Anyone who has struggled to start or add to their family understands the stress and frustrations that accompany infertility issues. For some in Pennsylvania, adoption will offer a solution, and a loving home will be provided for a child in need. In other cases, prospective parents want a child who shares their genetic makeup. These couples often turn to adoptions involving a surrogate. As one family found, these matters can quickly become incredibly complex.
The family in question felt good about the young woman they found who was willing to help them add a new child to their family. The surrogate signed a contract and became pregnant through a procedure that used her own egg and sperm from the prospective father. However, shortly after she learned that she was expecting, she cut off communications with the prospective parents. When the child was born the surrogate took her home from the hospital and refused to hand her over to the prospective parents.
The couple took the woman to court, but because the surrogate is the biological mother of the child, they encountered difficulty. The court ruled that it was not possible to make a contract pertaining to a human life. The mother was awarded primary custody, and the prospective father, who is also the biological father of the child, was given visitation. He was also ordered to pay child support.
This leaves the couple in the position of having only limited access to the child who they intended to take into their home and raise as their own. They are also now forced to pay child support to the woman who was intended to act solely in the role of surrogate. The case serves as an example of the need to tread carefully when it comes to adoptions involving a surrogate, which pertains to prospective parents in Pennsylvania and across the nation.
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