A Cautionary Surrogacy Tale

There are many things that I could say about the current New York Times article about a surrogacy gone unfortunately, and horribly wrong. I could focus on how once again, infertility and third-party reproduction has been cast in a skewed, negative light. Even just the first sentence feels like an oily, noxious mass, a slick (and rather slimy) way of injecting jaw-dropping shock into the lead:

Unable to have a baby of her own, Amy Kehoe became her own general contractor to manufacture one.

It worked; from that very first sentence, my jaw did drop from shock, even though I expected as much from the NYT. I was ready to vomit a few lines down with:

Finally, she hired the fertility clinic, IVF Michigan, which put together her creation last December.

As if the twins, the innocent babies caught in the middle of this issue, were nothing more than monsters put together by Frankenstein himself.

As you can expect, the article (and naturally the "why didn't they just adopt" comments that follow) are filled with other such vitriol.

But I'm not going to talk about that (Mel did a good job of it, as she always does).

What I am going to talk about is how this article — this unnecessary article that was used as a weapon of attack and misguided vindication — has struck a terrible fear into the hearts of current and future intended parents. Fear, though, when handled carefully can be a useful emotion. In some cases, fear can lead people to educate themselves better on how to increase the likelihood that they'll avoid that which they most fear. In the case of surrogacy, one of the biggest fears prospective intended parents face is "What happens when the surrogate decides to keep the baby?" Unfortunately for the Kehoes, they've had to face just this very challenge. Here's the rub, though, and the opinion of mine that might initially cause you to drop your jaw to drop — the Kehoes were not without fault in this situation, and a grave mistake on their side, I fear, played a huge part in the judge's decision to award custody to the surrogate.

I have been watching this situation between the Kehoes and their surrogate Laschell unravel for weeks on Surrogate Mothers Online. I have been a member there for several years and I take my role as a moderator seriously. As with any message board, it is not uncommon for there to be heated disputes, especially when the subject matter is something as intimate as third-party reproduction. Usually, I watch these types of disputes from afar and keep my personal opinions to myself, so that I can better maintain a sense of objectivity when I have to intervene and quiet situations down if things begin to get out of hand. Amy and Laschell (especially Laschell) played out a large part of their custody issues on SMO, and as usual, I stayed out of it.

I hoped and prayed that this situation would never come to greater public light with the media, because I knew that it wouldn't bode well for surrogacy in particular and assisted reproduction as a whole. Now that this case has gone public, I feel an obligation to say something about it. Anything facts about the case that I say here is now a matter of public record, and in no way am I divulging anything private. Before I go further, I'd like to state openly that NO ONE will ever have the full story on exactly what happened except the Kehoes and Laschell. I don't claim to know everything of what happened; I'm only discussing the facts as I know them and my objective opinions about them.

Here are the basic facts:

The Kehoes selected an egg donor and sperm donor, both anonymous, and found Laschell as their surrogate. Both the Kehoes and Laschell reside in Michigan, where there are strict laws against surrogacy. The state neither recognizes nor enforces surrogacy contracts, making it an "unfriendly" surrogacy state. Despite these laws (and popular belief), with careful, knowledgeable, and experienced legal guidance, it is possible to complete surrogacies in the state. Risky, but possible. Knowing the risks involved with doing surrogacy in Michigan, they proceeded with the journey and Laschell became pregnant with twins. Somewhere in the pregnancy, Laschell discovered that Amy has a type of psychological disorder which, years ago, lead to an arrest for DUI. The psychological issue was brought under control with medication and Amy has been symptom-free since then. The Kehoes stated that Laschell knew prior to pregnancy that Amy had some sort of psychological issues. Amy states that she knew of no issues until after pregnancy was achieved. Amy regularly sees a psychiatrist, who agreed that Amy is fit to parent. Despite this, Laschell decided that Amy isn't fit to parent. About a month after the twins were born and went home with the Kehoes, Amy decided to attain custody of the twins, and with a court-ordered police escort, did just that. She now states that had she known of Amy's psychological issues ahead of time, she never would have agreed to work with the Kehoes in the first place. The Kehoes fought back, but sadly, things did not end in their favor. Given Michigan's laws that do not recognize the validity of surrogacy contracts, the judge fell back to the adoption laws. As neither Amy or Scott is a genetic link to the twins, Amy — as the birth mother — was awarded full custody of the twins. Low on financial resources, the Kehoes have now stopped their efforts to reclaim their children.

