When New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, recently considered lifting the surrogacy ban in place in his State since 1993, a new surrogacy case came to light.
It focused on the conflict between a man and the Californian surrogate mother with whom he signed an agreement that she should carry his children. When the mother announced that she was having triplets, the “father” “instructed” her to have an abortion, threatening to ruin her otherwise.
In fact, the “intended” father paid surrogate mother, Melissa Cook, $33,000 for one pregnancy and $6,000 per additional child. The children were conceived through in-vitro fertilisation using the father’s sperm and the eggs of a 20 year-old donor. Three embryos were implanted in Mélissa Cook and, “to the great surprise” of doctors, all three developed. She is now seventeen weeks pregnant. Californian law bans abortions after twenty weeks of pregnancy unless there is a risk of serious danger.
The father’s lawyer informed the surrogate mother that, unless she agreed to his wishes, she would lose all of the benefits stipulated in the contract and would have to pay for damages and child care as well as medical expenses including those that the babies might unexpectedly need.
Melissa Cook replied as follows, “The doctor implanted three healthy embryos. There was every chance that all three would develop. You know I’m 47 years old. If you knew that you only wanted two children, why did you authorise the implantation of three embryos?
However, she announced on Tuesday that, under pressure, she was hesitating about whether to keep the three babies.
The New York Post (25/11/2015)