Commercial surrogacy or for-profit surrogacy is banned in certain states in the U.S. and in other countries. It’s for this reason that families or singles hoping to have their own biological children will travel to parts of the United States where it is legal.
The following story describes how one Chinese woman came to the U.S. in search of a surrogate. After being matched with one, she wound up getting more than she bargained for when she learned her surrogate was pregnant with twins. What happened next was a medical miracle and an uphill battle for the families involved…
Jessica, 31, and her husband Wardell, 34, were elated to just have tied the knot. The couple was so excited to start their lives together but they wanted to wait a while before expanding their family. The pair already shared children together, which was more of a reason for them to wait.
In the fall of 2015, Jessica decided to become a surrogate. It was six months after the birth of her second son, Jairus, and her husband said to her, “This is your chance to give a family the blessing of a child.” Besides that, she wanted to stay at home with her sons rather than return to her job as a senior caregiver…
Omega Family Global
Jessica also wanted to put the money she’d make toward buying a house. So, the decision was made. Jessica chose to work with Omega Family Global, a San Diego-based agency and they’d be responsible for matching her.
Soon enough, she was matched with Liu, a Chinese woman who wanted to hire an American surrogate to carry her child. Being that surrogacy is illegal in China, Liu felt like this was her only option to have the family her and her husband have always wanted…
So in April 2016, after taking numerous medications, Jessica was ready for the transfer. She laid on a table at an IVF center in Irvine, California, and had Liu’s frozen male embryo transferred into her uterus.
Receiving The Good News
Within nine days of the transfer, blood tests confirmed that Jessica was pregnant. Liu was elated, but there were several guidelines Jessica had to follow to ensure everything went smoothly. For one, she wasn’t allowed to have sexual intercourse with her husband until permission was given from the IVF doctor. He also recommended the use of condoms…
Fast forward six weeks later, and Jessica headed to her doctor’s appointment for a scan. During the appointment, the doctor said, “I see there is another baby.” He told Jessica that the embryo had split in two and the twins were identical. She was speechless that she was actually carrying twins.
Pregnant With Twins
Jessica figured this news would be a miracle for Liu, as instead of getting one baby, she would be getting two. As expected, Liu and her husband were thrilled and the money they were paying Jessica increased. Her $30,000 payment, including expenses, which Jessica received in installments by check each month, was increased by $5,000 for the second child…
Finally, on December 12, 2016, the babies were born at 38 weeks gestation at Riverside Community Hospital in California. Liu was in the operating room and was witness to seeing her twins born. Jessica had to have a C-section and she had to reassure Liu that she would be ok since she was the most nervous.
Taken Away So Fast
Since there was an opaque screen blocking the delivery, Jessica didn’t even get a look at the babies when they were pulled out. They were taken from the operating room before she got a chance to even see them…
Recovering After The Birth
Back home as she recovered from her C-section, there was not much communication with the agency, even though they are supposed to be available even after the birth. Then, on January 10, 2017, days after Jessica and Wardell moved into their new house, they received a WeChat (Chinese messaging app) message from Liu.
They Looked Completely Different
Liu sent her a picture of the babies saying, “They are not the same, right?” followed by, “Have you thought about why they are different?” Since she barely got to see the babies after their birth, this was the first time Jessica got a good look at them. After taking one glance, it was obvious that one of the babies was Asian, and the other was half black and half white…
DNA Tests For The Boys
One week later, the boys, who were still in California, received DNA tests and the agency told Jessica the results. Mike was a biological match to Liu, while Max had her genes. She had been carrying her own son along with someone else’s all along. But how was this possible?
The Medical Phenomenon Of Superfetation
The phenomenon of superfetation happens when someone who is pregnant manages to conceive again after an entirely different sperm and egg join together. Basically, it means you can get pregnant, while you’re already pregnant…
Ovulation During Pregnancy
In this case, Jessica was able to get pregnant again, even while she was carrying someone else’s child. She had actually been ovulating after becoming pregnant, and there was no way she could have known this.
Even though the chance of an embryo splitting is very small, it does happen, which is how Jessica wound up being pregnant with twins. “I did notice that one was much lighter than the other,” Jessica said.
A few days later, the agency told Jessica that someone was looking after Max because Liu wanted nothing to do with him. On top of that, Liu was demanding between $18,000- $22,000 as compensation for the inconvenience.
Fighting To Get Their Son Back
Jessica had already spent most of the money she earned from the surrogacy contract, but besides that, she thinks she would need to pay to get her biological son back. But her first priority was getting back to Max, no matter what the cost and she demanded her son from the agency…
Getting Custody Of Their Little Boy
After spending money on an attorney and enduring an uphill battle, the agency finally reduced the “fee” Jessica owed Liu to zero. Then, on February 5, Jessica and Wardell were reunited with their son and they changed his name to Malachi.
Renaming Him Malachi
The moment was extremely emotional and since getting Malachi, the family has been loving him like crazy. “He’s beautiful,” Jessica said. “He’s healthy and his personality is hilarious. He loves his big brothers, [and] he is learning to walk and speak.” All of the pain Jessica had endured was finally worth it when she got to hold her baby boy.