Surrogates

[deleted account] ( 21 moms have responded )

So I walked in on the last half of Dr. Phil today and he was talking to 2 couples...one couple met another couple online and bottom line they agreed to surrogate their child(ren) *had twins* this couple apparently lives in Michigan and didn't get all their background info collected on the biological parents and ended up being surrogates for their children and since they signed the birth certificates (surrogates) and the background checks that the biological couple got at the advise of their lawyer (which was previously discouraged by the surrogates~was said to be unnecessary due to previous experience) came back after the children were born...the surrogates decided after seeing that bio-mom had an unspecified psychiatric condition (which was controlled on medication and she had 6 letters, one by her psychiatrist, that says she's competent enough to be a parent) and previous DUI arrests that she isn't fit to be a parent and took the children who are not biologically hers and apparently has the law behind her probably because they are on the birth certificates whereas the biological parents are not... blah blah blah... anyways I was watching this and just taken back by the absurdity of it! The biological parents should NOT have had their children taken away from them because they are biologically THEIRS, NOT the surrogates! They had a certified social worker or someone to that effect question the parents 30 days prior to the children being born and felt they were fit...I don't think their past should hold more weight in the eyes of these "Christians" Seriously! Sooo many people who should never be allowed to have kids have them on their own recognizance all the time and these folks were checked out and were deemed fit on more then one level, so it sounded, and these surrogates feel the need to keep the children who are not biologically theirs because they felt this couple "hid" these things when supposedly all they'd asked before was if the biological parents were Christian and told them that a lawyer and those psychiatric tests were unnecessary before...? I wish ALL people were forced to get psychological tests before having children, or criminal records, or SOMETHING!!! But I think it is absurd that they should hold this against this couple SOO far into the game? IDK? Maybe I didn't hear enough of it, but I think it'd ridiculous, what do you all think???

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Esther - posted on 01/29/2010

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It wasn't a black & white case. The surrogate mom had been a surrogate for other couples twice before and had given up the babies with no problems at all. I think she was a well-intentioned woman (and her husband was supportive). They had done their due diligence they felt. A home study was performed before the birth of the children, they had been in touch and she fully intended to give up the babies. However, she felt (and of course the other couple disagrees) that the other couple showed very little interest in the babies at the hospital. They only stayed for 2 hours after the birth and then left. The surrogate mom and her husband's names were put on the birth certificate. In accordance with the law they then had to go in front of a judge to formalize the adoption. At the hearing the judge asked the would-be-adoptive mom if she had any mental health issues and that's when the surrogate mom first heard that the would-be-adoptive mom had a diagnosis of an unspecified "psychosis". The would-be-adoptive dad called it paranoid schizophrenia but his wife then said it wasn't a "full version" of paranoid schizophrenia. She then also heard about the DUIs. When the surrogate heard that and did some online research she felt that she had to protect the babies and that they would not be safe in the hands of the adoptive mom so she changed her mind (which she can legally do) and refused to go ahead with the adoption. My sense of the situation was that both sides are decent people but they did not communicate very well and the surrogate mom did not have a thorough understanding of the adoptive mom's mental health problem. I think she got scared away by the term "psychosis" without having a full understanding of what the problem was, how it was being managed, if it really was or was not a threat to the babies' wellbeing, etc. I think she acted emotionally and it created a bad situation.

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Alexis - posted on 03/30/2011

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I agree with you, biological parents should get the kids, by not allowing them to have their own kids they are being found guilty of being un-fit parents before they have ever even done anything that says they are. There are far worse parents out there, and there are many great parents out there that have backgrounds. If the surrogants knew they would have issues with giving the handing the babies over in certain situations they should have done their research before accepting.

User - posted on 03/30/2011

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In co you sign a doc so the Intended parents are the names on the birth certificate. I delivered twins last June via surrogacy and the IP's are listed as their parents on the bc. I would never dream about being on the bc.

Oh and for those of you that are always saying they couldn't ever do it cause they couldn't be preg for 9 mo just to give the baby away. You go in it knowing they are not yours, so the whole preg you take care of them, but know they're not yours. Also it's like watching a friends child. You care for the child while they're in your custody, but at the end of the day you give them to their mom. You would never think about keeping a friends child even if they spent the week with you.

