While most surrogacy stories are heartwarming and hopeful, one story took a turn for the worst when it was discovered the baby had severe abnormalities and the parents wanted to terminate the pregnancy.
Surrogate mother Crystal Kelley, 29, refused to have the pregnancy terminated despite the parents’ wishes.
She was five months into the pregnancy when they went in for an ultrasound and discovered the abnormalities.
Kelley did not want to abort the baby due to her religious beliefs, and so was faced with a series of legal actions filed by the parents.
Though she did not want to have another child, she decided to go through with the pregnancy and secretly moved her family from Connecticut to Michigan in order to be the legal parent of the baby.
She located a couple who wanted to adopt a disabled child, and decided to give the baby up to them after she learned the child’s real parents wanted to give her up to the state.
“Once I realized that I was going to be the only person really fighting for her, that Mama bear instinct kicked in, and there was no way I was giving up without a fight,” Kelley said.
After she moved into a small sub let in Ann Arbor with her two daughters, she prepared to have the child in the state as it is one of the few that consider the birth-mother a legal guardian.
The baby was born on June 25th with more abnormalities than originally thought.
Called Baby S. for legal reasons, she was given to adoptive parents in Michigan. The baby’s genetic parents agreed to give up on the case if they could keep in touch with them.
“They do care about her well-being,” the adoptive mother said. “They do care about how she’s doing.”
Baby S.’s future is uncertain as she faces a myriad of health issues, including holoprosencephaly, where the brain does not completely divide into separate hemispheres. She also has heterotaxy, meaning her internal organs are in the wrong places.
She has a small head, a misshapen right ear, a cleft lip and palate, as well as a list of complex heart defects.
Doctors say there is a 50 percent chance she won’t be able to walk or talk if she survives.
Meanwhile, Kelley faces scrutiny from people on her blog Surrogate Insanity.
“I can’t tell you how many people told me that I was bad, that I was wrong, that I should go have an abortion, that I would be damned to hell,” she said. “No one else was feeling this pregnancy the way that I was. No one else could feel her kicking and moving around inside. I knew from the beginning that this little girl had an amazing fighting spirit.”