Crystal Kelley was paid $22,000 to be a surrogate. At five months, she was told that the baby was going to have a series of disabilities. The parents wanted her to abort the baby. They even offered her $10,000. She asked for $15,000, and when they said no, she flew to Michigan to have the baby and have it placed in foster care until the legalities could be figured out.
When Kelley signed up to be a surrogate, she did it because she needed money for herself and her two children, and because she wanted to help a couple have a child. The couple was very involved, paying the surrogacy fee earlier and calling daily to check in and make sure she was okay. That changed however when ultrasounds showed that the baby wasn’t developing as they had hoped.
At five months, the doctors saw a cleft lip and possibly cleft palate as well. They thought she had a cyst on her brain, and a heart defect. This was before they could even see any of the lower organs. In February at another ultrasound, they were told that the baby would need multiple surgeries when she was born, and would only have a 25% chance at living a normal life.
Kelley’s midwife sent her a letter describing the couple’s wishes for the situation. It stated that they believed the treatment that the infant would receive was inhumane and excessive and that it would be to the benefit of the child that the pregnancy was terminated. Kelley who is very religious, disagreed with an ab0rtion, stating that the baby needed every chance it could get.
When the couple refused Kelley’s counter offer of $15,000 lawyers were hired. The couple decided they would take the baby only to put it in foster care so Kelley ran to Michigan, where the birth-mother is considered the legal guardian. The baby was adopted by a family in Michigan, and the couple and Kelley visit frequently.
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