She signed up to be a surrogate mother — and unwittingly gave her own child away
Jessica Allen was already the mother of two boys when she decided to become a surrogate.
The pay she would receive to carry another woman’s child to term — $30,000 — would allow Allen to become a stay-at-home mom, as well as save for a new house. It would also be her “chance to give a family the blessing of a child,” her partner, Wardell Jasper, told her, according to the New York Post, which first reported the story.
So Allen signed up to become a surrogate with the San Diego-based Omega Family Global, which matched her with a Chinese couple identified in the article only as the “Lius,” a pseudonym. In April 2016, after in vitro fertilization treatments, Allen became pregnant with the couple’s baby.
Six weeks later, the first of many surprises in her surrogacy would crop up: A second baby had appeared in her scans.
“I was a bit scared, but I heard the Lius were thrilled to be having twins,” Allen, 31, told the newspaper. “My $30,000 payment, including expenses — which I received in installments by check each month — was increased by $5,000 for the second child. Not once during the pregnancy did any of the medical staff provided by the agency say that the babies were in separate sacs. As far as we were concerned, the transferred embryo had split in two and the twins were identical.”
Last December, Allen gave birth to both babies by C-section at a hospital in Riverside, Calif. She claimed she was not allowed to see the newborns or spend an hour with them, as her contract with Omega Family Global had outlined — leaving her heartbroken days after the delivery. She had only briefly seen a cellphone picture of the babies and remarked that they looked different.
Only later would she realize how accurate her observation had been.
On Jan. 10, nearly a month after the babies were born, Allen said she received a message from “Mrs. Liu” with another picture of the twins.
“They are not the same, right?” the message read, according to the New York Post. “Have you thought about why they are different?”
A DNA test would soon reveal the truth: One of the “twins” was actually Allen and Jasper’s biological son. Despite using condoms, they had apparently conceived the child after becoming pregnant with the Lius’ baby, in what is believed to be an extremely rare case of superfetation.
"superfetation". A woman who is already pregnant can get pregnant again, apparently.
What followed is an ugly legal battle, but those are commonplace.