A surrogate mother in California unknowingly gave away her biological son to a Chinese couple in December 2016. She had to fight to get her baby back.
Jessica Allen, 31, has two children with her partner, Wardell Jasper, 34. She decided to become a gestational surrogate for a couple, who chose an American surrogate because the process was illegal in their country, International Business Times reports.
The agreement was a monthly payment of $30,000. After Allen underwent in vitro fertilization, the doctor confirmed that she had conceived. She followed the rules set out in the contract, which included the clause that sexual intercourse was not permitted unless protection was used.
A few months later, Allen learned that she was carrying twins, which made the couple happy. The monthly installments increased by $5,000, which Allen used to save up for a house. When Allen gave birth on December 12, her employers violated a specification in the contract that she would be allowed to see the twins for an hour before they were taken out of the maternity unit. She said,
I hadn’t even gotten a glimpse of the twins when they were removed from my womb and taken to the neonatal intensive care unit.
The following day, Allen finally got her first glimpse of the babies when the mother showed her a picture on her phone. Allen noticed a distinct difference in their appearance, as one looked Asian, while the other looked to be a mix of Caucasian and African-American.
Allen suspected that the second child was hers, but she had to wait a month to conduct DNA tests, with the permission of the couple. The results showed that the second twin was Allen’s biological son, due to something called “superfetation.” This extremely rare condition happens when “a pregnant woman becomes pregnant a second time with another (younger) fetus. Superfetation is characterized by the fertilization and the implantation of a second oocyte in a uterus already containing the product of a previous conception.”
Usually, two fetuses growing in this manner have different due dates, but the twins Allen had were born on the same day.
Allen decided to get her child back, as the couple did not want to keep her biological son, for whom they were legally required to be responsible for. The couple demanded compensation. Allen said, “I was heartbroken knowing I carried a baby I didn’t know was mine and that he was taken from me without my knowledge and was in the arms of other people where he did not belong.”
After a complicated legal battle, the court decided to give Allen her child back on February 5. Allen said, “It’s now been nearly nine months since we got Malachi (the child’s new name after being named Max), and he is doing well.”