Our Surrogacy Nightmare
We are Paul (50) and Chantele Montover (49), from Iowa, once high school sweethearts, who rekindled our relationship years later, after both being divorced. We each have had children from those previous marriages, but desired to have a child of our own. Because we could not medically do this, we decided to use a surrogate to carry our biological child for us. This is where our dream to gain a precious new member of our family, went terribly wrong.
After months of searching for a surrogate, we found a woman who we believed to be the perfect one. We both spent numerous days with the surrogate and her husband. Her husband and Paul are both ex military, and she presented herself to be an extremely trusting and compassionate woman. We truly felt as if we could trust these people with the tremendous task of carrying our child until they were safe in our arms. To further our trust, we arranged an understanding that in return for giving us this gift, we would return the favor and help to financially support their own In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) procedure, so that they too could have a child of their own, because they could not medically become pregnant either.
We went through with the IVF procedure and implanted two embryos. Days after this procedure took place, we began to see warning signs that led us to believe this may have been a scam. The surrogate cut off all contact with us, changed her phone number and email, while also blocking us on all social media. As well as denied access to all ultrasound visits, stripping us of the opportunity to see our child grow. All that we knew was that this woman was carrying our child and for months we had no idea if they were safe, or what her plan was.
We contacted every authority that we could possibly think of, but every step seemed to come to a dead end. We gained an incredible team of attorneys, who have helped us in every way possible. Through the help of a private investigator we uncovered numerous troubling facts about the surrogate that made us more concerned for the safety of our child. When the surrogate did finally reach out, it was only to make numerous threats of harming our child if money was not provided to her. All of this combined, we were left fearing the worst for our child.
Our original due date was December 11th of 2016 and because of this we had no reason to suspect that our baby would be born yet. But on October 30th of 2016, we learned that the surrogate had given birth to two baby girls. We rushed to the University of Iowa hospital seeking any information that we could find.
We also learned that due to imprecise reasons, they were both delivered on August 31st 2016, at only 25 weeks along. As a result of this premature birth and multiple complications, one of our girls, Baby E, had passed away at only eight days old. While our other daughter, Baby K, did survive, it was not without its hardship. She went through many surgeries and blood transfusions. Her well being was uncertain for months. To this day we feel tremendous guilt that Baby E could not have the love of her parents or family there with her as she passed, nor did Baby K have us for two months while she laid in her hospital room. This is something that the surrogate took from us that can never be replaced.
Before we knew our daughters had been born, the surrogate took the liberty of making medical decisions, naming both of our daughters, as well as assigning birth certificates to both of them. She applied for social security cards and received social security benefits, as well as stating that herself and her husband are the parents when in fact they have no biological relation at all. On top of all of this, they had Baby E cremated without our knowledge. She was given no respect in this. They provided no ceremony or burial plot. When we finally made contact with the surrogate in a court setting, we had mentioned that we would have given Baby E a proper burial, she visibly laughed at us, showing absolutely no respect for the children or us.
Fortunately, we obtained a court ruling stating that we have full custody, that she is in fact not the mother of our daughters, and directed the return of the cremated remains of our Baby E, among other things related to birth. However, the surrogate continues to appeal these decisions and refuses to return the remains, because she has already spread the ashes at an unknown location. Again, stripping us of ever having the opportunity to cherish our daughter.
She has hired a high profile attorney from the east coast to represent her, along with multiple local attorneys, leaving many wondering where she is obtaining these funds. Of course, we were forced to hire our own attorneys to assert our rights as parents and to obtain custody of our surviving daughter. Though we have succeeded so far, months of these fees and numerous medical bills have put a great financial strain onto us, on top of the already traumatic events that have taken place.
We are posting this because we want our story to be heard. There are countless stories of families that exist because of surrogacy. We are fighting for that right on behalf of Baby K and Baby E, but we are also fighting for everyone else whose only option for a genetic child is surrogacy. We are not willing to stop our fight in finding justice for our daughters, but we ask that if you find value in this fight, please help us continue. Any donations, shares, thoughts or prayers would be greatly appreciated.
This is so wrong and soon things are coming together and justice will prevail. Our legal fees continue to pile up, even thougj our attorney's have been generous. We appreciate your continued donations and support.
The Montover family just wanted to take a moment to reach out and thank each and everyone of you for the continued support. We appreciate each share and donation more than words can say and every comment helps us to keep fighting.
That being said, we also wanted to update you all in hopes of explaining a few more questions that we are commonly seeing.
Baby K is safe with her family here, and we have been granted full custody, however, like many other rulings, it is currently being appealed by the surrogate. No charges have been made at this time.
There are many things that we can not answer due to legal issues. However, we hope that in the near future, we will be able to share much more of our story, since we know so many of you are invested.
Our fight is far from over, so all support is greatly appreciated. Thank you all very much.
Hey, everyone. I'm the sister of the babies. And I just wanted to go ahead and let everyone know that the surrogate is actively commenting on this page, and going by the name of Danny Miller, this name may change. We encourage you to please disregard any negative comments that you may see. Thank you so much for your support.
As a surrogate myself, this alarms me. My first thought was about the IVF situation. So after she delivered your baby, she was going to have her own ? Typically, surrogates have had their own children. Not sure what doctor would do the IVF without having her having her own child. Or with her having medical issues with pregnancies. That seems like red flags right away. Incredibly heartbreaking. I just delivered a surro baby in February.
I am so sorry for your experience. I can't imagine what you've gone through. It is surrogates like this, who give those of us who actually do this for the right reasons, a bad name. You will be in my thoughts!! It may seem harsh to you, but please share the surrogate's name, in case she decides to do this to someone else, or worse, is getting funds from lies to others. Please protect other IP's from every going through what you are going through, right now. ♥
The story is sad. I'm curious tho, there are lots of agencies that require testing, psychological tests (although they aren't the best) provide the lawyers and a full proof contract. The first red flag I see is the woman couldn't have her own baby, she wouldn't have passed background screening. I don't know them, and I'm sure much of their public story is written from heartbreak and confusion. But why did they seek someone without an agency. There is one that uses the U. There's 1 in Peoria. They are local. I was a surrogate, through an agency. My heart breaks for everything that has happened and is still happening because of this crazy woman. But I am confused about how they got to this point.
When you hire a surrogate you go through an agency, and also doing that you have to go through a lawyer which goes through a bunch of stuff, im talking about the carrier. So if you did it this way she would've had to sign that she will keep in contact etc basically what the parents want within reason you have to do. Did you not do it this way??
I'm so sorry to be reading this! It is absolutely heartbreaking, and I can only imagine the tremendous amount of stress it has put on you and your family! I must say that the surrogates reaction in court, openly laughing, makes me seriously question her mental health, and sickens me to my core. I wish I could do more to help you,but as a new mother myself, and having serious health issues, I can only share your story, and keep you in my thoughts and prayers, which I will continue to do throughout this process! I am beyond happy to hear you have obtained custody of baby K, and I pray that somehow you will get baby E's ashes back, so that you're able to have a proper burial. My heart goes out to you, and I look forward to hearing any and all updates on your story! May God bless you all, and especially baby K! All my love, Jamie
I am so sorry for your loss and the emotional turmoil this woman is continuing to put you through! Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Have you thought about contacting a news agency? I think there would be an abundance of people wanting to help. God Bless!