Surrogacy turned me into a "Step-mom"


#1

So my stepparent situation is really different from everyone else’s. My husband and I have been married for 3 years. We have a 2 yr old. Hubby has 3 week old twin boys. No, he did not cheat on me. We hired a traditional surrogate and she kept our babies. So now, I am their step mother and my husband will be paying our surrogate child support. Any advice on how to deal with this? She named the boys names we did not pick out. We weren’t at their birth. We haven’t even met them in person yet. We are now stuck dealing with this horrible woman for the next 18 years. Hubby already said he won’t be calling the boys by what she named them. He will call them what we were going to name them. He also said they will be calling me mom and he will tell them what their “mom” really was and what she did. I’m afraid they are going to grow up the most confused/unstable children in the world if all 3 of us have to co-parent these children. This obviously wasn’t what was supposed to happen. They were supposed to be raised in 1 family with their big sister! No raised by a single mom and seeing their dads family every other weekend… Ugh!


#2

I watched a deal not too long ago about a situation very similar to yours. These people needed a surrogate, but didn’t have money so the man slept with the surrogate twice in order to get pregnant. They did not have a written contract and the surrogate decided to keep the child despite acknowledging that the intent was originally to be a surrogate. They took the surrogate to court and fortunately for them they were able to show that the surrogates husband was dangerous as she had previously taken out a VPO against him, but then allowed him back in to live with her. As a result the child was taken from the surrogates custody and placed with them. Additionally the surrogate ended up getting all of her other children taken away as well because the court had deemed her unfit for the one child due to her decision to stay with her dangerous husband so they figured if she was unfit for the one then she was also unfit for the other children too.

I personally think it is deplorable for a surrogate to decide to keep children that were never intended to be their’s. Not sure what you have legally tried yet or if that is just out of your reach financially, but I would highly recommend seeking a lawyer on getting custody of these kids since the contract you had with her (verbal or otherwise as verbal contracts can also be legal) was meant for her as a surrogate and NOT as the parent to raise them. And as you said she is single as well and that was not the intention so she could be considered in breech of a contract.

I hope you are able to find a solution as I cannot even imagine what you are going through right now with this. :grouphug:


#3

I agree that you should talk to a lawyer ASAP.


#4

Did you see an attorney before asking the surrogate to carry your child? I just don’t understand how a surrogate would agree to carry someone’s child without signing legal papers because it is not a small favor to ask. And if you guys did sign legal documents, somewhere in those documents should say who the genetic parents are and you can take her to court. How about her maternity and childbirth expenses who paid for those? I think with DNA test and proof of financing you may be able to get them back.


#5

Were they donor eggs or your eggs? Did you do have a wink and a nod deal or do you have legal papers? If you don’t have a lawyer you need one ASAP isn’t even fast enough. Do not sit by and just make an arrangement to pay this woman child support. Either way, I would fight it.


#6

And please, PLEASE don’t “tell them what their ‘mom’ really is.” I hope that you and your husband are able to come to terms with whatever the final outcome is. Yes, it is a horrible thing that she did, but you have to see if you have any legal recourse (depends a lot on your state), and if not, them hearing that from you and/or your husband will be devastating. I mean it will seriously, absolutely, destroy their relationship with you and with your husband, and it will give them incredibly deep scars. The end product will likely simply be that they cut off ties with you but maybe also hold hard feelings against the woman who, at that point, will be their mother, with not a single adult who they can actually be close to. I hope that, deep down, you feel horror at the idea and don’t actually intend to go through with what you’re saying. I can’t know what you’re going through, only that you’re very, incredibly hurt right now. I can’t even imagine how dark it must be for you. I really, really hope with all my heart that your lawyer is able to help fight for you, but the kids are the innocents in all this and kids should never, ever be used as a weapon.


#7

Txmama86 - I am very sorry for the situation you are in. I can’t imagine the heartbreak you are going through. If by “traditional surrogate” you mean that the surrogate’s eggs were used, then you have a difficult situation. Even if you have a contract, many states will not force a woman to give up custody of a biological child. That is why most IVF clinics require that if DE and surrogate is needed that the donor and surrogate be separate individuals. That way, the surrogate has no biological connection and the agreement is easier to enforce. If the children are from your own eggs, then she should not be able to keep them. I agree with the others that consulting with a family law attorney would be a good idea to find out what your options are. I hope you are able to find a resolution for your situation.

