A woman who acted as a surrogate mom for a couple from China accidently gave the couple her own flesh and blood child, and was almost forced to pay to adopt him back.
Jessica Allen, 31, was already a mother of two at the time she became a surrogate mom. She thought that the embryo that was implanted in her had split naturally into twins. She had no idea that a second embryo was developing in her womb, and that it was of her own flesh and blood, the New York Post reported.
Allen said that after she had a C-section to deliver the babies, she never actually got to see them. According to her contract she should have been allowed to spend an hour with the children after giving birth.
“I didn’t even get a look at the babies when they were pulled out because it was done behind an opaque screen. They were taken from the operating room before I had a chance to see them,” said Allen via the New York Post.
The Lius came to the United States to find a surrogate since the practice is illegal in China, according to Allen.
Liu sent Allen a photo of the babies via a cellphone messaging app along with the text “They are not the same, right?” followed by, “Have you thought about why they are different?”
DNA tests were then conducted. One of the babies, Mike, was confirmed to have the Lius DNA, while the second baby, Max, had the DNA of Allen and her husband. Allen is white and her husband, Wardell Jasper, is African American. The baby resembled the couple’s other children, and Allen noticed he was darker than Mike.
The phenomenon is called superfetation. It’s when a woman gets pregnant while already pregnant, and it is extremely rare. Allen said the medical staff never informed her that the children were in separate sacs in her womb. Once Allen and Wardell discovered the child was theirs, they began their quest to bring him into their home.
Finding out the baby was not theirs, the Lius gave the baby back to the surrogate matching company, Omega Family Global, but they would not let Allen have the baby unless she paid between $18,000 and $22,000. Omega Family Global did not make getting Max back any less complicated, according to Allen.
“To my disgust, a caseworker from the agency lined up parents to adopt him and ‘absorb’ the money we owed the Lius. Or, if that didn’t work out, the Lius were thinking of putting Max up for adoption, as they were still his legal parents.”
Allen reflected on the irony of the situation.
“It was like Max was a commodity and we were paying to adopt our own flesh and blood,” she said.
In the legal battle that followed, Allen and Wardell eventually whittled down the fee to get Max back to zero. Max was eventually returned to Allen by a worker from Omega in a Starbucks parking lot.
Lawyers representing Omega Family Global sent a letter to the New York Post saying that the company adheres to proper procedures, but would not go into any specific details about the case, citing legal reasons.