Baby Gammy Now an Australian Citizen

Child in surrogate controversy gets access to country's health care
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2015 11:07 AM CST
Baby Gammy Now an Australian Citizen
In this photo taken Aug. 3, 2014, Pattaramon Chanbua poses with Gammy.   (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

The baby who last year made international headlines in a surrogacy controversy is now a 1-year-old Australian citizen, though he still lives in Thailand. Gammy, who has Down syndrome and a heart condition, can now access Australian health care, the BBC reports. He has been a regular patient at a Thai hospital, the Sydney Morning Herald reports; donations have covered the costs. Gammy was eligible for Australian citizenship because his biological father, David Farnell, is Australian. He can now also get an Australian passport.

Farnell and his wife, Wendy, sparked the controversy when they took Gammy's twin sister home from a surrogate mother in Thailand, but Gammy stayed. The surrogate, Pattaramon Chanbua, applied for Australian citizenship for the boy; she says it was an effort to protect him for the future rather than a means for her to go to Australia. Even so, it now appears she'll be able to do so with Gammy without facing restrictions. Global donors have raised some $240,000 for the baby; that allowed Chanbua's family to move to a new home in Thailand, Australia's ABC reports. (More Australia stories.)

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