This situation is unfortunate on many levels.  What does this say about how mental illnesses are viewed? About how genetics play a part in custody disputes? About the weight that the intent to parent carries? The implications of the results run far and deep, many of which I won't and can't get into here. These are things that need to be considered, but in this post, I want to lean in on the angle of how to increase the chances of intended parents not ending up in a situation like this one.

In the NYT article, Laschell explained that she feels that she's been vilified by the surrogacy community of SMO. This much is true. She HAS been vilified, and rightfully so, in my humble opinion. She feels that she is being the champion to these babies, claiming them as her own so that they might avoid being raised by an unbalanced mother. As wrong and she is and misguided as she is, I do think she believes she has the babies' best interests at heart. She's had two successful surrogacies before and had no problems (to my knowledge) giving the babies to their parents. Therefore, I'm inclined to believe that she did not enter into surrogacy with the Kehoes with the intent to keep the child/children that she would carry as her own. However, this does not make what she's done right. The babies belong with the parents for whom they were intended. Unfortunately for the Kehoes, in the eyes of Michigan's surrogacy laws, intent does not make a parent, and as intended parents, they lost their children.

So how is it, then, that his situation twisted into working in favor of the surrogate?  As I see it, there were two major mistakes — one is Laschell's, and one is the Kehoe's:

  1. Amy failed to request that the Kehoes have a psychological consult. This is a common, and very necessary step that should be taken prior to signing surrogacy contracts and definitely before any cycling takes place.
  2. The Kehoes failed to fully educate themselves on the proper legal channels to take prior to and during the pregnancy. With Michigan's weak surrogacy laws, they didn't have a legal leg to stand on to get custody. In hindsight, the Kehoes can see where they made their grave mistake and fought for their children.

I hold the opinion that while Laschell should have NEVER claimed
those babies for her own, Scott and Amy unfortunately made it very
difficult for themselves in the long run by not seeking out as much
legal information as possible PRIOR to beginning surrogacy, especially
given the fact that they live in a state where there are such harsh
laws.

On the end of being well-informed, Laschell states Amy's psychological
issues as her rationale for retaining custody of the twins. As an
experienced surrogate, she should have known better than to enter into
a surrogacy arrangement without proper psychological screening and
consents (for herself as well as Amy and Scott) done PRIOR to the journey. If that step had not been
overlooked on her part, then those psychological issues likely would have been
disclosed and then she could have made the decision from that point on
whether to continue forth with cycling or not.

I feel greatly for Amy and Scott, and I absolutely hate that their mistake in not making sure that all their legal bases were covered has resulted in this terrible consequence, which Amy and Scott had quietly accepted and were making steps towards putting to rest entirely. This situation has come to the public light ONLY because Laschell went to the press with the story in the hopes that she "could clear her name" (which is what she indicated on SMO). What she told the NYT is that she's bringing it to light so that Michigan's surrogacy laws can be revised to protect surrogates, intended parents, and the babies born there via surrogacy. Sadly, all she's done is made things worse, and has further frightened current and prospective intended parents to their cores.

On SMO and scattered across the blogosphere, intended parents have discussed the chill that this article ran through them. One IM wrote a moving post to her blog (which she cross-posted on SMO), which explains how she hid the article from her parents, afraid that they might read it and express negativity for her pursuing surrogacy.

My own intended mother, Miss W, sent me this email:

Don't think I'm totally weird here, but after having read that article?  I just
have to say THANK GOD FOR YOU!!! Seriously, if I didn't know there
were people like you? After reading that article?
There is no way on earth that I would even be able to consider moving
forward with surrogacy!  What is going through people's heads?!?!?!

Intended parents are terrified. I can't blame them. Surrogacy is scary enough as it is without such an unfortunate case being splashed in the headlines. However, what the NYT won't tell you is that most surrogacies DO NOT end with such heartbreaking results. The NYT won't tell you that with careful planning, extensive surrogacy research, and knowledgeable legal, psychological, and medical professionals as part of the team, intended parents can greatly minimize the risk of this happening. Let it be said that there are NO guarantees when it comes to surrogacy; this is the scary part of any form of ART, and especially so with surrogacy where there must be so much trust and dependency between surrogates and intended parents. As either an intended parent or surrogate, going into surrogacy with an arsenal of information in your back pocket won't ever completely eliminate the chance of a devastating journey, but it can greatly reduce odds of it happening.

Despite the Kehoe's missteps (with not seeking proper legal and psychiatric counsel prior to cycling), Laschell was completely wrong in
her actions, and in this case, does not deserve to call what she's done a "surrogacy." She was not a surrogate in this situation, and she gives those of us who ARE surrogates a smeared reputation. I am only one of many surrogates who stay true to the heart of surrogacy, which is to create new families (and not to expand our own).

