Aussie parents were 'heartbroken' they couldn't take baby Gammy home: Friend

Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, is held by his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua at a...

Gammy, a baby born with Down's Syndrome, is held by his surrogate mother Pattaramon Janbua at a hospital in Chonburi province on August 3, 2014. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:03 PM ET

An Australian couple accused of abandoning their sick son born to a surrogate mother in Thailand were actually "heartbroken" they couldn't take him home, a friend of the family says.

Surrogate Pattharamon Janbua, 21, gave birth to twins, but while the girl was healthy, the couple was told the boy was unlikely to survive.

The anonymous friend told the Bunbury Mail the couple, now identified as David and Wendy Farnell, had to fight to be able to take their daughter home after the surrogate went to a small hospital, which voided their surrogacy agreement.

"They prayed for Gammy to survive but were told by doctors that he was too sick, not because of the Down syndrome but because of his heart and lung conditions and infection," the friend said, adding they also feared the surrogate would keep their money and daughter and there would be no legal repercussions.

"The biological parents were heartbroken that they couldn't take their boy with them and never wanted to give him up, but to stay would risk them losing their daughter also."

The Farnells were forced to leave because they could no longer extend their visas due to military unrest in the region.

Janbua has told media outlets Gammy's parents abandoned their son.

An online campaign for seven-month-old Gammy has raised more than $200,000. The group that's overseeing the donations, Hands Across the Water, said the money is currently being used for medical expenses and Gammy is being treated at a private hospital in Bangkok.

News.com.au reports David Farnell was convicted of sexually assaulting two teenage girls in 1997.

As well, the report says Janbua could face human trafficking charges for receiving payment to be a surrogate.


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