April 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm #86406
In Vernon, Connecticut, Crystal Kelley, mother of two, made the decision of a lifetime about the life of an unborn baby.
The Ideal Job
When money was tight, Kelley chose surrogacy as an option to help pay her bills, as well as helping to create a family for a couple in need of help. She tried multiple attempts with an agency, but there was no bite. No one was hiring for a surrogate. Then she got the call. A couple in her area wanted to meet her. She met the couple and they hit it off. They had three children and seemed perfect. She told them immediately that she would have a baby for them. Ten days after implantation, it was confirmed that she was pregnant. Things were great. They were caring, thoughtful people and it seemed like the ideal situation for both parties.
The Halfway Mark
“Congratulations! You made it half through!” the mother emailed Kelley on February 6, 2012. But that was when things started to go downhill. To everyone’s dismay, the ultrasound tech was unable to see the baby’s heart during the 20-week sonogram. After a few more visits and multiple panic attacks between mom and surrogate, they knew: there was something wrong with the baby.
According to CNN.COM, the doctors explained that the baby would likely have a 25 percent chance of living a normal life. At 21 weeks, they discovered that the baby had a cleft lip and palate, a cyst in the brain, and a complex heart abnormality.
Here is $10,000 – Now Abort!
When the parents learned of the child’s disabilities, they requested that Crystal abort the baby. They even offered her $10,000 to do so. Emotional and torn, and at a weak moment, she initially responded with a counter-offer of $15,000. They immediately said “no,” while Kelley came to her senses; she wasn’t for abortion — she was pro-life. She wanted this baby to have a chance and it seemed all of the odds were against her. Kelley felt that she was the baby’s only advocate.
She thought that the baby could survive, and that the parents — who are supposed to love and care for their child — were going to toss her aside. She knew at 24 weeks, legally, she could not abort. Letters from the parents’ lawyers started coming, stating that time was of the essence and she was in breach of contract, and that the parents would sue her for the fees that they spent on her if she did not abort. On top of that, they were going to fight to get custody of the baby if she did not abort, and then voluntarily give up their rights as parents and place the baby in the care of the state. Both situations seemed rash and Kelley was at a loss. If she stayed in Connecticut, this baby would lose the only person fighting for her.
The laws in each state vary in regards to surrogacy, and Michigan is one of those places where the genetic parents are not considered the legal parents and Kelley could give birth to the baby as her own. So up she went with her two daughters. No job, no permanent place to live, and an unborn baby with many disabilities coming was scary, but not as scary as the thought that the baby would be taken into foster care and relinquished to people who did not know her. While in Michigan, she researched pediatric heart programs and specialists. She acquired a great team, and through the internet, she found people who helped her through. That very same team consisted of the family who would later adopt Baby S.
A Twist in The Story
About a month prior to the birth of Baby S, the genetic parents filed with Connecticut Superior Courts to be the legal parents of Baby S. Low and behold, an admission came through in the filings that the mother was not genetically the mother of Baby S. The couple had used an egg donor!
After this admission, all parties involved came to a mutual agreement that the father would relinquish his rights … as long as they were able to be in touch with the adoptive family and able to visit Baby S.
Crystal Kelley is being criticized by some for bringing a baby into the world and making her suffer. Others say that she is a savior for allowing this baby the chance to thrive. She writes about her emotions during this whole process on her blog Surrogate Insanity.
Though there are certainly arguments to be made on all sides of the situation, but it is at least a story of people who may have disagreed in the beginning, but are coming together in the end, for the sake of a beautiful child.
Best of luck to all involved, especially the baby!
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