Surrogacy is not for the faint of heart. While carrying another woman’s child who can not conceive is certainly a noble act, it is not one that comes without emotional repercussions. Surrogates often bond with the child as though it is their own and must endure the painful separation of giving up the baby that their body nurtured for nine months.
For one Texas surrogate (who chooses to remain anonymous), this difficult process was complicated further when the baby she was carrying was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) at 16 weeks.
According to the Washington Times, the biological parents demanded the surrogate get an abortion after they found out about the heart defect.
The news left the Texas mother of two “completely in shock.” Based on the strong pro-life views that the couple had previously relayed to her, she was totally blindsided by their response.
“At the doctor’s appointment, during the diagnosis, I was asked, how I expected the parents might respond to this news,” she told WFAA. “Frankly, based on what they had told me previously, about their opposition to abortions, I expected they would want to me to carry to term and treat the child. I expected we were all on the same page. I had no idea how much my life would change just a short 36 hours later.”
She was torn between respecting the wishes of the parents and defending their baby’s right to life. Reflecting on the birth of her own twins, she ultimately decided the latter was more important.
“This was, of course, a difficult decision, especially because he’s not my baby,” she said. “I understood how scared the biological parents must have been. I remembered how scared and confused I was when I got pregnant with my own twins. I was twenty years old… and was frightened. I did not consider an abortion even if, at that moment, it would have made things a lot easier… That decision was the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Knowing her rights as a surrogate, the Texas mom made the bold decision to refuse the abortion against the couple’s wishes.
But the battle wasn’t over yet.
It turns out, once the baby boy was born, she would have no control over whether the parents would choose to get the life-saving surgery he needed or opt for comfort care:
“When I asked whether the parents would choose surgery or comfort care (which I had no idea existed and was a possible legal option), I was effectively told to butt out, that treatment for the baby not was my concern. Those answers troubled me deeply. I made it clear how much I care for this baby boy. The mere thought of handing him over to simply let him pass completely tore me up. I searched for more answers, and was never made comfortable that the child would receive the care to which he was entitled. Nothing about the responses I was provided was settling, but I also didn’t know how I could do anything. I felt powerless since I had no rights to this baby once he took his first breath.”
Knowing this made the days leading up to delivery even more emotionally overwhelming. She tried her hardest to remain strong, but says admittedly, “I was a mess.”
Thankfully, the surrogate had a big support system and an even BIGGER God that would carry her through and ensure the baby’s safety:
“My co-workers picked up a lot of slack at the office for me and my family supported me both emotionally and spiritually. My friends and life-group hugged me as I cried on their shoulders as I searched for answers. Tuesday night, a day and a half before delivering, I got a call from an Angel, my friend’s boss. Knowing I’m a single mom with limited funds I was told, ‘Take care of yourself and that baby, and don’t worry about anything else.’ I was immediately put in contact with the two best attorneys around! They hit the ground running as fast as they could, and I finally had hope. These three were the answers to my prayers!”
The Dallas County District Attorney’s office ultimately confirmed that the parents agreed to undergo all surgeries and necessary medical treatment. The surrogate mother was absolutely ecstatic upon hearing the news of the parents’ change of heart.
“I am elated!!! Every time I think about it, I break down in joy,” she says. “There are so many people rooting and praying for this baby boy, the doctors, their staff, the hospital and now the parents. Everyone wants to see success, happiness, and hear what a fighter this precious baby is.”
She also prays that people will treat the parents with compassion and love, rather than judgment as they, too, were faced with a very difficult circumstance.
“This is, also, the most perfect time to choose love instead of hate,” she said. “The parents are real people who are faced with their son having to undergo a major surgery. I want them to feel loved, supported, and commended for their decision to choose life! I want them to know they are in our prayers.”
She now hopes her story will inspire new laws concerning comfort care and surrogacy.
If you would like to learn more about the gift of being a surrogate, visit Surrogacy by Faith a Christian agency dedicated to helping grow families by the grace of God… one surrogacy at a time.