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Infertile woman's divorced sister acts as surrogate; birth of baby incites 'creepy' betrayal. AITA? UPDATED 2X

Infertile woman's divorced sister acts as surrogate; birth of baby incites 'creepy' betrayal. AITA? UPDATED 2X

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When this mom is completely disturbed by her sister's behavior during surrogacy, and wants to update her surrogacy contract to make sure her sister doesn't betray her, she asks Reddit:

"AIW for enforcing our surrogacy contract?"

Ok so for context my husband is James 39, I’m F29 and my sister is Tilly 30.

When my husband and I found out I wouldn’t be able to carry a baby my sister offered to be our surrogate so we could still have a biological child. She did this totally unprompted and on her own.

She had divorced her husband over a year ago and was settling into single life. We offered to cover all medical expenses and expenses for anything that could improve her life/pregnancy quality as it’s not legal to pay for a surrogate in my country.

She was more than happy to do that and as time went on she said she didn’t like pregnancy, it freaked her out and she couldn’t wait to just give the baby to us and go on holiday.

So three days ago she gave birth to our daughter. She’s perfect and such a beautiful baby and we were getting ready to take her home when Tilly denied it. She said I couldn’t have my baby.

I was really confused and asked what was wrong, what did she mean? She said she’d changed her mind and didn’t want to give us our baby.

I reminded her she wasn’t biologically a parent to my daughter and reminded her that she hated pregnancy and wanted to go on holiday. She said no, wouldn’t let me hold my baby and made the nurse take me out.

Since then I’ve been crying and really upset. Our parents are trying to get her to see sense and none of it made any sense to me until James sat me down and showed me texts he had been getting from her for the past few weeks.

They started out innocent but then she said how horny the pregnancy was making her. He sent back a laughing emoji but she carried on and prepositioned him. Asking him if he was attracted to the woman carrying his baby, saying surely it made him feel some way.

She sent some risky photos of her in lingerie and he told her to stop, she wasn’t his wife, he wouldn’t mention anything as none of us needed more stress but this wasn’t appropriate. She blamed her hormones for what she did to my husband.

Since then I’ve been looking over the contract we had drawn up and there is a clause that allows me to gain custody by showing Tilly’s written agreement and understanding of our contract to a judge.

I’ve text Tilly telling her she has a day to give me my baby or I will take her to court to enforce the contract and get custody of my child. Our cousins have text me saying I’m an AH for pressuring a woman to give her baby up. But it’s my baby not hers!!!!

If I’m honest it feels like emotional manipulation. She’s had no feelings or attachment to the baby literally the whole pregnancy. She’s said she only did it so she could get the private healthcare, the holiday she’s going on was paid by us.

Anything she wanted during pregnancy; food, clothes, Dyson hair dryer we got her. We sent her on wellness weekends. She admitted she wanted some pampering after the divorce and knew we would give that to the woman housing our baby.

OP also offers this update:

I have a heart condition and it was the last few weeks of pregnancy. I was constantly stressing something would go wrong so he wanted to reduce the stress for me and Tilly. Also, my sister has a son. I’ll add an edit but it’s feels really manipulative to me. She basically begged to let her do it for us.

OP then provides this small update:

My sister is not crazy. If I thought my sister was mentally unwell I’d be the first one to help but it really feels like manipulation as she didn’t get what she wanted. I’m upset to not have her with us for her first few days but at least she is safe.

Before we give you OP's final and most recent update, let's take a look at some of the top responses to her post:

excitingtabletop writes:

Look, IVF patient could have their child taken by the donors. Those surrogacy contracts are not always enforceable, because of how coercive they can be.

Politicians are not inclined to write laws that steal children from their birth mother. Courts are the same. Which the sister typically is the parent legally until transferred to OP and her husband. It's not final until that occurs. Consent can be revoked.

I do think it's a mental health issue. OP dial back twenty notches, and ask parents to have sister talk to a professional. OP should talk to a lawyer to discuss how enforceable the contract really is. And not a general lawyer, find one familiar with surrogacy specifically.

OP's lawyer is, respectfully, a shit lawyer if he or she did not explain to OP this is common in surrogacy, and what she can do if consent is revoked. Smarter lawyers require the agreements to include psychological care to cover exactly this scenario. Shit gets dicey in a hurry if you cheap out on a lawyer for something this important.

Unless she used some general practice lawyer instead of a family lawyer knowledgeable in surrogacy. In which case, there's a possibility of malpractice. Whee. GP lawyer should have referred her. If OP self-drafted or used an internet boilerplate, this is going to get very ugly, very quickly.

Probably will get downvoted because tl;dr , I am in no way saying I don't agree with OP. I'm just saying she needs to check with a lawyer to find out what is happening and what can be done.

There are VERY few places that would not allow the legal birth mother to revoke consent. That's all I am putting across.

