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Old 08-05-2014, 09:18 AM   #1
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My what a tangled web we weave... Baby Gammy surrogacy case

Is anyone else following this story that's getting more and more complex every day?

In a nutshell...

Australian couple hire Thai surrogate to carry their embryos.

Surrogate gets pregnant with twins. Couple requests abortion, surrogate refuses.

Boy/girl twins born; girl healthy, boy has heart defect and Down's Syndrome.

Couple take baby girl home to Australia; baby boy left in Thailand with surrogate mom. Boy not expected to survive, but does. World rallies around surrogate and baby via news outlets and social media. Now in good hospital in Thailand and donations covering medical care.

Couple now deny knowing about boy. Agency that brokered this surrogacy now closed. Surrogate under fire from Thai officlals for "breaking human trafficking laws".

Now breaking news that Australian dad is a conviced child molester. If so, surrogate mom says she wants girl back. Legal authorities chiming in from around the world - basically murky legal territory.

Tragic story, but should be interesting to see how it's handled.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28654831
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:27 AM   #2
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I read about the father this morning. What a strange and disturbing twist. It is a sordid tale. I hope the baby girl will be removed quickly from these "parents".
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:47 AM   #3
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This whole story is a hot mess. Hiring a surrogate in your own country is complicated enough, but when you go international, it gets much murkier.

When we adopted from Russia, we had to follow/satisfy our state's laws and US laws. We also had to follow/satisfy Russian law and oblast law/a region similar to a state. That's four sets of laws that can sometimes be in conflict. And that's just adoption. Surrogacy has so many more issues to deal with.

One of those should be an agreement concerning what will be done if the baby(ies) have some illness/genetic issue. I don't think the surrogacy agency in this case adequately covered all those issues. Was a background check on the bio parents even performed? We had to have thorough state and federal background checks done to adopt. If my DH had been a convicted child molester, we couldn't have adopted.

In this case, there are issues as to whether the Aussie bio parents even have legal rights to those twins. Did the surrogate break Thai law? What, exactly, did the bio parents know and when did they know it? The twist of whether the bio dad has a history of sexually abusing children adds an even more twisted layer of confusion to this situation. Did the bio mom know her husband had a criminal history?

That poor baby.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:59 AM   #4
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Sick, sick, sick. Awful. I cannot fathom abandoning your child because he wasn't "perfect." Shame on them.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:59 AM   #5
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I'm a man so I could never be a surrogate but I would really have a problem with handing over "half of a set" for lack of a better term, I know twins are individual people but I also believe they have a real bond and twins belong together and it's cruel to split them up. Also I'd have a real problem handing any baby over to a person who had been willing to abort the disabled sibling. I know a child with disabilities is a challenge and everyone will have different views but IMO it seems kind of...I don't know, hitler-ish to abort the baby you previously wanted because you found out it isn't perfect like you thought it would be. kids with special needs need extra care and maybe the parents thought they weren't capable of doing it well? But, if you don't want your own child because it's disabled then you are taking a big risk, your healthy baby could grow up to have any type of disbailities or illness in the future, would you run your back on it then? Or is it only ok to turn your back on it when it's still in utero where you can't actually see the baby yet
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Coonhound View Post
I'm a man so I could never be a surrogate but I would really have a problem with handing over "half of a set" for lack of a better term, I know twins are individual people but I also believe they have a real bond and twins belong together and it's cruel to split them up. Also I'd have a real problem handing any baby over to a person who had been willing to abort the disabled sibling. I know a child with disabilities is a challenge and everyone will have different views but IMO it seems kind of...I don't know, hitler-ish to abort the baby you previously wanted because you found out it isn't perfect like you thought it would be. kids with special needs need extra care and maybe the parents thought they weren't capable of doing it well? But, if you don't want your own child because it's disabled then you are taking a big risk, your healthy baby could grow up to have any type of disbailities or illness in the future, would you run your back on it then? Or is it only ok to turn your back on it when it's still in utero where you can't actually see the baby yet
Plenty of people abort because of Downs Syndrome every day. I don't know if I could, but I don't judge people who do. When I did my student teaching in an all inclusive Downs Syndrome class, there was a mom who's two sons had it. She said she would never judge anyone who would terminate such a pregnancy (I was pregnant at the time, getting genetic testing). It can be a tough road, and not everyone is up for the job.

That said, this should've been part of the contract, and since the baby is genetically and legally theirs, they should step up and raise that child.

As for taking the baby away because of the dad's convictions, I don't see how that is legally possible. If the mom actually gave birth to the children, could her baby be taken away?

The surragate is just an incubator. As for twins having a bond, well, I'd agree if they were identical (which obviously they are not - although I do know identical twins who loathe each other). I don't think fraternal twins have a life-long bond by just being wombmates.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:26 AM   #7
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Part of being a parent is loving your child unconditionally.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mjkacmom

Plenty of people abort because of Downs Syndrome every day. I don't know if I could, but I don't judge people who do. When I did my student teaching in an all inclusive Downs Syndrome class, there was a mom who's two sons had it. She said she would never judge anyone who would terminate such a pregnancy (I was pregnant at the time, getting genetic testing). It can be a tough road, and not everyone is up for the job.

That said, this should've been part of the contract, and since the baby is genetically and legally theirs, they should step up and raise that child.

As for taking the baby away because of the dad's convictions, I don't see how that is legally possible. If the mom actually gave birth to the children, could her baby be taken away?

