10 Surrogate Pregnancies That Turned Into Nightmares

Shutterstock / Eliot Holzworth
Shutterstock / Eliot Holzworth

1. MOM GETS IMPLANTED WITH HER GAY SON’S FERTILIZED EMBRYO

While this case may not qualify as a “nightmare” to the mother or her son because they were both willing partners, it’s still a nightmare to the rest of the world. In 2014, an English woman in her mid-40s named Anne-Marie Casson gave birth to her gay son Kyle’s baby. She consented to being impregnated with an embryo fertilized with her natural son’s sperm. Kyle technically became the child’s brother and father. I mean…come on now! That’s wrong on so many levels.

2. SURROGATE STUCK WITH $217,000 HOSPITAL BILL

In 2011, Colorado mom of four Carrie Mathews signed a contract with an Austrian couple to carry a baby to term for them. The Austrian couple made off with the baby and stiffed Carrie of more than $14,000 that they’d promised to pay her upon delivery. What’s worse, the hospital where the child was delivered hit Carrie with a bill totaling $217,000. Is it really much of a surprise that Adolf Hitler was from Austria?

3. INFERTILE COUPLE GETS DIVORCED, LEAVING SURROGATE PREGNANT WITH TWINS

In 2010 Cathleen Hachey in the Canadian province of New Brunswick signed a deal with an infertile Nova Scotia couple to carry their baby to term. She used an “at-home” method of insemination—namely, she used a syringe to draw semen from a cup and squirt it up her vagina . In the 27th week of her pregnancy, she was informed via text message that the would-be parents were getting divorced and no longer wanted her baby. She eventually gave birth to twins and found an adoptive home for them.

4. THAI SURROGATE KEEPS BABY WHEN SHE FINDS OUT THE PARENTS ARE GAY

Earlier this year a Thai surrogate in her twenties refused to hand over her infant to a pair of gay men—one American, the other Spanish—when she learned that they were gay. “They are same-sex, not like male and female who can take care of babies,” she reportedly told NPR. She also referred to the couple as “not natural parents.”

5. ‘BABY M’: AMERICA’S FIRST SURROGACY-RELATED COURT CASE

When the whole billion-dollar global industry of surrogate motherhood was still in its embryonic phase (haw!), one case out of New Jersey in the mid-1980s put the whole topic on the map. Mary Beth Whitehead, a high-school dropout married to a garbage collector, contracted with a married couple to be impregnated with the husband’s sperm. Then, a day after delivering a girl known as “Baby M,” Whitehead showed up at the couple’s front door, demanding the baby back under threat of suicide. She absconded with Baby M but was eventually forced by law to give her back. It was the first legal ruling on surrogacy in American history. Upon reaching adulthood, Baby M—now known legally as Melissa Stern—terminated Whitehead’s parental rights. A 1988 ABC miniseries, Baby M, was based on the case.

6. COUPLE REJECTS INFANT WITH DOWN SYNDROME BUT TAKES HIS NORMAL TWIN HOME

The Farnells are an Australian couple who contracted with a Thai surrogate to bear a baby for them. The young surrogate became pregnant with twins—a boy and a girl. An ultrasound revealed that the boy had Down syndrome. He would also be born with a congenital heart condition. The Farnells took the healthy girl twin back to Australia but left the boy who would be named “Gammy” with his mother in Thailand. It was later revealed that David Farnell had previously been convicted of molesting two girls, yet he was still allowed to keep his surrogate female infant.

7. ‘I DON’T WANT A DRIBBLING CABBAGE FOR A DAUGHTER’

When informed that the baby she’d paid a surrogate to deliver had been born with a form of muscular dystrophy, the flabbergasted infertile would-be mother reportedly exclaimed, “She’d be a fucking dribbling cabbage! Who would want to adopt her? No one would want to adopt a disabled child.” The shocked surrogate mom decided to deliver the baby and raise it herself.

8. WHITE LESBIAN SUES CLINIC FOR IMPREGNATING HER WITH BLACK MAN’S SPERM

In September an Ohio woman named Jennifer Cramblett sued the baby clinic who’d inseminated her because they’d mistakenly impregnated her with a black man’s sperm rather than that of a blond white man as she’d requested. In her lawsuit Cramblett stated that in her nearly all-white neighborhood she was having trouble finding a hair salon familiar with cutting her a half-black young girl’s hair. She also said she’d tried taking her daughter to salons in black neighborhoods, but she was not made to feel welcome there, either.

9. SURROGATE MOM FLEES THE STATE TO AVOID ABORTING SEVERELY ABNORMAL FETUS

In 2011, Connecticut mother-of-two Kelley Crystal allowed herself to be implanted with two embryos from a couple seeking a child. One of the embryos took root, but an ultrasound revealed that the fetus had several severely disabling conditions such as a cleft palate, a small head, a rare condition where many body organs are in the wrong place, and several life-threatening heart syndromes. The donor couple offered her $10,000 to abort. She asked for $15,000, but they refused. She then fled to Michigan, where the law gives legal custody rights to the woman who actually bears the fetus to term. She eventually found another couple who adopted her child.

10. SURROGATE MOM SNATCHES BABY BACK, CITING OTHER WOMAN’S HISTORY OF MENTAL ILLNESS

When Michigan surrogate Shelley Baker delivered twins in 2009, the parents who’d contracted with her were ecstatic. But after Baker learned that the mother, Amy Kehoe, had once been arrested for cocaine possession and had been diagnosed with a severe (but unspecified) mental illness, she came and took the babies back. Under Michigan law, she was allowed to keep them. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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