Sadly and frighteningly, though few in number, there are other Laschells out there. I truly, truly hope and pray that prospective intended parents won't read this article and have it tip their scales against pursuing surrogacy. I also hope that if nothing else positive comes from this situation, that at least it will lead future intended parents and surrogates alike to take the time to develop a wide knowledge base before proceeding with a journey and to not cut any corners when they do proceed with a journey.

37 Comments

  1. Mel on December 16, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    I find the whole situation so sad–especially because legally, it feels as if the Kehoes are somewhat being punished for being unable to predict the future. I think your post is fantastic and I hope it will help other people cross their T’s and dot their I’s with their own surrogacy situation, but it feels so incredibly wrong that because of a missing step, their entire world unravels. Granted, I think the psych eval beforehand is an important step–not to weed people out but to prepare people for what they might experience emotionally.



  2. WhichBox on December 16, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    This is a fabulous post, and you’re wonderful for championing the right, and wrong, ways to go about this entire process.
    I do want ot point out, though, that in your passion (which is awesome!), I think a couple of places you typed Amy when you meant Laschell.
    Ugh. Hang in there.



  3. Kristin on December 16, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Brilliantly said my friend!



  4. Moxie on December 16, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    The psych evals are important for both of those reasons. Primarily, the purpose of psych consults is to help ensure that both parties ARE good matches for each other, that both sides seem to be emotionally prepared for the journey, and that they’ve discussed the possible scenarios, especially the worst-case scenarios. I have seen cases where the match seems perfect until things crop up in the psych consult — not necessarily bad things, just certain incompatibilities that helps one party or the other realize that maybe they’re not as good of a match as they thought.
    The reality is that even if the Kehoes would have had all of their legal bases covered, with Michigan’s surrogacy laws, they still could have ended up with the same result. Michigan’s surrogacy laws are so vague and unstable that most agencies will not work with surrogates from that state. While surrogacy in Michigan is possible, for intended parents the laws there put an added layer of risk onto the IPs.



  5. Moxie on December 16, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you much, my friend! That’s what I get for sneak-writing on such a serious topic when I should have been paying undivided attention to the technology training that I was in! I think I’ve fixed them all.



  6. Trish on December 16, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Wow, this just blows my mind. I can’t even imagine how devastated the IPs are! I’m also thankful for you, and for Niobe. Both of you are so much more knowlegable than I, which has made my whole process so much easier! Perhaps you have that book idea???



  7. Jules on December 16, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I about had it with the NYT’s series on assisted reproduction. “Hired” an infertility clinic? Ugh I’m not sure if I’m more annoyed with Laschell or the writer. Why she felt it was her role to assess a mother’s state of mind is beyond me. (I understand an evaluation for what you’re about to embark upon but it’s still not her place)
    I can’t believe she changed their names. I know the Kehoes aren’t blameless but I feel for them. Can’t even imagine.



  8. a on December 16, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    I am stunned by this whole situation. I would think that this would be the greatest fear of anyone who was planning a surrogacy arrangement. I’m not sure exactly how this Laschell thinks that proclaiming to the world that someone with treatable mental illness is unfit as a mother will clear the air or improve her reputation. To me, it sounds like an excuse. Even though she’s had successful surrogacies in the past (or maybe especially because of that), she may have developed a special attachment to these babies, and somewhere during the pregnancy, she changed her mind.
    I’m sorry that the Kehoes lost their children, and that surrogacy will take a hit from this publicity. However, if it makes future IP’s more cautious and informed, then perhaps this article is a good thing.



  9. Waiting In Sunshine on December 16, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Hi Moxie,
    I’m a lurker on your blog (for years!) and also the SMO Intended Mother poster who wrote that I had to hide the NY Times from my parents. Terrible, terrible. Below is the comment I wrote to the NY Times which describes how I feel better than anything I can come up with right now with my fried brain!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    ————-
    Dear NYTimes and all the readers,
    Instead of highlighting “order up babies,” why not highlight all of the babies conceived by fertile parents who are also mentally ill, or addicted to drugs, or also deemed by society “unfit to parent?” What about them? Just because they are able to have se.x and then 9 months later a baby is born, whereas unlucky couples like us who are unable to conceive for whatever reason must turn to 3rd party reproduction, does not make us special. Why are we always highlighted? Why do we get special attention? Please- use your resources elsewhere. It gets so tiring. Tell fertile couples who have 4 or 5 of their own genetic children to “just adopt” instead of us- why do we have to “save the world?” Is it our burden? Why do we have to be scrutinized more than any other parent?
    Ms. Saul- are you a parent? Did you have to go through any screening before you and your partner decided, in the intimacy of your own home, to start a family? Did you have to answer to a doctor or screening guidelines? Was there an article written about you? Do you suffer from ANY medical condition, at all? Thus, do you feel someone would find any fault in your parenting skills, or think you should be a parent?
    How does that feel?
    Please- I beg you- NY Times and society, leave us alone. We are simply doing what the rest of you are doing. We are attempting to start a family the only way we are able to, and we are lucky enough to live in an age where technology allows us to do this. We are not “obsessed” with using our own genetics- do people say that to you when you have your own genetic children? No, they don’t. So, please, leave us alone. We are doing what YOU are doing, just in a much much harder way- you are lucky, appreciate it.



