Dr Oz: Surrogacy Nightmares
More than 2,000 babies will be born via surrogate this year, which is a number that has tripled in the last decade. Surrogacy is still one of the least talked about and least understood tools in the battle against fertility. Surrogacy has been an option in the U.S. for 30 years, and the laws governing it are still a mess. Some surrogacy arrangements aren’t enforceable in seven states and the District of Columbia. The rules vary in other states.
Dr Oz: Surrogacy Gone Wrong
Dozens of agencies exist to help couples navigate through the complicated process, but because surrogacy is so expensive, couples will often look for surrogates on their own, online. Headlines about surrogacy gone wrong have become more common. In one case, a Florida couple is stuck in Thailand because their infant daughter’s surrogate mother won’t sign the legal papers to bring their baby home.
In another case that made its way into People magazine, Melissa Cook offered to be a surrogate, but after getting pregnant, the biological father asked her to reduce from triplets to twins. Melissa refused and is now fighting for custody of all three.
Susan Ring had two babies of her own, then wanted to help others who couldn’t get pregnant. She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy to an “apparently satisfied couple.” Four months later, they hired her again but that time she became pregnant with triplets. The couple asked Susan to reduce from three to two, which she reluctantly did. But after that, she had trouble getting in touch with the couple and then after a couple months found out the couple no longer wanted the babies she was carrying.
Dr Oz: Surrogate Left With Twins After Couple Changed Their Minds
Susan Ring sat down with Dr Oz, and said she was a single mom with two kids of her own, so she didn’t know what to do. She had her own business, a daycare “of all things.” Because she went through an agency, they came to her house and confirmed that the couple no longer wanted the baby, were divorcing, and the escrow where all the money is placed for the surrogacy, was “dry” and they were no longer going to cover expenses.
As the pregnancy progressed, she finally found a lawyer who would help her. Because the mom wanted completely out but the father was going back and forth, she was given three choices. She could parent the kids with the father, she could put the kids in foster care, and third, she could go for parentage herself, asserting her birthright to adopt them out or keep them for herself. She gave birth to a boy and girl, to whom she had no legal responsibility. But Susan admitted she felt a tremendous emotional responsibility to protect the kids, knowing no one else would.
Dr Oz: Does Wronged Surrogate Regret The Process?
Ultimately, Susan went against the advice of her attorney and sued the couple for breach of contract. Within 24 hours they changed their minds and said as long as Susan dropped the lawsuit, they would give her parental rights. She adopted the kids out to a “fabulous family.” She actually became a surrogate three more times for other couples. She explained that, from the very beginning, she acknowledges that the baby isn’t her’s, which makes it a lot easier to hand the baby over when they’re born.