One day, two surrogacy horror stories

Two surrogacy nightmares were reported in London’s Daily Mail on the same day last week, highlighting the fact that many risks are associated with the procedure. In the first story, a 23-year-old woman conned a childless couple out of their £2,000 savings when she posed as a surrogate mother. Samantha Cookes, a university drop-out, promised to help the couple and then ran off with a deposit. The couple had experienced miscarriages and 3 failed cycles of IVF. She claimed to be a court-approved social worker and told them she had been a surrogate mother for a wealthy family.

Cookes made a fictitious Facebook page under the false identity and contacted the couple about her “wonderful” prior surrogacy experience. She was spared prison time after the court found she suffered undiagnosed psychiatric problems since she lost her four-month-old daughter to cot death in 2008. The couple were devastated. “We are annoyed she did not get a harsher punishment – it’s just a slap on the wrist after all the hurt she has caused. She’s put us through hell. We cannot believe that anyone can be so callous.”

In the second story, a surrogate mother from Colorado was allegedly hammered with US$217,000 in medical bills after delivering twins for an Austrian couple who fled from the US with the children. Carrie Mathews said she almost died delivering Rudolf and Teresa Bako’s children in July yet the couple is refusing to complete their payment. The couple reportedly agreed to pay her $25,000 to carry one child and signed a 30-page contract covering potential scenarios and payment plans.  

Under the terms of the contract, Mrs Mathews says, she provides her insurance. Whatever her insurance does not pay, the Bakos are required to pay. She is still waiting to hear from insurer on how much of the $217,000 in medical bills will not be covered. She said the Bakos have paid her about $66,000 to date: 9News reports that $16,000 of the $25,000 for carrying the children and the rest mainly from child care and other costs during her pregnancy. She says they still owe her $14,000 of that money. ~ Daily Mail, Oct 27; Oct 27

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