A Thai surrogate mother has declared she will "not give my baby to anybody" and rejected offers to adopt her 6-month-old son after an Australian couple refused to take him when they learned he had Down syndrome.
Pattharamon Janbua, 21, has received donations from thousands of people to care for her son Gammy, who needs surgery for a heart condition and is struggling for his life in a hospital outside Bangkok.
The impoverished mother of two other children said she was thankful and happy for the support and planned to share the money with other parents of children with Down syndrome.
The Australian couple, who have not been named, took Gammy's healthy twin sister, but refused to take him after learning of his condition. He also has a lung infection.
Pattharamon made the surrogacy arrangement via an agency, with doctors placing a fertilised egg in her womb.
She did not meet the couple, who are believed to be from Western Australia. The man is reportedly of Australian origin and the woman is Asian. Pattharamon said she forgave the pair, but did not believe they would provide adequate care "because they are not the real parents".
"I wish they will love my baby ... I forgive them for everything," she told Fairfax Media. "I want to see all my children back together again.
"I don't really think too much about the Australian couple. I can't blame them. I don't feel upset or angry about them any more. They might have their own problems too."
Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have donated to an online campaign titled Hope for Gammy, which has been flooded with donations and raised more than $158,000 to assist with medical treatment. It has received hundreds of messages of support and goodwill, including offers of adoption.
Beth Champagne, a resident of Boston in America, wrote: "I'd be interested in adopting him. I'm a former special education teacher." Tony Abbott, the Catholic Prime Minister of Australia, said Gammy's case was "very, very sad" and he would considering offering government support.