Ran across a news story today that had me outraged. According to The Telegraph, a married couple entered into an arrangement with a single woman, who agreed to be a surrogate for them. The wife had a bout with cancer and it left her unable to give birth, and while they considered adoption, surrogacy was the route the couple decided to take. The woman was inseminated with the husband’s sperm and she became pregnant, much to the delight of both parties.
The relationship between the couple and the surrogate seemed to be going well, and even though the couple had some concerns about the woman’s way of life, they continued to take care of her (they were paying her about $15000) since she was going to give birth for them. They also paid extra, here and there, when the surrogate said she needed more money to take care of living expenses (she has five children already). According to Mail Online, the couple felt that they had to respond favorably to her requests, or else she would back out of the agreement.
Eventually, the surrogate made a financial demand that the couple rejected; she wanted extra money to send her children to some kind of after school program. It makes sense to me that the couple would say no; she was already getting extra money on top of the flat fee, so asking for more money seems greedy to me. Anyway, after the couple refused to give her more money, the surrogate cut off communication with the couple until she sent them a message saying that she no longer wanted to be their surrogate and planned on keeping the baby.
The surrogate says that she made that decision, not because they refused to pay her extra money, but because the husband was physically abusive to his wife. The couple denies that claim and accused the surrogate of being negligent of her five children. These were the claims made in court and a judge ruled that the baby girl should stay with her biological mother because
there was a “clear attachment” between the two…
Sad ain’t it? But this isn’t the cause of my outrage.
Not only does the couple lose the baby they hoped for, but they were ordered to pay child support. THEY HAVE TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT!
Apparently, surrogacy is a roll of the dice in the UK because there are no laws that make surrogacy agreements binding. This made me wonder about the surrogacy laws over here in the US. Could something like this happen here? Has it already happened? I mean, it’s sad enough that the couple lost the baby, but to then make them pay monthly support for a child they can’t raise…could the knife be pushed in any deeper?!
The husband in this story said exactly what I was thinking:
Now I don’t think this was ever about her suddenly wanting to keep the baby — I think this was about getting an income…How can she be allowed to say: “I am keeping your child, and now you must pay for it?”
Such an unfair situation…
- Couple told to pay £568 for child they will never see (telegraph.co.uk)
- Child custody: Couple ordered to pay surrogate mother monthly for baby they won’t meet (dailymail.co.uk)
- Wash. Senate vote keeps paid surrogacy bill alive (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Our surrogacy laws are putting children at risk | Afua Hirsch (guardian.co.uk)