Stifler's - posted on 03/29/2011

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Ooh that's interesting. I wondered who's name would be on the birth cert in surrogate situations. I think if a psych deemed them fit then the surrogate parents really have no right to refuse to hand over their babies. Although I would have wanted to know things like that before I was someone's surrogate. I wouldn't want to hand a baby I nurtured for 10 months over to someone I felt wasn't fit either.

User - posted on 03/29/2011

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This is just totally discusting. I'm a surrogate and would never ever thing about doing this. These are not the surro's babies. This is legalized Kidnaping. The judge needs to have a heart and realize that everyone has a past and if they can overcome it enought to have a surrogate and go through all or the egg retreaval and tests that raising a baby is the fun and all be it challenging part. So they can pay the surro and all her bills, but not have the babies to hold. Yes if the babies didn't make it she wouldn't have to pay the surro back, but their are 2 healthy babies and she did all she was supposed to the surro needs to do her part and give up the babies THAT ARE NOT HERS. Being a surro I feel very strongly about this.

[deleted account]

Thank you Esther for the clarification on this topic, I apparently missed a lot hitting only the second half of the show :) This is why I would only ever be a surrogate for a family member! Going through pregnancy & delivery does soo many things to your body that I would not want to be doing that for a living! :) I would still hope if that couple is out crap loads of money that they get compensated since they are not going to be having those children...

Erin - posted on 01/29/2010

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The couple she gave the other 2 babies to were her friends and she did it both times to the same couple. Surrogacy is a great thing, I don't understand why there are not better laws pertaining to it. It's a sad story for all involved :(

JL - posted on 01/29/2010

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That is just one screwed up situation for everyone involved which is why every state should have a comprehensive set of laws that recognize and regulate surrogacy.

Michelle - posted on 01/29/2010

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You know at first, I was thinking that the surrogates were wrong, but after reading what the background that Esther provided (thanks), frankly.... I think that the surrogate didn't make the decision rationally, but I totally see where she's coming from. It's not like she's a bad person-- she's done this before, she fully intended to give the kids to the other parents.

Yes, these issues should have been discussed earlier on. However, since that didn't happen, and the law is technically on the surrogate's side, she has every (legal) right to be doing what she is doing right now.

That law in Michigan though.... that's..... Wow. I didn't know that there was anywhere like that. I can't believe this kind of thing hasn't come up before with laws like that.

BTW I'm not saying she's RIGHT. Just that with the situation as it stands, with no "what if's" or "should have's," I understand her concern and her actions.

Esther - posted on 01/29/2010

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No, the kids are not biologically either couple's children. They are the children of an anonymous egg and sperm donor. I can understand too why they now say they won't give up the babies anymore no matter what. I would have a hard time giving up a baby after having been pregnant with them. After having cared for them for 6 months it would feel like they were cutting off both of my arms & legs. By then you have bonded with them so much that it would be hard to turn back the clock.

[deleted account]

Ok, i didn't catch the beginning...so the kids are not biologically anyones? I still think its messed up though...if the adoptive parents paid for all of this they should be compensated! It was also pretty messed up that she said she wouldn't give the kids back even if the adoptive parents were deemed fit by every professional know to man...there being no biological relation to either couple only makes this a little less disheartening :(

Esther - posted on 01/29/2010

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OK - reading your posts now:

there should be no way that the surrogate has any right to these children at all. don't they have to sign a contract in the beginning anyway


Michigan is not supportive of surrogacy and has therefore by law declared that any surrogacy contract will be considered null & void as far as the law is concerned. If the surrogate profits from the arrangement, she is criminally liable. It is not illegal when she is only reimbursed for her expenses (medical and otherwise) but as far as the law is concerned, she will be the biological parent and any couple who wishes to take a child she brings into the world will have to adopt it after birth.

Esther - posted on 01/29/2010

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I haven't read all your responses yet but wanted to add one thing (I saw the show too) - the kids were not biologically related to either couple. An egg donor and a sperm donor were used and then the embryo was implanted in the surrogate.

