This sounds like something out of a dystopian science fiction novel.
A married couple wanted to have a baby but the wife could not carry a child to term.
So they recruited and hired a surrogate mother. Crystal Kelley was a single mother who had just lost her job as a maid. They offered her twenty thousand dollars to carry their embryo for nine months, deliver the baby, to hand over to them. She agreed to the deal. Kelley needed the money and she would be helping a couple have a baby of their own.
There were some morally problematic aspects to this process. They fertilized several embryos. I have no idea how many were implanted but I suspect some were thrown out. Sadly, this is done routinely.
But, in any case, doctors inserted some embryos and one implanted in Kelley’s uterus. She was pregnant and everyone was happy. The couple would call her every day to see how she was doing.
And then everything went sideways. Life News reports:
But then one day, with the couple standing behind you and the ultrasound technician holding the wand over your stomach, you receive bad news. The baby—a girl—has a cleft lip and palate, a cyst in the brain, and a complex heart abnormality. She’ll need several heart surgeries. While she’ll likely survive the pregnancy, she will only have a 25 percent chance of having a quote – unquote “normal life.”
The couple, who already have a couple of special needs children, don’t want another one and say the most “humane option” for this child is “pregnancy termination.” But this baby girl is in your uterus. They won’t budge. This isn’t the baby they ordered. They offer you an extra $10,000 to have an abortion.
The surrogate mother may have been compromised by the use of disposable embryos, but she had bonded with this baby kicking inside her and had been set on the goal of providing the couple with their baby.
Nevertheless, Kelley wavered. “In a weak moment” (see video above) she counter-offered $15,000. But then she came to her senses.
“No one else was feeling this pregnancy the way that I was,” Kelley said. “No one else could feel her kicking and moving around inside…. I became her mother.”
At that point, the couple told her that, if she brought the child to term, they would hand her over to the Connecticut government services to be a ward of the state. That sounded to Kelley (as I suspect it was supposed to) like an awful fate.
So Kelley put her children in the van with whatever belongings she could fit and drove two days to Michigan. That state recognizes the woman carrying the child as the mother. This gave Kelley the freedom to find adoptive parents for the child who would love her and take care of her.
And that is what she did.
As bizarre as the story sounds, the principles are quite commonplace. One reason for opposing laws that restrict late term abortions is the fact that we can’t detect and kill deformed babies unless we have more time to do so.
I wonder about the genetic parents of that girl. Do they resent the fact that she is alive and happy somewhere?
Do they still want her dead?