A son is standing by his “amazing” father, despite allegations the convicted child sex offender abandoned a Down syndrome baby born to a surrogate mother in Thailand.
The man and his wife have custody of baby Gammy’s twin sister, who was brought to South Bunbury in Western Australia soon after 21-year-old Pattaramon Chanbua gave birth to the twins in December
Ms Pattaramon claims the biological parents abandoned Gammy because of his disability and says that after learning about the father’s criminal history, she wants the girl returned to her in Thailand.
The man’s son said his father, who in the 1990s was convicted of indecently dealing with girls, had a “massive heart” who brought out the best in his children, including three adult children.
“I can tell you how good of a father my dad was towards us. He’s amazing,” the son told Fairfax Media.
“He’s made mistakes. We’ve accepted it … he’s made up for them.
“For everything to be brought back up (is) pretty heartbreaking, to be honest.”
His comments echo those of the man’s wife, who also said this week that her husband was a good man.
The son added that the biological parents were devastated by allegations they had abandoned Gammy, and said they would soon issue a statement explaining their story.
“The statement will cover everything, it will clear everything up,” he said.
Meanwhile, WA Supreme Court documents released on Wednesday night reveal the father was convicted of multiple indecent dealing charges in 1997 and jailed after two adult women reported historic abuse from the 1980s.
The father, now aged 56, was also convicted of further four offences in 1998 and had his sentence extended.
RSPCA officers removed a dog from the couple’s South Bunbury home on Wednesday out of concern for its safety.
The WA Department for Child Protection and Family Support launched an investigation into the safety and wellbeing of Gammy’s sister, but were not able to make contact with the parents during visits on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
It has not been confirmed whether the department has since made contact with the couple.
A family friend of the parents said in a statement on Tuesday that they were heartbroken to leave Gammy behind, but did so believing he would not live more than a couple of days because of a congenital heart condition.
However, the Thai hospital where seven-month-old Gammy is being treated for pneumonia has told the Bangkok Post the child did not have a life-threatening heart condition, as had been widely reported.
Ms Pattaramon also faces possible legal action from Thai medical authorities because her surrogacy payment of $15,000 breaches Thailand’s human trafficking laws.