The Thai woman at the centre of the global debate over the alleged abandoning of baby Gammy could now be charged under Thai law.
Gammy’s surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua could be charged with contravening Thailand human trafficking laws, as she received $15,000 as payment for carrying the children of an Australian couple.
The couple, who have now been identified in the media, say they did not abandon their son, who has Down’s Syndrome and a congenital heart condition, but were told he was too sick to travel.
They returned to Australia with his twin sister but now face losing her following revelations that the father was once convicted of fours counts of indecently dealing with a child under 13.
The Gammy case has spurred debate over commercial surrogacy and there have been calls to make it legal in Australia so that it can be regulated.
But Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ruled it out and asked Australians to obey the law.
“This is a matter that is governed by the states. I don’t want to make it even more complicated than it already is,” he told the Nine Network.
“If going overseas to engage in this sort of thing is illegal, it shouldn’t be done.”
Surrogacy Australia president Sam Everingham says this case highlights the need for surrogacy services in Australia to be overhauled.
“We do want to see the Australian government putting money into surrogacy education and support for families who are at the moment going overseas with the government really just turning their back on them,” he told the ABC.
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