US: Surrogate offered $10,000 to abort disabled girl

Mon, 11 Mar 2013

A surrogate mother in America was offered $10,000 to have an abortion when the parents discovered the baby girl was disabled.

One pro-life doctor says the sad case shows how complicated things become where IVF, commercial surrogacy and abortion come together.

Crystal Kelley, 29, had been paid $22,000 to carry the child, but ultrasound scans later showed the baby girl wasn’t developing normally.

Offer

Doctors suspected the baby had a cleft lip and palate, a cyst in her brain and serious heart defects.

The parents wanted the baby girl to be aborted, and offered surrogate mother Crystal $10,000 to have one.

But Crystal demanded $15,000, although she now says she regrets making the counter offer, calling it a moment of weakness.

Chance

She now says she wanted to give the child a fighting chance of life, and the parents should not be playing God.

Lawyers got involved, demanding that Crystal abort the baby girl. But then the parents changed tack, wanting the girl to be born and given up for foster care.

Crystal decided to flee to a US state where the birth mother, not the genetic parents, has legal custody.

Fight

One month before the baby was due to be born, the parents launched a fresh legal fight.

But, in yet another twist, it was revealed that the genetic mother wasn’t in fact genetically linked to the baby, the parents had used an anonymous egg donor.

The baby was born, with lawyers still arguing about parental custody. They later struck a deal.

Defiant

The baby girl, known only as ‘S’, was adopted by a family on condition that the parents could keep in touch about the baby’s health.

S is now eight months old, and has serious health problems which are far more extensive than the scans initially suggested.

But she is defying the odds, making eye contact, giggling with other children, and grabbing for toys.

Right

Surrogate mum Crystal believes she did the right thing. She said: “No one else was feeling this pregnancy the way that I was. No one else could feel her kicking and moving around inside.”

Dr Peter Saunders, head of the Christian Medical Fellowship, has posted a more extensive report about the case on his blog.

He said, “it demonstrates just how complicated things can become in a world where IVF, commercial surrogacy and abortion come together.

“It is poignant that it has come to light the day before submissions close for Fiona Bruce’s parliamentary inquiry on abortion for disability.”

Read Dr Peter Saunders’ blog post here.

This content requires the Adobe Flash Player. Download Adobe Flash Player here.