PARENTS

Baby Gammy: Adult Daughter Admits 'I Told Friends Down's Syndrome Twin Was Dead'

14/08/2014 13:02 | Updated 20 May 2015

david and wendy farnell

The adult daughter of David Farnell, the Australian father at the centre of the baby Gammy surrogacy controversy, says that she was behind reports that the couple believed the baby had died.

Jane Farnell told her local newspaper that David and second wife Wendy knew all along that Gammy, who has Down's syndrome and other medical problems, was alive, and wanted to bring him to Australia to join his healthy twin sister, Pipah.

"My parents never said Gammy had died, that came from me," Ms Farnell told the Bunbury Mail, explaining that she thought 'it would be easier' if she told her friends that Gammy was dead, rather than involve them in the 'confusion'.

In reality, she says, David and Wendy were forced to leave Thailand with only one of their twins after 21-year-old surrogate Pattharamon Janbua refused to hand Gammy over.

Janbua claims that she was asked by the couple to abort Gammy after it was discovered that he had Down's syndrome, but that she refused. She says that the Farnells then came to Thailand to collect Gammy's twin sister and refused to take the boy.

A campaign to raise money for Gammy's medical expenses and upbringing has amassed thousands of pounds in donations after the story sparked international outrage.

But the Farnells maintain that they have been misrepresented - and their daughter backs up their version of events.

"They had been through every avenue to try to get pregnant and lost so much money," she said. "Anybody that has gone down that road would know, no matter how your child had been born or what disability they were born with, you wouldn't be able to leave it behind on purpose."

But Ms Farnell stopped short of calling Janbua a liar, saying: "I don't know who to blame because you don't know what the surrogate mother was told, I would hate to place blame without knowing everything."

Ms Farnell also addressed her father's dark history of convictions for child sex abuse. Farnell was convicted of a string of sex offences against two underage girls in 1997 and spent three year in prison.

But Ms Farnell, who is expecting a baby herself, told the interviewer that her dad was a reformed man who would never hurt a child.

"My dad did a really terrible thing a long time ago," she said. "But I believe in the system - they wouldn't have let him out or let him see me again if they thought he was a risk."

Her comments echo those made earlier this week by her brother, who told reporters that David Farnell was a great father to his three adult children and had 'made up' for his past mistakes.

The newest revelations in the baby Gammy saga come in the wake of news that Thailand's military government is drafting a law to ban commercial surrogacy.

While medical staff are barred from becoming involved in commercial surrogacy, there is currently no law making it an offence. The recent scandal has highlighted the shortcoming in current Thai law - one which authorities are now working swiftly to rectify.

You can read the twisted saga of baby Gammy here.

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