Baby Gammy, who was at the centre of a surrogacy scandal in Thailand, has been granted Australian citizenship.
Born with Down syndrome via a surrogate mother in Thailand, Gammy was left behind while his healthy twin sister Pipah was taken home by their Australian parents, Wendy and David Farnell.
The surrogate mother of the twins, 21-year-old Thai woman Pattaramon Chanbua, said she applied for Australian citizenship for Gammy because she wanted to safeguard his future, not because she wanted to travel to Australia.
Now Gammy has been granted citizenship he is also eligible for an Australian passport, although that is a separate process that has not begun.
It is unclear whether he could also be eligible for Australian welfare benefits.
Gammy turned one on December 23 last year, and has been undergoing treatment for a hole in his heart.
His family recently moved into a new home in Chonburi, 90 kilometres south of Bangkok, which was purchased from donated funds.
More than $240,000 was raised after Baby Gammy’s plight became public.
The Farnells were heavily criticised last year for leaving one infant behind, prompting robust discussion about laws and regulations surrounding international surrogacy arrangements.
The Department for Child Protection began proceedings in the Family Court after it was revealed David Farnell, 56, had 22 child sex convictions, including indecent dealing with young girls.
The Farnell family retained custody of Pipah, subject to strict court conditions.
This article originally appeared on ABC and has been republished with full permission.