy procedure on them.
Case investigator Pol Colonel Decha Phronsuwan said Ae (not her real name) aged 38, and Bee (not her real name), aged 33, had given birth to a girl and a pair of boy-girl twins respectively. The three babies, later discovered along with six other babies at a Lat Phrao condominium, were now under the care of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. Tomorrow morning, police would meet with some 4-5 remaining surrogate mothers for information, Decha added.
A source reported that the two women had testified they were hired to be surrogate mothers and had undergone the medical procedure at Pisit’s Phloenchit clinic until they gave births.
The source quoted Ae as claiming that she underwent the surrogate pregnancy since November 2013 and Pisit was her doctor when she gave birth to a baby girl last September at a private hospital in Bangkok. Ae claimed she was paid Bt300,000 in instalments via her bank account. Bee, who also underwent the same procedure from last May until she gave birth this January, was reportedly paid Bt300,000, the source said. The two women told police that they didn’t know each other before and didn’t know that the Japanese man, who fathered the babies, had hired other women to do the same.
Pisit, who would be facing two charges according to the Medical Facilities Act, has not yet shown up to meet with the police despite the summons deadline on Friday. Decha said Pisit had asked to meet the police on September 6. Police had asked him for an earlier appointment and warned they would seek an arrest arrant.
Meanwhile, police are reportedly contacting their counterparts in other countries to help locate Mitsutoki Shigeta, the Japanese man at the centre of the surrogacy scandal.