The Australian embassy in Bangkok deals daily with Australian couples who travel to Thailand to find a surrogate to carry their baby.
In recent years, the embassy has had to open a new room to cope with demands from new parents, including many same-sex couples, who have no idea how to care for the babies they’ve ordered. These parents go to the embassy for the documents they need to bring their children back to Australia, and stay to beg for help from staff on how to nurse, burp and change their infants.
This is not the first time one of those couples has tried to order a woman to have an abortion; very often, they succeed.
Nor is it the first time that embassy staff have had to deal with a couple refusing to take their own child home.
In one earlier, unreported case, a surrogate went to embassy complaining that an Australian couple was trying to back out of their contract because she was carrying twins, and they wanted only one child. The embassy stepped in, and the couple ended up taking both children.
Another couple tried to make a surrogate have an abortion because she was carrying a boy and they wanted a girl (according to embassy workers, when it comes to surrogacy, Australian couples overwhelmingly prefer girls). She refused, and the Australian couple reluctantly took their son.
In another case, almost as shocking as Gammy’s, the embassy has had to persuade an Australian couple to pay the medical bills of their own, sick child, after they initially refused to pay on the grounds that she was one of a set of twins, and they only wanted one child.
In this case, the couple told the embassy they had paid for one baby and only wanted one baby. The babies were born at 28 weeks and, when one of them needed both intensive care, and follow-up treatment, the Australian couple actually had the gall to ask the embassy for help in getting out of their contract, which stipulated that they would help with medical costs, on the grounds that the surrogate had refused to have an abortion and should therefore bear the cost of complications from a multiple birth.