Did some googling to refresh my knowledge, because family law isn't my normal thing. Lot of states include time limits on revoking consent to surrogacy contracts. 48 hours after birth is the time limit for Florida, as an example.

If she invokes this, she is automatically granted parental rights and responsibilities. If she changes her mind afterwards, has to go through full adoption via the courts to complete the contract.

jokester316 writes:

You are not wrong. I hope your sister didn't have an ulterior motive to get pregnant with your husband's child in hopes of taking him from you. That's disrespectful.

The child is biologically you and your husband's. Take her to court. Call for a welfare check on the child. I'm sure your sister had nothing prepared to bring home a newborn. Then again, if she did. She's had this planned.

I would also postpone the holiday at the bare minimum. After you have your child, fulfill the contract.

alliecat8 writes:

Definitely go get your baby. This is not her child, she only agreed to be a surrogate and is only biologically an aunt.

I get that she could be emotional and attached but the propositioning your husband makes me think she is trying to keep the baby to be close to her. Or maybe delusions of being a family with him, her and the baby.

This is so messed up, go after your child with all of the law. And the sooner the better. You are not wrong on this.

hepburn6 writes:

I can't imagine what you are going through OP, your sister is so wrong to do this. Could it possibly be about money? If you and your husband have been so generous through the pregnancy maybe she thinks she can milk you guys for more (just a thought).

It's despicable that she sent those messages to your husband, did you show your lawyer those? I know your contract is enforceable anyway but that's a bit more fuel for the fire to show the judge.

I hope she sees sense however it seems unlikely at this point, keep us updated please op. Wishing you all the best and I hope that you will have your baby home soon where she belongs.

proverbs6 writes:

You are NOT WRONG for enforcing the surrogacy contract. You know this but the emotional side of it being your sister and the emotional side of it being a baby are confusing you.

To help you remove the emotional side out of your decision making process, try this -1) if you had a surrogacy contract with another woman (not related to you), would you even hesitate to enforce it? No, you would have already taken that contract to the courthouse.

2) If this was a contract about a car or or a house or a valuable item of any kind, where your sister was supposed to take it and work on it for a few months and then return it to you and your husband yet she suddenly said that she had...

become fond of this item while she was working on it and no longer wanted to return it to you and your husband, the rightful owners of the valuable item, would you hesitate to kick up a fuss and DEMAND it back immediately, as per the agreement?

No, you would not hesitate. I do understand that this is your sister but you need to be strong now and remove that from the equation and stop asking or caring about what anyone else has to say about it, your cousins are not involved in this situation, nor are your parents, really.

It is nice that they are trying to talk to your sister on your behalf but you still need to do what you need to do, which is get a judge involved NOW. And do give anyone warnings, either, warnings just give your sister a chance to take the infant and leave town or go into hiding.

Do not tell anyone that you are going to the courthouse, just go. Take your contract to the courthouse IMMEDIATELY, do not wait for Monday morning because your sister is gong to be discharged from the hospital with YOUR baby and could take the infant anywhere or hide from the police trying to serve her with a summons to court or take the child.

Once the baby has been safely restored to you and your husband, if you want to show leniency (as in not have her locked up because it is your sister, hormones, etc), you can do so then, AFTER you have your baby safely in your arms.

You can stay civil throughout the proceedings but your relationship with your sister is never going to be the same, no matter what you do, so do what restores YOUR baby to your. I wish you and your husband success in getting your baby back and then many years of happiness as parents.

And now, OP's final update:

Just thought I’d give a little update as lots of people were using the update bot. We have Tilly 24hrs before we started the legal proceedings to give us our baby. I’ve been into work today to keep my mind busy as I was so nervous and I work in a hospital so it’s kept my mind busy whereas James is able to work from home.

It’s been so hard the past few days not having our daughter with us, we’d imagined being able to spend the first few days of her life together as a family, getting in all the newborn skin to skin contact but instead we’ve just been looking at her empty nursery.

When I got home from work James told me that the maternity facility had been in contact to say my sister and our baby had been discharged.

One didn’t want to worry me when I was at work and had been trying to find them but it had only happened about an hour before I got home. Then two hours later someone knocks on our door and it’s Tilly holding our baby.

She gives her too me and just shrugs and says sorry but that it wasn’t her fault she was attracted to the man whose baby she was carrying but that she’d forgotten how much newborns cry and need to be fed and said she wasn’t the mother. She left quickly after that after giving us the final legal form with her signature on.

Safe to safe we’ve just been soaking in having our baby with us finally. We been able to put her in the clothes we’d gotten her, we put her down in her crib and fed her a bottle. And most importantly we’ve had so many cuddles.

We haven’t really put her down and I feel a bit scared to. Like she can be taken away again. She’s beautiful and she’s perfect and her name is Alexandria Renee.

Sources: Reddit
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