The pet syndrome

This story moved all Australia and the rest of the world. Couples who can’t have children in “rich” countries are in a dead end. Most legislations forbid using surrogate mothers, except for the USA. This is the case in Australia where a couple decided to hire a womb in Thailand, a young mother of two, aged 21, who thought she could repay her debts and raise properly her children with the money the Australian couple were ready to give her. The details of the “transaction” are unknown, but the couple and the surrogate mother never met before they came to collect the baby after the birth. The Thai girl was carrying two babies, a healthy girl, and a boy. He turned out to have Down Syndrome and a severe heart condition. Far from being perfect.
The surrogate mother was asked to abort, which she refused to do. After all, there was another baby who was perfect, the parents probably thought. So after the birth, as if keeping the boy was her decision, the Australian couple decided to come back home with only the little girl. They abandoned the baby boy who is their biological son. Now with an efficient campaign in the media in order to raise money, the baby boy Gammy will be safe for probably the rest of his life.

This story has gone viral for several reasons. The obvious one of course is that abandoning a child is always awful. Even more when the child is disabled. If you could have seen the face of an uncomfortable Australian Prime Minister, it is probably because the guilt of the rich versus the poor is also at stake here. Leaving your sick baby to a woman who can barely feed her healthy children could be compared to leaving a pet along the way during the Holiday.

It seems that ordering your baby in Thailand is now similar than ordering a book online on Amazon, it made the parents forget that the delivery was still their biological offsprings. Not meeting at all the surrogate mother probably gave them a distance between them and the babies, a bit like when you go to a shelter and try to pick the nicest kitty to bring it home. That is exactly why using surrogate mothers is an extremely complex issue, more than just a woman helping out a poor sterile couple who are desperately trying to have a baby. Trading wombs for money is wrong.
This story is a perfect example that this couple acted more like customers than parents. What they “bought” was not perfect so they just left it where it was. Gammy will never realise his biological parents made the biggest mistake of their life. My only fear is that the little baby girl will miss her brother in the long run.

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