Monday, September 1, 2014

Grandparents' grief over twin with Down syndrome who was given up for adoption - while her sister now attends top private school

A couple have told of their grief after their weeks-old grandchild, born with Downs Syndrome, was given up for adoption and separated from her twin sister.
The grandparents, who have chosen not to be identified, have described how the tiny baby was handed over to social services while the parents decided to keep the healthy twin.
Now seven, the girls live completely different lifestyles with one living overseas and attending an international private school and the other receiving state primary education and living with her new family in a terraced house in England.
The case has similarities to that of Gammy, a Down’s syndrome baby born to a Thai surrogate.
The child was at the centre of an international outcry after his Australian parents were accused of leaving him in Thailand with his surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua, 21, and taking home the healthy twin. 
The couple, David and Wendy Farnell later denied this was the case insisting that the Thai mother would not hand over Gammy and have said they want to get the seven-month-old baby back.
Pattharamon Chanbua later told Associated Press that she feared the baby would be put 'in an institute'.
In the recent case in Britain, the grandparents involved insisted the matter should have gone before High Court judges, accusing the council involved of 'mishandling' the situation, the Sunday Times reports.
They told the newspaper that the baby girl's parents were top executives at international companies and were working overseas when they flew back to Britain and handed the child to social services. 
According to the report, they have been fighting to maintain contact with the adopted child and had 'begged' the council involved to get advice when the babies were separated.
The grandparents revealed how their son and daughter-in-law did not have an amniocentesis test - capable of diagnosing Down's syndrome - when they found out they were going to have twins in 2006 fearing they would lose the pregnancy.
The youngster was 'terribly ill' following the birth and the parents feared she would not live. The grandparents were then informed that the mother and father had opted not to keep the child.
The grandfather told the Sunday Times: 'It is difficult to say how they felt because they have never discussed it with us.
'Relatives and friends thought they had made an outrageous decision... They said "How could they do that?", but it was none of their business.'
They went on to describe the heartbreaking moment they said goodbye to the baby having bonded with her for a matter of days.
The elderly couple later decided they wanted to maintain contact with the child - against the wishes of their son and daughter-in-law. 

At first, authorities told them they would not be able to visit their granddaughter but it was eventually agreed they would be able to see her once a year, the newspaper reports. 

After further rows with the authority, an independent investigation took place and their complaints about the council were partly upheld.
The grandmother said the ordeal had 'destroyed' her but that the child was happy and performing well at school.
She added that those involved did not receive the help they needed. 
The Sunday Times reports that the council involved declined to comment on the matter.
Around one in every 1,000 babies born in the UK will have Down's syndrome, according to the Down's Syndrome Association.
The organisation says that there are 40,000 people in Britain with the condition, which is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a baby's cells.
Those with the syndrome have a life expectancy of between 50 and 60 years, though many live on into their 60s, the Association says on its website.

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