(The user deleted their 'throwaway" account shortly after posting)
I (33m) find myself in a difficult situation with my surrogate, Maria (25f), and I’m wondering if I’m the jerk in this situation. To provide some context, my husband, Roman (37m), and I decided to use surrogacy to have a child.
We had a legal agreement in place, and Maria was compensated generously for her part in carrying our baby. Everything was going smoothly, and we were excited for our child’s arrival.
However, around the eighth month of pregnancy, Maria dropped a bombshell. She declared that she no longer wanted to go through with the surrogacy and expressed her desire to keep the child. This sent Roman into a fit of anger, but I managed to get him to step out, and I had a one-on-one conversation with Maria.
I reminded her that she had legally signed the documents, and the baby was unequivocally ours, mine and Roman’s. She began pleading with me, but I stood my ground, asserting that this child was my son and not hers.
She tried to bargain, saying she no longer wanted the money, but I firmly rejected her request, emphasizing that no one had coerced her into signing those papers. Whether she liked it or not, the baby was ours.
To add some financial weight to my argument, I pointed out all the money we had invested in the baby and the substantial amount she received before the pregnancy. I made it clear that if she wanted the baby, she’d have to reimburse us for all of that, something I knew she couldn’t afford.
I suggested that if she had any more issues, she should speak to my lawyers, but as far as I was concerned, the baby was ours, mine and Roman’s. Whether she liked it or not.
Maria called us cruel and even got her family involved to support her case. Now, I’m doubting whether I’m in the wrong here. Roman supports my stance, but some of my friends and her family are calling me the ahole. So, Reddit, AITA in this situation?
EDIT: for clarification she hasn’t purse legal action at all, this was a talk she had with us. Also, we live in California where traditional surrogacy is allowed as well as pre-birth and after-both agreement.
We have a pre-birth agreement and by law the baby is ours and she knows it she asking if we would give up our rights for her to have the baby which we won’t, the baby is mine and my husband there hasn’t been pursuit of legal action she can now only talk through my lawyers.
What if she goes to one of the couple states where surrogacy is illegal to have the baby?
California law makes a very clear distinction between gestational and traditional surrogacy. Your contract is valid in the sense that courts will generally accept it if everyone agrees, however it is not enforceable in the sense that you have no legal rights to terminate her parental rights as the biological mother of the child.
If she doesn't want to give up the kid, she's the legal mother and your husband can be the legal father. Then it's shared custody the same way it would be if she were an ex-girlfriend.
Unfortunately, this is why doctors will not allow the egg donor and surrogate to be the same person. Who advised you to proceed in this manner? Due to her being the biological mother your contact is potentially void.
I would consider consulting with a family law attorney so your husband can plan to file for custody. If the future, if you decide to have more children, go with a surrogacy agency and separate egg donor so you can avoid this issue.
I mean having someone get pregnant for you and then give birth to a child legally assigned to you and not the person who gave birth is kind of immoral IMO. That said it’s “legal”, like many other things in this sociopathic society we’re in. You are right, you did spend your own incomes to make this happen, and legally the kid should probably be yours.
This entire situation is not the most natural though, I’d expect many surrogates to struggle with giving up a child they’ve carried for 9 months. I understand why she’s upset, and I understand why you and your partner are upset.
I don’t think anyone’s the ahole, I just think we live in a really fvkked up society that puts ownership on actual human beings (a baby), and if no one else sees how that’s weird, I don't know what to really say.
NTA. Is the child biologically hers or did you use a donor egg? The answer to that question is important, if the child is biologically hers, as well as biologically your husbands, depending on where you live, she may have a case. If she has no biological connection to the child, she shouldn’t have a case.
You need to speak to your attorney as soon as possible and let them know what is going on. Block her family it’s none of their business. As far as your friends who are saying you’re an asshole, they are being ridiculous. I hope you get your baby.
People can down vote me all the want, the facts remain: Traditional surrogacy is much more legally complex than gestational surrogacy because the surrogate is the biological mother of the child. In order for both intended parents to have parental rights for the child, the non-biological intended parent will likely need to complete a stepparent adoption following the baby’s birth.