A UK woman who agreed to be a surrogate for a gay couple but then refused to hand over the infant just won a year-long custody battle.
It all started inside a Burger King back in 2014. After first connecting on a Facebook forum for would-be parents seeking surrogates, the unidentified woman and the couple met to discuss the terms of their agreement. 30 minutes later, the deal with done.
The woman agreed to carry the couple’s baby, which would be created from an anonymous donor egg and the sperm of one of the men, in exchange for £9,000. ($11,500 U.S.)
Two embryos were planted in the woman. She miscarried one of them and decided to abort the other, but had a change of heart at the last minute. Then when the baby was born in July 2015, she decided to keep both it and the £9,000 for herself.
A bitter custody battle ensured. Now, that battle is over.
One year and several courtroom visits later, Ms Justice Russell has ruled that the woman, who claims to have a learning disability and, therefore, did not understand the conditions of surrogacy, shall retain full-time custody of the child.
Russell ruled that the woman was “better able to meet” the child’s needs, despite the fact that she has no biological ties to the infant. Not only that, but the judge also called the gay couple “manipulative and dishonest” and “at the very least, potentially exploitative” for taking advantage of the woman.
The mother told The Mail, “He is my little boy. I gave birth to him. I felt him kick for the first time. I’m the one now breastfeeding him. He’s happy and so loved. I’m absolutely terrified I’m going to lose him.”
The couple will have visitation one weekend every two months and will share parental responsibility.
h/t: Daily Mail