$130,000 raised for rejected baby

Surrogate twin Gammy, 7 months, was born with Down Syndrome.
Surrogate twin Gammy, 7 months, was born with Down Syndrome.

An Australian couple has abandoned a surrogate Down Syndrome baby boy who also has a life-threatening congenital heart condition.

A campaign for 7-month-old Gammy, who was left with his surrogate Thai mother, has raised more than A$120,000 ($130,000).

Pattaramon Chanbua was left to care for him after his Australian parents only wanted his healthy twin sister.

She was paid A$15,000 to be a surrogate for the couple, whose identities remain unknown.

Chanbua was told of the child's condition four months after becoming pregnant and the couple asked her to have an abortion.

She refused, saying it was against her Buddhist beliefs.

The 21-year-old mother of two said she could not afford to pay for the expensive treatment to deal with Gammy's life-threatening heart condition.

"The money that was offered was a lot for me.

"In my mind, with that money, we can educate my children, we can repay our debt," she told Australia's ABC.

After Thai newspaper Thairath published Gammy's story last week an online fundraising campaign was launched shortly afterwards.

So far hundreds of people have donated more than A$120,000 towards the fund's A$150,000 target.

There were also dozens of messages of support for Gammy and his mother, several outraged by the Australian couple's actions.

AFP reported a spokesman for Australia's Foreign Affairs Department that it was "concerned" by the reports.

It was talking with Thai authorities over surrogacy issues.

Thai health official Tares Krassanairawiwong said it was illegal to pay for surrogacy in Thailand and a surrogate had to be related to the intended parents.

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