[QUOTE=Txmama86]So my stepparent situation is really different from everyone else’s. My husband and I have been married for 3 years. We have a 2 yr old. Hubby has 3 week old twin boys. No, he did not cheat on me. We hired a traditional surrogate and she kept our babies. So now, I am their step mother and my husband will be paying our surrogate child support. Any advice on how to deal with this? She named the boys names we did not pick out. We weren’t at their birth. We haven’t even met them in person yet. We are now stuck dealing with this horrible woman for the next 18 years. Hubby already said he won’t be calling the boys by what she named them. He will call them what we were going to name them. He also said they will be calling me mom and he will tell them what their “mom” really was and what she did. I’m afraid they are going to grow up the most confused/unstable children in the world if all 3 of us have to co-parent these children. This obviously wasn’t what was supposed to happen. They were supposed to be raised in 1 family with their big sister! No raised by a single mom and seeing their dads family every other weekend… Ugh![/QUOTE]


#8

I am assuming you are in TX by your name…where at? I know some really good attorneys in southeast texas and houston area I could refer you to…


#9

Her eggs were used and that is why our situation is so difficult. We are in texas. Dfw area. We had an attorney and a 25 page written, signed, and notarized contract. We were going to have to do a step parent adoption to have their birth certificates changed. She was going to relinquish her rights 48 hours after birth but she switched hospitals and disappeared on us when she was 32 weeks. We found out they were born via Internet. Our attorney said we can fight for full custody but we aren’t going to get it. She said my husband will get supervised visitation until she isn’t breastfeeding anymore. No overnights ANd will be ordered to pay her child support. We paid for all of her medical care, maternity clothes, living expenses, and even lost wages.


#10

How heartbreaking! I’m so sorry that this situation has worked out this way. Please keep in mind that, as difficult as it may be, the kids come first. Make your moves with them in mind. Always do what is best for them. If that means fighting for custody, go for it. But I’d bet that talking bad about their “mother” is not good for their emotional needs. Again, I am soooooo sorry this is happening!


#11

This is just awful. Can you fight for joint custody?


#12

Did your attorney advise you that a traditional surrogacy contract is not recognized under TX law and that your contract would be unforceable?


#13

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Wow. I’m so lost. So are you the mom or is she? If she used her eggs doesn’t she have the right to keep her kid.?


#14

If the biological mom decides to keep the baby you should ask her to pay back all the expenses that you have paid during her pregnancy. Yeah, it’s her eggs it’s her baby but why entered into an agreement to give the kid up if she’s not going to. While i understand her biological connection to the child and the difficulty of letting that go, then dont agree to doing something like that and used up people’s money and gave people hope. I bet you have paid her close to hundred thousand dollars that has to be a reason for a lawsuit- financial damage on you and your husband.


#15

Sadly, this happened to a friend of mine. It destroyed her marriage and then this dispicable woman sued them BOTH for child support. My friend had to go to court and see this woman and her would-have-been daughter and fight to avoid sending her money after they’d given her thousands and even let her live with them during her pregnancy. Fortunately, this happened in California where the laws are different and the judge basically told the surrogate where she could stick it. Still, what a horrible life for these poor children. Unfortunately, this does happen and I hope you share your story so that anyone considering surrogacy doesn’t enter into it in a state where the laws won’t protect them and doesn’t EVER do a handshake deal or trust that the surrogate is a good person who’d never do anything like this. I, personally, think that traditional surrogacy is plain wrong… it goes against the nature of women. Even the best surrogate with the kindest heart is going to struggle with the fact that biologically that child IS hers and she carried it and delivered it. The bonding process is not one to be taken lightly. As far as your situation goes, I hope you have a good lawyer and I hope you will think of the children FIRST in all things. Sick and wrong as it is, your husband now has children with another woman and all that goes along with that. And these kids will have to grow up with her as their mother and to undermine that relationship will only harm the children. If you don’t think you can keep things stable for them if they visit and not have them raised in a life of anger/resentment (which if you won’t even call them by their names, it sounds like life there will be very hard for them and very confusing).

I’m so sorry you are going through this. It’s like a fresh wound that can never close because you’ll have monthly reminders of what you lost every time you have to pay that child support. I can’t say what you should do but I would say make sure you have the BEST lawyer money can buy to try and recover what you can financially and avoid paying child support. If you can handle visitations or shared custody then fight for that, but if it is going to be too hard on you, hurt your marriage, or damage these kids, then best to cut ties until they are adults.