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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Surrogate Mother Who Refused to Abort Child Flees State to Keep Couple From Taking Custody

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2013 Mar 06
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The story of a woman who defied the demands of a couple to abort the baby she was carrying for them as a surrogate recently made headlines, the Christian News Network reports. Crystal Kelley, 29, was carrying a child for a Connecticut couple struggling with infertility, but approximately five months into the pregnancy, doctors discovered the child had severe abnormalities, including heart defects, a cyst on the brain and a cleft lip and palate. The baby would require several heart surgeries following birth, and would likely survive, but would only have a 25 percent chance at a normal life, doctors said. When the waiting couple found out, they demanded that Kelley have an abortion -- but Kelley refused. After the couple called Hartford Hospital to inquire about abortion services and were informed that only Kelley could request an abortion, they offered to pay Kelley $10,000 to have the baby aborted. The couple hired an attorney, but still Kelley refused. She hired her own attorney, who contended that she should not be forced to have an abortion. Shortly thereafter, the couple informed Kelley they had changed their minds and planned to take custody of the child, then surrender her as a ward of the state upon birth. Kelley's attorney presented her options, one of which was to move to a state where only the woman carrying the child is recognized as the mother under the law -- so Kelley decided to move to Michigan, a state that also provides the best pediatric heart care in the country, and give the baby up for adoption. The couple continued to fight for their rights to the child, but it was admitted in court documents that the woman had used an anonymous egg donor during the in vitro fertilization process, so when the baby girl was born, Kelley's name went on the birth certificate. The girl still deals with numerous health issues and faces a number of risky heart surgeries, but according to her adoptive parents, she is in good spirits. Kelley, who is thankful she fought for the baby's life, is adamant that she made the right decision. "When I look into her pretty blue-ish eyes, I can see that sparkle that makes me know that I did the right thing by standing up for her," she said.