The surragate is just an incubator. As for twins having a bond, well, I'd agree if they were identical (which obviously they are not - although I do know identical twins who loathe each other). I don't think fraternal twins have a life-long bond by just being wombmates.
I agree with you about aborting a baby who has genetic defects, abortion remains a family planning option and I don't judge anyone who chooses it for whatever reason they see fit.

I think part of a surrogate contract should be that if the bio parent wants the fetus aborted and the surrogate refuses, she then becomes responsible in all ways for that baby. Of course all of this should be discussed and agreed upon before entering into contract. That way both parties are in agreementbwhen something like this happens. It doesn't sound like this was the case here, or the media is leaving out information in order to sway opinion. That is very likely.

I will say that I don't believe a child molester should be allowed to have children of their own. That's all I'll say.

I have 3 sets of fraternal twins in my family and they do share an amazing bond with eachother. I do think it comes from sharing everything at the same stages of life, and that includes their time in the womb.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMom View Post

In this case, there are issues as to whether the Aussie bio parents even have legal rights to those twins. Did the surrogate break Thai law? What, exactly, did the bio parents know and when did they know it? The twist of whether the bio dad has a history of sexually abusing children adds an even more twisted layer of confusion to this situation. Did the bio mom know her husband had a criminal history?
Oh, I forgot to mention - the bio mom was reportedly a "mail order bride" who admits to knowing her husband's past, but says he is a "good man".
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:33 AM   #10
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Oh, I forgot to mention - the bio mom was reportedly a "mail order bride" who admits to knowing her husband's past, but says he is a "good man".
One twist after another. I wonder just how old she was when she became his bride. I bet her paperwork had a few added years.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:45 AM   #11
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Part of being a parent is loving your child unconditionally.
Of course - a living breathing child. However, a fetus isn't a child. Sometimes people believe termination is best for the child. Sometimes people think adoption is best for the child. Some babies are born so early, that some people may choose no heroic measures should be taken to save the child. Its up to the parents.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:50 AM   #12
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The parents are saying that they did not know the boy had Downs. They claim that they were told he had a heart defect and that he wouldn't live more than a day and they should say goodbye and take their girl home.

What a tangled mess. I don't know that it will ever be straightened out.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coonhound View Post
I'm a man so I could never be a surrogate but I would really have a problem with handing over "half of a set" for lack of a better term, I know twins are individual people but I also believe they have a real bond and twins belong together and it's cruel to split them up. Also I'd have a real problem handing any baby over to a person who had been willing to abort the disabled sibling. I know a child with disabilities is a challenge and everyone will have different views but IMO it seems kind of...I don't know, hitler-ish to abort the baby you previously wanted because you found out it isn't perfect like you thought it would be. kids with special needs need extra care and maybe the parents thought they weren't capable of doing it well? But, if you don't want your own child because it's disabled then you are taking a big risk, your healthy baby could grow up to have any type of disbailities or illness in the future, would you run your back on it then? Or is it only ok to turn your back on it when it's still in utero where you can't actually see the baby yet
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Originally Posted by mjkacmom View Post
Plenty of people abort because of Downs Syndrome every day. I don't know if I could, but I don't judge people who do. When I did my student teaching in an all inclusive Downs Syndrome class, there was a mom who's two sons had it. She said she would never judge anyone who would terminate such a pregnancy (I was pregnant at the time, getting genetic testing). It can be a tough road, and not everyone is up for the job.

That said, this should've been part of the contract, and since the baby is genetically and legally theirs, they should step up and raise that child.
This issue came up during my own twin pregnancy when my son was found to have some of the markers for Down's (on the genetic screening ultrasound). When given my "options", one was to abort him - but I was warned that if I did, there would be a chance I'd lose both babies. For me it was a non-issiue because I'd already resigned myself to the fact that if he was born with Down's, then we would learn to live with it. We learned at birth he did not have it.

I'm not sure, but I think the Aussie parents wanted her to abort the entire pregnancy. Not aware if it being just because of his Down's - not sure the surrogate's medical care was that sophisticated. (But who knows.) It would have required amniocentesis, I believe, to know for sure, wouldn't it? (Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I may not be up to date on the most modern pre-natal procedures. As an aside, I was also warned that amnio itself could cause a spontaneous abortion of my pregnancy, so I elected not to do it.) Anyway, she sited her Buddhist faith as being the reason she did not want to abort the pregnancy.

Quote:
As for taking the baby away because of the dad's convictions, I don't see how that is legally possible. If the mom actually gave birth to the children, could her baby be taken away?
It sounds like it might be, according to Australia law. But unclear if it applies in their area. I read they look at it on a case by case basis. What's more unclear is, where would the baby go if they couldn't keep her? Back to the surrogate, or to someone else? Good news is that the Australian government seems to have good will toward the surrogate, calling her a "saint" at one point (presumably for continuing to love Gammy).

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMode
I have 3 sets of fraternal twins in my family and they do share an amazing bond with eachother. I do think it comes from sharing everything at the same stages of life, and that includes their time in the womb.
Agreed. Fraternal twins share a bond, also.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:57 AM   #14
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One twist after another. I wonder just how old she was when she became his bride. I bet her paperwork had a few added years.
I am unsure of her age, but he is in his 50s and has grown children already.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:02 AM   #15
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Agreed. Fraternal twins share a bond, also.
I, personally, believe it's more nurture than nature. Twins share a lot of the same experiences, and are exactly the same age. Some siblings are closer than others - I think it's more about personality.
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