A single mother of 2, Crystal Kelley, decided to become a surrogate mother for a couple in Connecticut. As these things tend to go, some paperwork was signed and the couple agreed to Kelley’s $22,000 worth of fees to carry their baby. She was just to be a gestational carrier, which means she would have no genetic ties to the baby, just hold on to it for 9 months. The couple had 3 kids of their own and wanted a fourth. Actually all 3 of their kids were born premature and two had some health issues, but what these people don’t know about genetics could fill a blog.
During the anatomy scan that’s typically done about 20 weeks into a pregnancy, severe abnormalities were found. Severe. Heart defects. Brain defects. That kind of severe. So much so that the biological parents decided that it would be best to abort the pregnancy.
To which Kelley said “uh uh.” (I’m paraphrasing)
Normally these issues are discussed during the contract signing part of surrogacy. What if we decide to terminate? What if something goes awry? What if it ends up being a multiple birth? What if it’s too risky? Things couples should discuss before getting pregnant. That type of stuff. But the couple and Kelley found out they had two totally different philosophies on abortion right in the middle of their pregnancy.
The couple even offered $10,000 for Kelley to go along with it. To which she said “no…how about $15,000”. When they said that was way too much, she was all “that’s fine I was against abortion anyway.” (again, paraphrasing)
They lawyered up.
Due to a clause written into the contract that if there were found to be severe fetus abnormalities the pregnancy would be aborted, the couple thought this was a done issue. This sort of clause isn’t legally binding. You know because some people believe you can’t tell a woman what to do with her body. On paper. And then tell them they’re breaking the law or a contract when they decide to do otherwise.
Kelley then loaded up her two birth children and high-tailed it to Michigan after learning they give parental rights to the birth mother not the genetic parents.
Are you still following this clusterfuck of legality?
As the fates would have it, the child was born and did have the abnormalities found during the ultrasound. A cleft lip, a misshapen ear, a brain that had not formed into different hemispheres, vital organs in the wrong places, heart problems. All of these issues which would require lots of surgeries on a tiny, tiny body.
So what does Kelley do with this baby she fought so hard to keep?
Find adoptive parents who had experience with children that had faced health issues.
Ahh where to being? With the idiots who figured just because they already had three premature births that maybe putting their progeny into another carrier would let the pregnancy go off without a hitch? Did they miss 9th grade biology?! Or how they were like “oh we would love another baby, just not that one”? Or with the surrogate who was all “no no I’m against abortion, unless you give me another $5000?” Or with the fact that you can think you can get away with putting an abortion clause in a contract?! Or that after a battle that included moving to another state to fight for this baby’s rights, Kelley just gave her up for adoption?
Despite your views on surrogacy or abortion or laws or genetics, you really just have to pray to whomever you pray to that this child is in some waaaay more capable hands than the people who collectively decided to bring her into this world.