Mary - posted on 01/29/2010

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Laura, I think the reason it would not affect egg or sperm donation is that, again, the donor is signing a contact, AND they are only 50% of the child's biological "parent". It's obviously a lesser argument for custody when the donor did not carry or birth the child, and would be up against a couple who did, and is (usually) half of that's child genetic make-up. As well, most sperm/egg donation is done anoymously, so the donors do not even necessarily know if their "gift" ever even became a baby.



I agree, the surrogates should have absolutely NO legal rights to these twins, and I'm a bit astonished that ANY court would say that they do. Just because the surrogates signed a birth certificate....well, that sounds like a clerical error more than anything else. The surrogate's husband has NO rights whatsoever...he did not carry these babies, and has no real claim at all. Calling him the 'father" would be no different than if my mailman accidently signed Molly's birth certificate, and him then claiming that made him her parent. A DNA test would quickly rectify that screw-up, so I can't begin to understand why the same doesn't apply here. The surrogates should ONLY have claims to these chidren if their biological parents are rejecting theirs, which is obviously not the case.

Veronica - posted on 01/28/2010

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All these screenings and tests for fit parents should have been decided on BEFORE the surrogates were implanted with the egg/sperm-embryo - whatever it is that they exactly do. Not right before the babies are born/due. That is what is more rediculous about it.
Although surrogacy(sp?) can be nice for some - i disagree with it. I know people who cannot have children, want children of their own -- but wouldnt adoption be a better way of going about it? I guess i feel there is a reason why you cant conceive - and that reason is all the abandoned/orphaned/children in the world that need a good home.

I seen a story about surragacy - there were two different cases. One - that i really didnt agree with - the lady did it - it pays really good money - - but she would just have the guy jack it - and then she would take the sperm and syringe it in herself (some people were ok that she used her own eggs that she 'donated' ). One time she did this - she didnt realize that she was already pg. with her own bf/hubby (not sure what their relationship was) but she openely gave the child anyways. This particular lady kinda seemed odd - and i think its a crazy way and careless way of going about it.
On the other side of it -- another lady did the surrogacy -- but she did it, how i would feel, the right way. It was implanted professionally (at a clinic) -- and it was all open -- meaning she has kept in touch with each family/child - she goes to their b-days and stuff, it was her way of staying connected to the child that grew inside of them. She had a real heart - and so i thought this way was a pretty decent way.

ANyways, im carrying on too long. The particular thread - again i thought was rediculous. The testing should have been done before the implantation/conception -- and then do it. Not at the end, and then try to steal another couples children from them. This is a horrible story.

What was the conclusion? do you know?! lol

La - posted on 01/28/2010

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So if a contract was signed how did that allow the kids to be taken from the bio parents? Contracts apparently don't mean anything anymore if you have the right lawyer and right judge...

La - posted on 01/28/2010

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I don't know how I feel about the situation but I'd like to play devil's advocate to the comments already posted for a minute. If you guys are arguing that the children don't belong to the surrogates because they are not the biological parents, then isn't that like saying that if I donated my eggs then the recipient doesn't have as much right to the subsequent children as I do because I would be the biological parent? The legal judgment made in this specific case could be used as precedent to argue for custody of children born of egg and sperm donation.

[deleted account]

This situation is so shady. I know that when I was pregnant I felt such a connection with and love for my unborn child. I could not imagine having to hand her over after nine months and a long labor. BUT fact is: these babies are not the surrogate's babies. They belong to the biological family. Surrogacy can be such a gift, but obviously there needs to be more laws in place to make it work.

Rosie - posted on 01/28/2010

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i agree completely. biologically they are not theirs, they should have no rights. it also goes along with stories i've heard of men who, because they were married when their cheating spouses got pregnant with someone elses kid, they are legally obligated to pay child support for a child that is known ,by paternity test, to not be his. all because the man was married to the woman when she got pregnant.

there should be no way that the surrogate has any right to these children at all. don't they have to sign a contract in the beginning anyway-what's the point of that if they are just going to get the kid(s) no matter what the contract says. i've never had to use a surrogate, but i would never do it if it was given to me as an option, for reasons like this.

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