Pattharamon Janbua has been left caring for Gammy, a sick baby that is not her own. Photo: Apichart Weerawong
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A West Australian man who, along with his wife, is accused of taking home his infant daughter born to Thai surrogate but abandoning her twin brother, who was born with Down syndrome and a hole in the heart, denies that the boy is his son.
The denial comes as revelations that the man is also a child sex offender.
Channel Nine reporter Jerrie Demasi told Radio 6PR that the man and his wife, who are from South Bunbury, deny that they had any knowledge of baby Gammy’s existence.
She said the man was convicted in 1998 and had served jail time over indecent dealings with a child under 13. The wife said he was “a good father”.
Radio 6PR’s Gary Adshead described the man as a “serial child sex abuser”.
He said the man had previously been sentenced to three years’ jail in regard to indecent dealings with two girls under the age of 10 years.
“But while serving time for that crime, the same man, who we will call ‘DJF’, was charged with six counts of indecently dealing with a child under the age of 13.”
Demasi said she spent time with the couple in their home on Monday and raised the possibility of their daughter being the brother of baby Gammy.
“I said to them; ‘do you want to find out if this is your son?’ and they just wouldn’t respond anything beyond saying that it’s not their son... they’re flatly denying that they had any knowledge of baby Gammy’s existence,” she said.
Demasi said she saw their daughter’s birth certificate and her date of birth matched that of Gammy.
“The mother of baby Gammy who is looking after him in Thailand, her name was on the birth certificate... but it was her maiden name,” she said.
Jenny Millbank, a surrogacy expert from Sydney's University of Technology spoke with Adshead.
“If [the conviction] is true, I think this family should be treated the same way as any other family where a parent has committed past acts against children, which is that they should be subject to the scrutiny of child protection authorities to make sure that their child is safe," she said.
“I don’t think that people who have children through IVF or surrogacy should be subject to any higher standard than regular people who have children in the regular way.”
More to come...