Infertility is a circumstance that can bring stress, frustration and even heartbreak to many Arizona families. For some, having a child through the use of a surrogate offers hope of adding a new baby to their family. Surrogacy is often chosen over adoption because many people want a child who shares at least part of their genetic makeup. However, this desire can lead to complications if things do not go as planned. For one couple, the pursuit of surrogacy led to only limited visitation with their child.
The couple felt good about the young woman they interviewed and chose as their surrogate. She was only 23 years old and married, but seemed eager to help the couple bring a new baby into the world. A contract was signed, and the woman became pregnant with a child conceived with her own egg and the sperm of the prospective father.
Once she learned that she was pregnant, the young woman began acting strangely. She avoided contact with the prospective parents, and failed to notify them when she went into labor. After the baby was born, the surrogate decided to take the child home, even though she had accepted $15,000 for surrogacy services.
The couple took the matter to court, but were told that there was no way to put a contract on a human life. Because the surrogate is also the child's biological mother, she was allowed to retain custody of the child. Because the prospective father is also the biological father of the child, he was tasked with making child support payments and given limited visitation. This leaves the couple playing a far different role in the life of their daughter than they intended. Their story serves as a warning to anyone in Arizona and beyond who is considering using a surrogate to add to their family.
Source: People, "Heartbroken Parents Left Paying Child Support After Surrogate Keeps Their Baby Girl: 'I Spend Every Day Thinking of Her,' Says Mom", Caitlin Keating, March 7, 2016