  10. Soapchick on December 16, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks for explaining all of that Moxie and educating us. As a future Intended Parent it is indeed an opportunity to learn before my husband and I enter into any type of surrogacy relationship. This sad situation will certainly not help the surrogacy laws in my home state of Michigan, if anything it will become even more difficult. I feel for the IPs and hope they can find peace someday.



  11. FullPlateMom on December 17, 2009 at 12:11 am

    Moxie,
    I don’t think I’ve ever spoken up here before. I actually found your blog when I joined SMO as a member while investigating surrogacy. The surrogate moms there actually scared me so badly with their harsh words that my husband and I did just “decide to adopt”. We now have a beautiful daughter, she actually reminds me a little of your youngest. Super smart and just the right amount of sass. That board isn’t for the faint of heart. People are very outspoken about their opinions, sometimes scary outspoken. I respect your decision to stay out of a lot of the drama, because there is a lot of it.
    I read a lot of the comments at the bottom of this article. As an adoptive parent, 5 times over now, the “just adopt” comment REALLY pisses me off. I would have LOVED to find the right person to help us. We found her, she just happened to already be pregnant with a child that was biologically hers. Not exactly the best scenario there either.
    Biological connection or not, it would have been awesome to be part of a pregnancy, to be there for a delivery, to hold a baby from day one and not have to worry about “revoke periods” and “post-placements”, to have a happy experience with someone who felt at least a little good about the gift they had given us instead of feeling only one way… devastated. I won’t ever know that feeling. After all the infertility, the loss of ever getting to be any kind of a part of any of that is the largest disappointment. I won’t ever get to hold an ultrasound picture and think “wow, someday I’ll get to hold that baby and he or she might call me mom”. I won’t get to hold a newborn without looking at their bio mom and thinking “I know you’re only giving me this baby because life circumstance has made it so you have to”. I would give anything to change all that, for myself, and for my kids. I know surrogacy is a mixed bag of emotions too, but adoption isn’t always the answer either. And, if I’ve learned anything after being on the receiving end of five wonderfully awesome adopted children, it’s that you don’t screw with other people’s reproductive choices. I HATE it when people ask me intrusive questions about my reproductive issues just because they can tell we’ve adopted (our kids are African-American, we are white). I’ve had people ask me “why didn’t you just have your own”. I did, ya idiot, these are my kids. It took us thousands of dollars, a lot of disappointments and many emotional scars to build the family we have. I didn’t choose any of my birth parents, and I’m connected to them FOREVER. I would have given anything to have any control over the process, to connect with someone who had chosen to be a part of my life forever, instead of being forced into it by circumstance. Surrogacy, and the partnership that comes with it (when done correctly), gives both parties some control. Sounds good to me.
    So, for all the people who think “just adopt”, go ahead and try it. It isn’t the answer to infertility and it certainly isn’t all sunshine and roses either. Just had to give the adoptive parent perspective. We’re cool with surrogacy and I think most of the people who said “just adopt” haven’t ever done it.
    –Becky



