An Australian couple who sparked international outrage spoke out publicly for the first time to explain why their baby with Down's syndrome was left with his surrogate mother in Thailand.
David and Wendy Farnell spoke out for the first time on Australia's "60 Minutes" Sunday. THey attempted to explain why they returned to Australia with their healthy baby girl Piper, while leaving behind her twin brother Gammy -- who has Down syndrome.
"The surrogate mother wanted to take our girl...and we were getting scared we were going to lose her. So we had to try and get out as fast as we could," the couple said.
The surrogate mother told CNN that is absolutely untrue. She said the Farnells wanted to put Gammy in a home -- a fate she couldn't stomach for the child she carried inside her -- so she agreed to keep the baby.
"I feel so sorry for him", 21-year-old Pattaramon Chanbua told CNN last week. "This is not his fault - he's innocent -- why does he have to suffer like this?"
After he was born, in desperation, she turned to international donors for help with his medical bills. So far she has raised over $200,000.
Gammy's plight is shining a spotlight on the murky issues around commercial surrogacy.
In the forty-minute long interview, the Farnells struggle to explain their actions, saying they were angry at the surrogacy agency for not telling them earlier about the boy's condition. They said they wanted their money back.
"They had come came back to us and said the surrogate mother wants this boy...so we were thinking... oh.... maybe, maybe this might be ok. I don't know," they said.
They say they still want their son, though they are focusing first on settling legal issues surrounding their daughter.
David Farnell also acknowledged that he is a convicted sex offender who spent time in prison for abusing young girls. Crimes he said he regrets and will not repeat.
"I know that I do not have any urges at all of this nature. For 30 years, I've known this…I don't have any urges," he said.
The child's mother said she is not worried about the safety of her daughter in the care of her husband.
"I 100-percent trust David not to do anything wrong for the little girl," she said.
The Farnells broke down when asked if the controversy might cost them their daughter, the baby they so desperately wanted that they left her twin brother behind.