The Australian couple accused of abandoning their son because he had Down's syndrome have denied the claims in a TV interview, saying instead that his Thai surrogate mother demanded to keep the child.
The child, now seven months old, is being treated for a lung infection in a hospital east of Bangkok and also has a congenital heart defect. An international charitable fund has been set up to pay for his care.
Speaking publicly for the first time to Australia’s 60 Minutes programme, an emotional David Farnell said: “We did not abandon our son," the Independent online reported.
He and his wife; Wend told the programme that the surrogate mother, 21-year-old food stall worker Pattaramon Chanbua, had said she would “get the police” and keep both children if they tried to take Gammy away.
Mr Farnell explained that the couple had been told Gammy would be born with Down’s syndrome before the twins were born, and that at that point they “expected the surrogacy agency to give them a refund and find a solution”.
Chanbua offered to keep Gammy instead, the Farnells said, but when the children were born the couple changed their minds and said they wanted both twins.