Surrogate crosses border to give birth to child with disabilities - paying parents wanted abortion


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.

Against a backdrop of legal battles being thrashed out in court, the child, a girl, was born on June 25 weighing six pounds, with Kelley's name on the birth certificate.

Three weeks later both sides came to an understanding, the father gave up his paternal rights so long as he and his wife could keep in touch with the Michigan adoptive parents. In the seven months since, the couple have visited the child known as Baby S and held her in their arms.

According to the Daily Mail the child's medical problems are now far more serious than the ultrasound first revealed.

She has a birth defect called holoprosencephaly, where the brain doesn't completely divide into distinct hemispheres. She also has heterotaxy, which means many of her internal organs, such as her liver and stomach, are in the wrong places in her body. Her head is small, her right ear is misshapen, she has a cleft lip and a cleft palate, and a long list of complex heart defects.

She's already had one open-heart surgery and surgery on her intestines, and over the next year she'll have one or two more cardiac surgeries.

If the child, named Baby S for legal reasons, does survive, there's a 50 per cent chance she won't be able to walk or talk.

As far as Kelley is concerned though she did the right thing, even though some people have sent her hate messages through her blog, Surrogate Insanity.

'I can't tell you how many people told me that I was bad, that I was wrong, that I should go have an abortion, that I would be damned to hell,' she said. 'No one else was feeling this pregnancy the way that I was. No one else could feel her kicking and moving around inside,' she said.

'I knew from the beginning that this little girl had an amazing fighting spirit, and whatever challenges were thrown at her, she would go at them with every ounce of spirit that she could possibly have. No matter what anybody told me, I became her mother.'