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Read Story Transcript. For Jessica Allen who lives in California, ing up to be a surrogate seemed like a good idea. She had two children of her own, a five-year-old and a six-month-old baby. Allen would be a gestational surrogate, carrying a baby made from the egg and sperm of a couple from China, the intended parents.
She only agreed to have one embryo implanted, and the first scan showed that the pregnancy had taken. But a follow-up scan, showed two embryos. Allen was told the first must have split into two — meaning she was carrying identical twins. At 38 weeks, the babies were in breech position so a cesarean section was scheduled. The intended mother was in the room for the birth. The intended mother was able to snap a picture of the babies being born, then took the infants with her out of the delivery room. Allen didn't see them at all.
But the case worker from the agency assured Allen that identical twins can be born looking different. So I didn't think anything of it at that time. About a month later, the mom started texting Allen pictures of the babies, questioning whether the babies looked the same to her. Allen agreed the babies did not look identical in any of the photos.
The intended parents are from China. Allen is white and her husband is black. DNA tests soon showed that one of the babies was not in fact related to the Chinese parents at all. Like, What do you mean? I called my caseworker and said, 'How is the baby not theirs? Not genetically related to the father? What does that mean? The case worker from the surrogacy agency encouraged Allen to get a DNA test herself.
Sure enough, the baby not related to the intended parents was her son. Allen and Jasper never got a full explanation. She could have been pregnant when the transfer was made or she may have conceived naturally after the first pregnancy was confirmed.
It's a rare, but not unheard of occurrence called superfetation. Allen had been paid extra for carrying twins. The case worker insisted some of that money needed to be paid back to the intended parents. She was also asking for money to pay for the care of the baby while he was in their care. It was money that the family simply didn't have. And it was hard to find a lawyer who knew what to do in this unusual situation.
At one point Allen says the surrogacy agency offered an option — if they gave up custody rights to the boy and agreed to have him adopted out, the bills would be paid by the adoptive parents. They wanted a decision right away. I'm sorry, didn't you just say the DNA test came back positive that he's our son? Give us our son. Of course, we want him back," he says. The surrogacy agency declined to be interviewed for this story, citing confidentiality concerns.
A statement sent by the company's lawyer did say that Allen's version of events distorts the truth. The letter also says the company adheres to all professional, ethical and legal guidelines. Allen and Jasper did hire a lawyer who sent one letter, demanding the agency immediately return the baby to his parents. The next day, the case worker met up with Allen in a Starbucks parking lot and handed the baby over. Silly, goofy.
He brightens up our world just by the smile when he's walking with his arms, you know, reaching out to us," says Allen. Now, almost one year after Malachi was born, Allen and Jasper are still not recognized as the legal parents.
They have no birth certificate, no social security card. They have another lawyer and are trying to set things straight. This is the only known case of its kind in the world. But there is no way to know for sure if there are other cases because babies are not routinely DNA-tested at birth. Allen would like to see that change. She says the pain of not being with her baby for the first two months of his life is something that will never go away.
Update Aug. The Current How a surrogate twin pregnancy turned into a custody battle over unrelated babies Surrogate mother Jessica Allen gave birth to twins but never expected one of the babies was biologically hers. Now she and her husband are fighting for their. Social Sharing. Originally published on December 5, Read Story Transcript For Jessica Allen who lives in California, ing up to be a surrogate seemed like a good idea. The Current: Should surrogate mothers be paid for their labour?
I didn't know that identical twins can come out not looking identical.
CBC News: Time to change surrogacy laws in Canada, say delegates at fertility conference As she recovered, Allen asked the intended mother if she could see a photo. More from this episode The Current. Related Stories Should surrogate mothers be paid for their labour?
The Current.Looking for a co Mobile Alabama or surrogate mother
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