Accidental Surrogacy

Tara - posted on 03/04/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )




SYLVANIA, OH (WTVG) -- A Sylvania couple is opening up about a medical mistake that changed their lives, a mistake that resulted in a beautiful baby boy they had to give away minutes after he was born.

In February 2009, Carolyn Savage learned she was pregnant after a successful embryo transfer. Within 24 hours, she and her husband also learned the embryo belonged to another couple. The chance of that happening? One in 3 million.

Now, the couple speaks about why they agreed to write a book about what was one of the most difficult times in their lives. It's an experience that, before two years ago, would have been inconceivable.

Carolyn and Sean Savage move through their kitchen, doing the normal chores families do. But the last two years have been anything but normal.

Carolyn says, "It's an appropriate time to tell our story. Anything sooner than this wouldn't have allowed us to gain the perspective we need about what happened."

What happened thrust this quiet couple and their three children into the national spotlight and into an experience that tested their faith.

We first met with the Savages on September 24, 2009. That afternoon, Carolyn gave birth to baby Logan.

The couple says they never considered terminating the pregnancy, or fighting for custody, but "the road between those two decisions and actually giving Logan to his mom and dad and after the pregnancy there were some pitfalls," says Carolyn.

Those pitfalls are candidly laid out in "Inconceivable," a labor of love that purposely includes what the Savages call "unflattering moments." Sean says, "I share them in the book. I share times that I wasn't supportive of Carolyn because there seemed to be so much pressure on each of us."

Carolyn told us, "I think there's a danger of people thinking 'Oh, this happened' and we just magnanimously flipped on a dime and said 'OK, we"ll do this for some family we've never met before.' It did not happen that way."

In fact, Sean and Carolyn say their initial contact with Paul and Shannon Morrell was anything but smooth. Carolyn says, "I got this letter, and in the letter Shannon went into why this was difficult for them. I knew it would be, obviously, but I just wasn't prepared to hear it. I just kept thinking' But you're gonna get a baby, you're gonna get a baby!"

Still, the Savages signed legal documents relinquishing custody the day after the birth, sending the newborn they already loved home with his parents.

Since then, they've seen baby Logan a few times and savored every picture and video they get. Sean says, "We will not force our way in. We'll come when invited and we'll embrace those moments."

"Inconceivable" also includes a detailed explanation of the mixup as part of the Savages' legal settlement with the fertility clinic.

Since then, with the guidance of a therapist, the Savages have forgiven their doctor.

We should mention: the Savages received an undisclosed monetary settlement from the clinic and they plan to give a portion of it to charity via a foundation they're setting up.

The Savages are holding a book signing this evening at the Barnes and Noble store on Monroe Street starting at 7 o'clock.

As for the Morrells, they have a copy of "Inconceivable," too.
(Copyright ©2011 WTVG-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)


What would you have done?
I'm not even sure what I would have done.


Pansy - posted on 03/04/2011




I don't know their fertility story, but that would have come into play. I had IVF for my twins. I was 33 when I conceived. But if that happened, with someone else's embryos, I probably would have aborted. Because it would put *my* personal dreams of having a baby on hold for well over a year. These people already had children, so maybe it was less of an issue. I'm just imagining this happening when I was trying to conceive my first. I'm just not sure I would be willing to sacrifice my own fertility and desire for a family to a strangers.

I am also in the unique position to have been a surrogate. For my sister. In my case, I never felt like the babies I was carrying were mine. Not once. I was carrying them until my sister was able to take care of them ... but they were here children. She wanted them, she loved them. I love my niece and nephew, but I never felt like they were mine, and I had no trouble giving them to my sister.


View replies by

Lacye - posted on 03/05/2011




I'm not going to lie, I would be completely selfish in this part. I don't know if I would abort the child because it would go against everything I believed but I don't think I would be able to just give the child to them. I would have bonded with the child by then and it would be my child. Maybe not biologically but it would be mine.

Merry - posted on 03/05/2011




I'd likely do the same as them, it would be awful because I adore being pregnant and feel very very bonded to my babies through pregnancy, but I probably would just not look at the ultrasound, try to not listen to the heartbeat, and be sure not to use pet names for the baby. But I'd never abort a baby, especially someone elses baby. But dealing with the birth hormones, breastmilk, etc would be awful without the baby with me.

Honestly I'd never do ivf in the first place, but that's what i think I'd do if it happened.

April - posted on 03/05/2011




Unfortunately, I don't think it's permanent. I can't see myself on other threads, this is the only one! Weird.

[deleted account]

I'm guessing it's because of all the changes and updates that they've been making lately! ANNOYING!

Stifler's - posted on 03/04/2011




I wouldn't have aborted but I would have been absolutely devastated to give them their baby after bonding with him for 10 months. And I would want my money back!

April - posted on 03/04/2011




I definitely would not abort. Someone mentioned that she would have had to give up the child eventually, years down the road. I'd have to think that being handed over at 3 years old is a lot more traumatic than being 3 days old. For the child, I'd give him to the biological parents UNLESS there was NO DOUBT that I'd ever have to give up the child. I would keep the baby if I knew there was no chance of the biological parents to ever retain custody.

[deleted account]

My first gut instinct says, "ABORT!", but I'm not sure that I could or would have. If not, I guess I'd be giving them their baby!

Kimberly - posted on 03/04/2011




I would like to think that I could give the baby up but like you guys said until put in their place I really dont know. Yes the baby is someone else's embryo but it would live in you for those 40 weeks and you would love it like your own. Maybe the fact that they knew it wasnt theirs help but it would still be so hard and I would like to wish that on anyone. They did the right thing by that other family which is great but it does come with a cost to theirs that they didnt get their own baby which is really sad.

Sharon - posted on 03/04/2011




I'm with you Heather - aborting someone elses child would cause sooo much more pain but I still dunno

Lady Heather - posted on 03/04/2011




I'm pretty sure I would do what they did. It's impossible to really know having never been in that situation, but I can't imagine making the choice to abort someone else's baby.

Sharon - posted on 03/04/2011




Oh hell. I remember this.

I remember thinking that I would be soooo angry at the clinic.

I also remember thinking "I can't carry a baby and give it away to strangers." I could for family. but not for strangers.

They lost more than someone elses' baby, they lost THEIR baby. That embryo was supposed to be theirs. It wasn't. Biologically it wasn't. I wonder if that was a factor for them? Made it easier to give up the baby?

but they would have had to give up the baby anyway. I'm almost 100% sure the law would have YEARS down the road forced them to give up the baby.

so they did what would have been forced on them - gracefully and maybe it lessened the hurt a little to do it so early. a little.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms