STATES CHRONICLE – Real life is obviously different from movies. One of the most discernible differences is that real life seldom offers that black and white sense of right and wrong, usually going into morally gray territory. In a pretty dramatic trial, Los Angeles triplet-carrying surrogate sues father over custody.
When 47 year old California resident Melissa Cook was hired to carry a child for an unnamed man identified only as C.M., she was happy to accept.
Not only was the money decent, the man offering her $33,000 for the pregnancy, but she had always had a soft spot for men who wanted children.
Additionally, Melissa, mother of four, could have used the money she got for the three embryos she was carrying. What she didn’t know was that all three eggs coming from a 20 year-old donor and fertilized by C.M.’s sperm would go on to start proper development.
Finding out that she was going to have triplets nine weeks into the pregnancy, the woman informed the father, as she very well should have. This is where the drama started.
The man insisted that Melissa abort one of the fetuses, as he only wanted twins, and considered that this was the best choice.
Making up her mind to fight for the child she was carrying, Melissa informed the 49 year old postal worker that lived with his parents that she was going to attempt to get custody of one of the children.
In reply, the man responded to her that he would rather give the child up for adoption to a stranger than let her keep it.
After her refusal, Melissa, now 23 weeks pregnant, received a message from C.M.’s attorney, informing her that she was liable to pay financially for her refusal to abort the fetus.
Now in court, the woman’s attorneys are arguing that California’s surrogacy laws are in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s due-process and equal-protection rights.
The woman’s pro-life attorney, Harold Cassidy, famous following the 1980s famous Baby M case, continues to claim that there’s no way the surrogacy laws would stand up to the Constitution, and that it’s abhorrent for a man to demand that a mother terminate one of her fetuses, especially when she offered to raise it herself.
The morally gray territory approached by this case is obvious, with both parties being both in the wrong and in the right.
On the one hand, the woman was under contract, so unless no mention of a potential abortion was made, she would be in direct violation; additionally, the baby is biologically the father’s so he should have the right to decide.
On the other hand, if there were cautionary clauses in the contract, the man had no right to demand that the woman have an abortion, and to threaten her with financial repercussions if she refused to go through; additionally, choosing to give the baby up to a stranger instead of leaving it with the mother that offered to take care of it is simply an act of spite, which is proof of inadequate parenting skills.
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