Surrogate crosses border to give birth to child with disabilities - paying parents wanted abortion
Heartbreaking saga is filled with wrenching decisions and their consequences
In response to these developments the couple informed Kelley's agency at Surrogacy International that if she brought the pregnancy to term they wouldn't be the baby's legal parents, leaving the child to her.
Since the only income she could count was the surrogacy fee and child support from her own daughters' father, this gave Kelley pause.
Then Rita Kron from Surrogacy International reportedly explained the realities of bringing up a disabled child. She added that the surrogate parents would pay her $10,000 to have the termination. Kelley refused, and in a gesture that led some to question her motives she demanded $15,000 to have an abortion instead.
Now Kelley describes this as a moment of weakness, insisting to CNN that she immediately regretted her counter-offer, which was refused by the parents.
With the 24-week legal limit for a legal termination approaching, the desperate couple hired a lawyer.
'You are obligated to terminate this pregnancy immediately,' wrote Douglas Fishman, an attorney in West Hartford, Connecticut. 'You have squandered precious time.'
Fishman reminded her that she had signed a contract agreeing to 'abortion in case of severe fetus abnormality.' But the contract did not stipulate what this actually meant.
Nevertheless Fishman said she was in breach of her contract and that if she did not abort she would be sued for the money already paid, which was $8,000 and the medical fees and legal fees to date.
Kelley replied by hiring her own lawyer, Michael DePrimo, an attorney based in Hamden, Connecticut. She had decided to fight back by sticking to her own resolution not to have the abortion.
'Kelley was more than willing to abort this fetus if the dollars were right,' Fishman noted in a letter to DePrimo.
The story took another jaw dropping turn when the surrogate parents changed their minds and said they would now exercise their legal rights to take custody of the child, but would surrender her to the state of Connecticut for foster care after the birth.
DePrimo then explained to Kelley that the law was firmly on the parents' side. But she replied that she could not accept the baby would be placed in foster care.
Having run out of options, Kelley was advised to go to a state where the birth-mother and not the genetic parents would be considered the legal guardian.
On April 11 in her seventh month of pregnancy, Kelley moved her daughters to Michigan and as she was driving away she told her attorney to inform the couple of her plans.
'Once I realized that I was going to be the only person really fighting for her, that Mama bear instinct kicked in, and there was no way I was giving up without a fight,' Kelley told CNN.
Once established in a small sub-let in Ann Arbor, Kelley came to another realization: she could not keep the child, but instead she would give it up for adoption in Michigan.
She soon located a couple who wanted to take on a special needs child as she prepared to come to term and hand the child over.
Meanwhile in Connecticut the parents filed an order in Superior Court that they wanted to be the legal guardians, but they were forced to admit that the wife was not the baby's genetic mother as an anonymous egg donor had been used.
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