Jessica Allen, of Perris, California, decided to become a surrogate mother in order to earn some extra income so she could spend more time with her two sons. She worked with an agency based out of San Diego and was matched with a Chinese couple, “the Lius,” (not their real name) who wanted to hire an American woman because surrogacy is illegal in China.
Allen, 31, entered into a $30,000 contract with the Lius, which would allow her to leave her job as a senior caretaker and be a stay-at-home mom. Nine days after going through the IVF procedure in April 2016, Allen was confirmed to be pregnant, The New York Post — with whom Allen shared her story — reported.
Allen’s contract mandated that she not have sexual intercourse with her boyfriend, Wardell Jasper, until they were given permission by a doctor, who recommended condoms, the Post reported.
When Allen had her scan at six weeks, the doctor said there was another baby. The Lius were thrilled to be having twins and Allen’s contract was bumped up to $35,000, in order to cover the additional expenses. Allen says no medical staff provided by the agency, Omega Family Global, ever said the babies were in two separate sacs, according to her account in the Post. She delivered via C-section in Dec. 2016 and says that while it was in her contract that she be allowed to spend an hour with the newborns, they were immediately taken from her.
About a month later, in January 2017, she said she received a message from Mrs. Liu with a picture of the babies.
“They are not the same, right?” the message said, according to The New York Post. “Have you thought about why they are different?”
As it turned out, DNA tests showed that one of the babies, Mike, was a biological match to the Lius and the other, Max, had Allen’s genes, according to the Post. Allen had apparently gotten pregnant despite using condoms after the IVF procedure due to a rare medical incident known as superfetation. The condition, while possible, is extremely rare.
A New York Times article cites a French report of one such case in 2008, which found that fewer than 10 such reports were known up until that point. Time Magazine explains that in such cases, the second baby will likely be born premature. According to Time, such pregnancies occur when a woman continues to ovulate after becoming pregnant and when the second fertilized egg is able to implant itself in the womb.
For Allen, what followed next was a fight to get back her biological child. She recounted to the Post that someone from the agency was caring for the child as the Lius did not want the boy. After a legal struggle, she got back her son Max, whom she renamed Malachi, in February 2017.
“He’s just so smart, so intelligent,” Allen told ABC News about her youngest son. “He’s learning fast. He’s got two big brothers to run after and learn from.”
The agency, Omega Family Global, provided a lengthy statement to the Post disputing the allegations made by Allen. The agency also said that, out of respect for the legal rights of the parties involved, it is unable to comment on the specific facts of the case.
The statement went on to claim that the allegations are false and made “with reckless disregard for the truth.”
Patch reached out to Omega Family Global via email to ask about the claims made by Allen in The New York Post story.
“Due to privacy concerns, Omega Family Global is unable to comment on this matter publicly at this time (please see the attached letter we previously sent to the NY Post for more information on this),” a lawyer for the agency told Patch via email. “That being said, Omega does not agree with the statements referred to in your email. That being said, if you are ever interested in preparing an article on surrogacy in the future, Omega would look forward to assisting you (assuming no privacy rights are at issue).”
Omega also sent Patch a copy of the letter it sent to The New York Post in response to a request for a statement.
Photo via Pixabay
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Originally published Oct 30, 2017.