Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

UK charity expresses outrage over Australian case of baby with Down’s syndrome being abandoned

Down's Syndrome Association The chief executive of Down’s Syndrome UK has expressed her shock and sadness about the case in Australia of a baby with Down’s syndrome being abandoned by her adoptive parents, apparently because of his disability.

It has been reported that the unnamed parents refused to take the baby, called Gammy, and left him with a Thai woman, Pattaramon Chanbua, who had acted as a surrogate to the couple. However, the parents did take Gammy’s twin sister, who does not have any disability.

Gammy, who has a congenital heart condition and a lung infection as well as Down’s syndrome, is currently receiving treatment in a Thai hospital.

The BBC reported that the couple had asked Pattaramon to have an abortion after doctors informed her of the child’s condition four months after becoming pregnant. But she refused, saying it was against her Buddhist beliefs.

Pattaramon has vowed to raise Gammy as her own.

However, this morning Gammy’s biological father has denied that they abandoned him, saying the clinic’s doctor only told them about the girl, according to ABC News in Australia.

Carol Boys, chief executive of Down’s Syndrome UK, expressed her shock and outrage at the case. “We were really shocked to hear the very sad story about the little baby with Down’s syndrome so cruelly abandoned with her surrogate mother in Thailand and separated from her twin sister by the family from Australia who apparently rejected him because he had Down’s syndrome.

“The world community of Down’s syndrome associations has been outraged by what has happened to this little boy as DSA UK is working as part of Down Syndrome International to make sure that he and his birth mother receive all the support that they need. We hope that one day he will be reunited with his sister and given every opportunity to live the life that he truly deserves.”

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