Our surrogacy nightmare

We have always longed to have a family. Unfortunately we are unable to conceive children the conventional way so we had to look into other options. Surrogacy seemed to fit exactly what we were looking for. After many many years being part of the surrogacy community we conceived our first, a little boy born in 2015, things were fantastic and the entire process went so smoothly. A few years had passed and we began thinking about having a sibling. Our little boy had also started asking for a little brother or sister at this point too. 

We matched with a few surrogates over the years, had miscarriages and so many failed attempts at getting pregnant, however we have no regrets as these surrogates have come to be life long friends. In 2018 we decided to give it one last attempt at finding a surrogate and completing our family. We starting trying to conceive in early 2019 and by Feb we were pregnant!!! We were absolutely overjoyed. 

We booked to have an early reassurance scan in April as having miscarriages in the past we wanted to ensure everything was developing well with our little one. To our surprise there was two little ones! 

The rest of the pregnancy went smoothly up until August bank holiday 2019 when we get a call from our surrogate saying she has gone into labour at only 28 weeks. We dropped everything and drove 3 and a half hours to get to hospital. Making it just in time to see our first little girl being wheeled out of the labour suite and straight into intensive care. Then 20 minutes later her sister followed, being born breech, she was covered from head to toe in bruises. 

Having our girls in NICU was only the very beginning of our long, excruciating nightmare. 

Before our surrogate was discharged she wanted the remainder of her pregnancy expenses to be paid, which we paid with out any fuss (this was all our hard warn savings over the years, nearly 17k in total) 

A few weeks had passed the girls were fighting for their lives on a daily basis. Having infections, blood transfusions, lumbar punctures. Countless x-rays. Twin 1 had to be resuscitated twice in hospital, then I had to do CPR once when we got her home. 

One evening when we got home from visiting our girls, our surrogates partner came over to our house, and was asking for more money. They wanted another 3k, which at this point we just did not have putting everything into the care of our twins, buying all the essential equipment needed for newborns we were already in minus funds. 

A couple of days later I receive a text saying because we have not paid the extra money, our surrogate will not be putting me (the biological father) on the birth certificate and she will not sign a parental order (a form needed to remove surrogates parental responsibility giving it to the couple the babies were conceived for) 

Feeling lost and terrified we were going to lose our children we had to seek legal help. 

We have had to endure many legal hearings where the surrogate has said she wants to keep the twins. Claiming her boyfriend was their father and registered them under completely different names to what we had chosen, and was calling them for the first 6 weeks if their lives. This is all just the short of the emotional/ mental trauma we have had to deal with. Also before the first hearing our surrogate called the hospital and oup a ban on us seeing our girls or knowing anything about their care. Imagine not being able to know anything about your sick, premature newborn children. At this point they were extremely poorly so we did not even know if they were alive. 

Thankfully now the girls live with us we have their original names back and our surrogate does not have parental responsibility! A DNA confirmed I was the father, which we knew all along. But all of this has come at a huge financial burden.

When we were already financially struggling having had to pay extra for twins and extra finances the surrogate needed due to a twin pregnancy before discharge. We have also had to take out loans up to 26k just to cover the legal costs. 

We are both nurses and have spent our working lives caring for others. I guess I am just hoping for some help from others in order to get us out of this awful situation. Due to our surrogates actions we have not been able to enjoy the time we have had with our girls. Both having to try and work as much as we possibly can to break even and get us out of this downward spiral. 

I understand that the amount we are hoping for is most likely unrealistic, but we would be eternally greatful for any help at all.

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Steven Winchester 
Organizer
Prescott, West Midlands, United Kingdom
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