Report: Surrogate lied, recruited others

The broker for the surrogacy agency in the baby Gammy scandal on Thursday called the child’s 21-year-old mother a liar, saying she not only had been paid in full for her surrogate work, but recruited other young women to get involved.

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In an interview with the UK's Telegraph newspaper, Kamonthip Musikawong of the agency - indentified in earlier stories as Joy - said Pattaramon Chanbua of Si Racha used the Facebook website to recruit women aged between 20 and 30 who were in good health and had babies before, to join her in the surrogacy business.

The Telegraph, which gained access to Ms Pattaramon's Facebook account, said none of her online posts suggest she was unhappy. They include pictures of happy married couples and their children playing, and glimpses of a middle-class life, not that of the poverty-stricken food vendor she purports to be. The Telegraph said she posts from her BlackBerry smartphone, and includes pictures of expensive ice cream and clothing. Her mother's food stand also has an air conditioner, which the very poor cannot afford, the newspaper said.

Ms Kamonthip told the paper that Ms Pattaramon had been paid in full to be a surrogate, even though she has repeatedly told the media she was still owed 100,000 baht.

The Telegraph said the claims by Ms Kamonthip cast doubt on key elements of Ms Pattaramon's story of the past few days, which provoked an international outcry at the apparent heartlessness of an Australian couple who had agreed to pay her 300,000 baht to bear twins on their behalf, but were accused of leaving her to bear the cost of raising baby Gammy, who suffers from Down's Syndrome and a heart condition, on her own.

In fact, Ms Kamonthip said, the Australian couple did not abandon baby Gammy. It was Ms Pattaramon, who has two other children, who refused to allow the couple to have Gammy after they pleaded to take him with his twin sister back to Australia.

She further alleged in the Telegraph article that Ms Pattaramon's role as a recruiter undermined her complaints.

"If you have had a sad experience about being (a) surrogate, why did you recruit surrogate mothers for some agencies just two months ago?" she was quoted as asking. "If the agency or parents owe you any money, why didn't you go to the police earlier? Why didn't you do anything earlier?"

Ms Pattaramon later confirmed she had used Facebook to solicit others to join the surrogacy agency, but said she'd not worked as an agent for some time. She declined to comment further.

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