When Cathleen Hachey, 20, offered to be a surrogate for a British couple, she could never have foreseen that they would abandon her by text message 27 weeks in to the pregnancy. The young stay-at-home mother of New Brunswick was carrying twins for the couple. But three months before the tswins were due, the couple told her their marriage had ended and that they would not be coming for the babies. Hachey – who already had 1- and 2-year old children of her own – delivered the twins on June 28. She managed to find an adoptive home for the babies, but experts say the case shows both surrogate mothers and prospective parents should be better protected.
“Here’s a lovely, trusting young woman who should have taken care of herself,” says Sherry Levitan, a fertility lawyer based in Toronto. “The law is there for a reason.” Hachey tried to do what experts say surrogate mothers should do – after making friends with the couple, she spent a few months getting to know them through daily phone calls. She also met with them last November. They all signed a surrogacy contract that acknowledged the couple as the twins’ legal parents and provided Hachey $200 a month for pregnancy-related expenses.
The British woman suffered polycystic ovarian syndrome so they used her husband’s sperm and Hachey’s egg, inseminating using a medical syringe and semen from a cup. Hachey says the pregnancy began well but that she saw the arrangement begin to crumble when she was in the hospital. Despite the ordeal, Hachey says she will be a surrogate again – but this time, through an agency and with advice from a lawyer. ~ CBC News, Sep 13; Parentcentral.ca, Sep 9