SYDNEY (AFP) – A baby at the centre of a Thai surrogacy scandal has been granted Australian citizenship, authorities said Tuesday, after his birth mother said he was abandoned by a Perth couple who went home with his healthy twin sister.
Baby Gammy sparked a global debate about the legal and moral issues surrounding surrogacy when reports emerged in August that he was left behind by the pair, who returned to Australia with his sister Pipah.
The couple have denied abandoning the boy, who has Down’s syndrome, saying they had wanted to bring him home and left Thailand fearing the surrogate mother would seize their daughter.
“The department can confirm that an application for baby Gammy’s Australian citizenship by descent has been assessed and found to have met all criteria for the grant,” an immigration department spokeswoman said in a statement.
“It is not appropriate for the department to make any further comments on this case.”
Surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua, who is in her early 20s, confirmed her son had been granted Australian citizenship.
“He got citizenship four days ago. The Australian embassy called me on Friday to ask me to come and collect the documents,” she told AFP.