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It's happened again - a Australian baby born via surrogacy has been abandoned.

By SHAUNA ANDERSON

An Australian couple have abandoned a surrogate baby in India.

A surrogate baby abandoned by its biological parents as they only wanted one of their twins.

A couple who heartlessly discarded an unwanted sibling.

The biological parents choosing to return to Australia with just one newborn.

The unwanted baby deserted.

You have heard it before right?

But sadly this isn’t baby Gammy, the baby with Down Syndrome who was left by his West Australian parents.

No this isn’t his horrific tale that left many of us stunned at the cold calculated methods through which an Australian couple cast away their own baby.

No this is an entirely different case, in an entirely different country.

You ready to be sickened again? Because another case has come to light.

It happened before Gammy- another Australian couple, another unwanted twin.

The ABC has uncovered a case so striking in similarity to Gammy’s that it beggars belief.

But his time the couple went to India for their surrogacy.

And the ABC reports that the baby was rejected with the full knowledge of officials at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi and via pressure from an unnamed senior Australian Federal Politician.

The surrogacy

The couple used a surrogacy agency to secure them a surrogate mother.

It took place in 2012, the couple had used a surrogacy agency to secure them a surrogate mother.

She birthed a set of twins in India, but the parents did not want two babies, they only wanted one – of a particular gender, and when the mother produced the baby to their liking, they took that one and chose to discard its sibling.

The Chief Justice of the Family Court, Diana Bryant told the ABC that consular officials had informed her of “pressure from Australia” to provide a visa for the newborn – but just for one of the babies.

She said the choice of baby was based on gender.

“They told me the surrogate mother had given birth to twins and the Australian couple only wanted one of the children,” Chief Justice Bryant said to the ABC.

Fairfax Media reports that the baby left behind while his parents went back to Australia was a boy.

“They already had one sex and they didn’t want the other child.”

She said that the consular staff” were extremely concerned about what was happening.”

“They were doing the best they could, they told me, to persuade the parents to take both children to negotiate with them.”

But to no avail.

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The parents did not want the baby boy. Just his sister.

Pressure from Australia

The ABC report that the staff tried to delay the visa while they attempted to convince the parents, but pressure began mounting from an un-named Australian Federal Politician to issue just one visa.

Bob Carr, who was Labor’s foreign minister during the time of the surrogacy told the program that he had no recollection of a surrogacy issue crossing his office.

From the ABC:

“I don’t recall them, you’re asking me to recall every piece of correspondence I had in 18 months as Foreign Minister but nothing stands out,” he said.

“I don’t recall surrogacy coming up in terms of our … the bi-lateral relationship between Australia and India, and I did not contact the Australian High Commission.”

Asked what he would have done if such a case had come before him he said: “I don’t know. I’d take the advice of my department.”

A staffer for Kevin Rudd who also acted as Foreign Minister said that Mr Rudd was not aware of the case,

Our current Foreign Minister,  Julie Bishop also said she had no knowledge of the case.

But what happened to the other baby?

Chief Justice Bryant  “I think it is appalling.

The ABC reports that Chief Justice Bryant asked the embassy staff what happened to the other child – the little boy.

“They said someone in the end had come forward – and they said they were known to the family – and took the child, but they expressed to me their great concern that in fact money had changed hands.”

Chief Justice Bryant expressed grave concerns that if true – and money was exchanged for another unknown mother to take the baby that “this could be tantamount to human trafficking and a criminal offence.”

“I think it is appalling. It’s a breach of all sorts of human rights conventions and it’s a criminal offence in many places if that is so,”

Surrogacy in India

Over 300 Australian surrogate babies are born in India each year.

Over 300 babies are born each year to surrogate women in India for Australian parents.

Many of the women have claimed they are treated well. News Limited reported in April that many were housed in clean accommodation during their pregnancies – and trained as nurses or beauticians.

But there is a dark side for the mothers as well as the babies with some being paid as little as $800.

Ranjana Kumari, a women’s rights activist and director of the Center for Social Research in New Delhi told CNN last year, “Commercialization has led to a lot of financial exploitation of these women,”

Call for inquiry

Back home the Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court, John Pascoe, has called for a national inquiry into surrogacy.

“I’ve spent many sleepless nights. I’ve heard things and I’ve seen things that I really don’t think anyone should see … and I find it deeply distressing that nothing is being done about the issue,” he told the ABC

“I think Australia is a country of decent people where international obligations are respected. We have obligations in human rights and I think it is very important that we step up to them.”

 We will keep you informed on any further developments on this case.

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