The question remains: Does a convicted child sex offender have the right to raise a baby?

Gammy and Pipah.


Last night Australia learned that we were wrong.

We were wrong to say that David and Wendy Farnell should have taken baby Gammy home from that chaotic Thai hospital.

They should not have taken their daughter, Pipah, either.

They should not be allowed to raise either of those precious babies, or any others.

Because they are are not fit parents.

Gammy’s story stunned us at a time when the news was filled with so much horror we could barely look.

And now, after last night, we might well wish we hadn’t.

Because after all the hand-wringing over last night’s 60 Minutes interview with David and Wendy Farnell – ‘the most reviled couple in Australia’, accused of abandoning their own baby boy in Thai hospital – the only possible take-home was this:

Two tiny children are in the care of adults who cannot and should not be trusted to look after them.

Today the story has become even more bizarre, with Gammy’s surrogate mother claiming Wendy Farnell might not even be the biological mother of the twins.

But it’s all about last night, when David and Wendy Farnell sat down with a truly fierce Tara Brown this week to tell ‘their side of the story’.

And if they thought that Australia might think more fondly of them after it aired, they are very, very delusional.

Because it was all true.

Gammy’s parents on the 60 MInutes interview.

At first David and Wendy – who claim they desperately wanted a child for eight years, trying IVF many times – tried to deny that they left their baby son behind.

But their own words damned them at every turn, and within minutes of the interview’s start admitted:

  • They did very little research before handing over  around $16,000, via an agency, to a young woman they’d never met to carry a baby for them.
  • They were ‘over the moon’ when they found out they were having twins, but found out ‘too late’  to terminate that one of the twins had Down syndrome.
  • They didn’t want a baby ‘with a handicap’. In fact, they don’t believe any parent would want a baby “with a handicap”.
  • They were relieved when they were told that the surrogate mother of their children might want to keep Gammy, because it might provide a solution to their dilemma.
  • They then became afraid that the surrogate mum might also want their daughter, their precious girl child, and so they fled before that might happen.

What was abundantly clear was that they never wanted to bring this baby home.

The baby whose name they can’t even bring themselves to say. The baby who wasn’t what they ordered. The baby whose very existence made them angry enough to demand a refund from the clinic who made him. The baby whose welfare they didn’t even check in on after his birth.

But the worst part of this story is that this is not the worst part.

The worst part is that this man, David Farnell is a convicted pedophile. A man who pleaded guilty to, and went to prison for, grooming girls as young as 4 and assaulting them repeatedly over a number of years.

What makes someone an unfit parent?

How about abandoning their sick child to die with strangers?

How about being so grossfully negligent that you didn’t even pick up the phone to find out how that child was?

How about being  a convicted sex offender, guilty of child molestation?

Tonight, David Farnell spoke about those charges. He appeared tortured as he claimed he could “never do THIS again,” and spoke about being harassed and threatened in the streets. He seemed to take pride in the fact that everyone knew his past and he still “held his head high” and got on with his life.

He claims that in prison, counselling worked, and that he has worked on himself to become “a good person”, who wouldn’t dream of reoffending, of doing anything inappropriate with his own little daughter, soon to be the same age as those whose childhood he stole.

He was horrified that Tara might suggest otherwise.

But David Farnell is not a good person. Because he left a little sick boy to die alone in a Thai hospital when he and his wife chose to take their daughter home instead. And that is the only reason that we know a convicted pedophile is in possession of a little baby girl in Western Australia.

Because he’s not a good person.

If Farnell had chosen a different wife from the Chinese dating agency where he met Wendy, it’s possible they would have had many more children to add to his three now adult ones, and  of course none of us would know anything about it.

But that’s not what happened. And the world knows about it. And now both little Gammy, and baby Pipah, Australian babies who deserve a safe and loving home, should not be tangled up in the toxic drama of these people’s lives.

Those twins should be together. Those twins should not be anywhere near David Farnell.

If you would like to donate to Baby Gammy, you can do so at the Hope for Gammy page.

Want to read more about Gammy? Try these:

The most gut-churning moments in the interview with Gammy’s parents.

News: Baby Gammy’s parents met on a mail-order bride website

What will a crackdown on Thailand’s surrogacy laws mean for the babies who aren’t born yet?

Read more on the Australian couple’s statement here.

Mia Freedman writes: Could this be the real reason why Gammy’s parents abandoned him?

Response from a parent of a child with Down Syndrome: To the Australian couple who abandoned their son with Down syndrome.

Mamamia’s first report on Gammy: The surrogate child an Australian couple didn’t want.

What did you think of the 60 minutes interview?