Monday, August 04, 2014

Abandoning a Downs baby

Yahoo reports:
Well-wishers on Friday had raised nearly $100,000 for a baby reportedly left with his surrogate Thai mother after his Australian parents discovered he had Down's Syndrome and returned home with his healthy twin sister.

Pattaramon Chanbua from Chonburi province, southeast of Bangkok, agreed via an agent to be a surrogate for the couple for a fee of Aus$16,000 ($14,900), giving birth to twins -- a boy and a girl -- in December, according to press reports.

But when the Australians discovered the boy, named Gammy by his surrogate family, had Down's Syndrome they abandoned him in Thailand and returned to Australia with only the healthy girl, Australia's ABC said.
The article goes on to say that the contracts may have violated the laws in Australia and Thailand.

But it does not mention that in most states of the USA, a parent can abandon a newborn baby at a hospital or fire station, no questions asked. So if you get a Downs baby, and you don't want it, you can just give up him. I do not know about other countries.

In California law:
The Safely Surrendered Baby Law responds to the increasing number of newborn infant deaths due to abandonment in unsafe locations. First created in January 2001, the Safely Surrendered Baby Law was signed permanently into state law in January 2006. The law's intent is to save lives of newborn infants at risk of abandonment by encouraging parents or persons with lawful custody to safely surrender the infant within 72 hours of birth, with no questions asked.

From January 1, 2001, to March 31, 2014, 621 newborns have been surrendered in California, and as of March 31, 2014, 15 newborns have been surrendered in 2014. ...

Dial 1.877.BABY.SAF (1-877-222-9723) or 211.

Although a person surrendering a baby under the Safely Surrendered Baby Law will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire, the form is optional and is intended solely for the purpose of collecting medical information critical to the health and survival of the child. Any information that may identify the person surrendering the baby will be removed in order to maintain that person's confidentiality.
The SSB sites are instructed: "Do not be judgmental (this is an emotional and difficult time for the person)."

The ACLU supports these laws as a matter of women's rights, analogous to abortion rights.

The mom is not required to notify the dad, and I don't know what happens if the dad tries to claim the baby.

We have fewer Downs births today, because many of them are detected pre-natally, and aborted.

These issues offend some people, because the above story sounds like canceling an order because the product (baby) was not being delivered according to expectations. I am just describing the law.

The NY Times has an article on the Chinese baby-making business:
In a small conference room overlooking this city’s smog-shrouded skyline, Huang Jinlai outlines his offer to China’s childless elite: for $240,000, a baby with your DNA, gender of your choice, born by a coddled but captive rural woman.

The arrangement is offered by Mr. Huang’s Baby Plan Medical Technology Company, with branches in four Chinese cities and up to 300 successful births each year.

As in most countries, surrogacy is illegal in China. But a combination of rising infertility, a recent relaxation of the one-child-per-family policy and a cultural imperative to have children has given rise to a booming black market in surrogacy that experts say produces well over 10,000 births a year.

The trade links couples desperate for children with poor women desperate for cash in a murky world of online brokers, dubious private clinics and expensive trips to foreign countries. ...

Here in Wuhan, Baby Plan offers a more expensive, but at times grimly controlled, program. Chinese couples fly to Thailand, where surrogacy is legal, to donate their sperm and egg. A Chinese surrogate is flown there, too, and receives the implant. The three return to China and the surrogate is installed in a private apartment with a full-time assistant. To make sure she does not get ideas about fleeing with the customer’s fetus, she is cut off from her family and receives daily visits from a psychological counselor, Mr. Huang said.

If all goes well, the baby is born at a private clinic, which Mr. Huang says has an agreement with Baby Plan to accept the couple’s identity papers, legally registering the child as their own. Often, the couple never meet the surrogate. If the fertilization works on the first try, Baby Plan makes a profit of $24,000, Mr. Huang estimates, the same amount the surrogate mother makes.

“The baby is guaranteed, as well as a DNA check,” Mr. Huang said. “Otherwise you don’t pay.”
This is says surrogacy is legal in Thailand, which contradicts the above Yahoo article:
Tares Krassanairawiwong, a Thai public health ministry official, said it was illegal to pay for surrogacy in Thailand.

"Surrogacy can be done in Thailand but it has to comply with the laws... A surrogate has to be related to the intended parents and no money can be involved."
Apparently the law can be circumvented with enough money.

Other parents in Philadelphia were hassled for a home birth:
Fatima Doumbouya had no idea of the horrors that would ensue for simply choosing to have her baby in her own home.

Earlier this month Doumbouya, with her husband at her side, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in the comfort of their own home.

For six days they enjoyed being new parents before deciding that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to get their newborn baby screened for any health issues.

Little did they know that they would kidnapped and treated like incompetent criminals.

Doumbouya claims that upon their arrival to the hospital, doctors arranged to have her baby taken to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), without her permission. ...

Finally after having their baby taken from them and being held against their will for 13 hours, their daughter was returned to them and they were allowed to go home.

The next morning, their doorbell rings, it’s CPS.

“I am here because we received an alarm from the hospital about lack of supervision of your newborn,” the CPS worker says.

Doumbouya told them that they could not come into their house without a warrant, to which the CPS worker replies, we do not need one.

They still refused, but after the 3rd attempt and a consultation with an attorney, they agreed to let CPS inspect.

The cherry on top of this situation was that several days later they received the bill for the forced medical treatment. The ambulance ride alone was $3,320.00!
The ambulance is a scam in itself, and is part of how our health care system runs up bills that we would never authorize. I hope they did not pay the bill.

Update: The Australian dad defends himself:
The convicted child sex offender at the centre of an international surrogacy controversy says baby Gammy's twin sister will be "100 per cent safe" in his care.

David John Farnell and his wife Wendy have been accused by a Thai surrogate mother of abandoning baby Gammy, who has Down syndrome.

The West Australian couple brought Gammy's healthy twin sister home from Thailand, but deny abandoning the boy.

Amid a furore over the case it was revealed Mr Farnell had 22 child sex convictions, including unlawful and indecent dealing with girls as young as seven when he was in his 20s.
Audio: Baby Gammy's WA parents break their silence (AM)

"I hang my head in shame for that," he told Channel Nine while breaking his silence in an interview on Sunday night.

"And I am deeply regretful of that. And I am so sorry to those people."

The 56-year-old, who has three adult children, said he realised he had done the wrong thing after thinking about how he would feel if someone sexually abused his children.

He said he received counselling in prison, and his sexual urges towards children "have 100 per cent stopped".

1 comment:

Carol Duckworth said...

Stories like this always break my heart, knowing how beautiful of a thing surrogacy can be when all goes well. Although there are many arguments against surrogacy, I wish there were more success stories out there of an infertile mother being able to hold her child and the surrogate mother being able to help someone in need and better provide for her family. Hopefully surrogacy will become legal everywhere so that the laws and processes can be brought about more efficiently and without so much tragedy like it happened in Thailand/Australia.