  12. Half of a Duo, Raising a Duo on December 17, 2009 at 3:19 am

    I started responding and hit preview and it went into cyberspace.
    Had I started the surrogacy process (and had we not hired a pitbull attorney and one for our surro, as well during contract phase) and read this article I’d remain barren, childless and surrounded by my mentees and that would be that.
    I was terrified of surrogacy because of Whitehead. I know some GS and TS journeys end like this. I personally know people it has happened to where the surrogate (even in a GS journey) gets overly bonded despite legal contracts and it becomes “her body, her baby”. I am so glad I wasn’t around to see this heart rending case played out on public message boards.
    Just adopt. Ok, tell that to my friend who is MAPP trained and despite that and a valid homestudy, and working with an agency, has been waiting 5 years to adopt. My friends surrounding me, who are infertile, and had to turn to ART. Because adoption is brutal, expensive and elusive to many.
    Oh and tell to “my kids” that I mentor, who come from fragile and difficult families… tell those who come from group homes and foster care… that the ‘system’ works and that everyone who can procreate is qualified to be a parent. Riiiiiight. I see the worst of the worst and have done so for DECADES.
    Tell our sons who we worship and adore, via surrogacy… that we aren’t fit to parent. Who gives that woman the right to be judge and jury. Only GOD.
    Most IPs via surrogacy turn to surrogacy and ART because adoption is so hard and takes so long. Most of us have valid homestudies, as well. We are qualified and fit.
    I hope that GS has to pay back every flipping dime that couple expended. How tragic and sad. If this played out when I was researching alonside the DH… I’d still be childless. I would have been too terrified to move forward. Thankfully we did lots of research, went to an IP friendly state and hired THE BEST attorney who basically wrote the law on surrogacy in that state. That’s what you have to do. Oh and hire an attorney for your surro too.
    Not inexpensive. Not at all. But worth it.



  13. Baby Smiling In Back Seat on December 17, 2009 at 5:39 am

    Balanced and reasoned, just as I would expect from you. I’m so glad you gave us your perspective.



  14. Rachel on December 17, 2009 at 7:05 am

    I really enjoyed reading your response. Since I don’t know that much about surrogacy (my interest being limited to wanting to donate eggs to a dear couple who have no uterus between them) I was actually just blown away that people would try and do surrogacy in states where there is no protection. I find the behavior of the surrogate unconscientable and the slant of the article as egregious. However one little thing that did bother me and has not received much comment (I didn’t make it very far through the NYTs comments) was that both women wanted a “Christian” surrogate/intended parent. While I realize a common religion can be a bonding point, it obviously did not equal shared views here. And I wonder if we would feel the same if the intended parent said she was only looking for a white surrogate, or a tall blond one. As a non-Christian I find it a bit surprising how easily we let these comments slide. They could mean nothing here or an attempt to find someone with similar values, but they often read as a little slight exclusionary gesture towards the rest of us, just like a little “No Italians wanted” sign in the corner. It doesn’t help that our first IF clinic asked us at every single appt if we’d found a “minister/church” in town yet (the answer always being a stiff no since there was no synagogue and I really didn’t want to go into it with them. Even the nurses who had done my genetic screening and obviously knew our background asked repeatedly).



  15. jenn on December 17, 2009 at 7:24 am

    I am so glad you wrote this- as I was reading that article I could see nothing but red. I have offered to one day be a GS for my sister who while not technically infertile- is on a medication for a sleep disorder that is incompatible with fetal life. I am floored that this woman could decide to be judge & jury calling the intended mother unfit. Would someone call my sister unfit because she has to take a medication to live a functional life? Does that make her less of a person, less of a parent? If she were able to put her health in jeopardy & go off the medication & carry her own genetic child- wouldn’t that make her more ‘obsessed’ with a genetic tie? Putting her own health at risk & actually making it harder to parent after a pregnancy makes surrogacy or adoption her only viable options. But I doubt she ever thinks of it as ‘just adopt’.
    While I am always pissed off after reading a Saul article- this one hit very close to home. Thank you for your response & the balanced information you present. I certainly have a lot of food for thought should this situation become a reality- whether with me or another GS, for my sister & her husband.
    And I am also shocked that she changed their names- that to me felt like the ultimate slap in the face. It says to me that she bonded with them & wanted them.



  16. tash on December 17, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Moxie, I turned a blind eye to this article once I saw the byline and realized it was probably only written for shock value and to see the nasty comments. I’m so glad that people in the computer have read it and tackled it with grace and reason.
    YOU NEED TO WRITE A BOOK. Seriously. I cannot fathom entering a contract like this on either side, but frankly on the IP side, without psych evaluation/mediation. If I had any inkling that a surrogate felt so strongly about the moral values of her IP’s, I would air absolutely everything and make sure nothing in my background would set off alarm bells, or I’d be out of there faster than fast. While I agree that the surrogate in this case acted miserably and deserves vilification, I also agree wholeheartedly that not enough was done to possibly nip these problems before anyone exchanged biological matter. It’s tragic. But it’s one case, and it should be a lesson, not a freak show/car wreck.
    Also, may I say, I’m so glad to hear the chorus rise up against the “just adopt” crowd. I’m so over that.



  17. calliope on December 17, 2009 at 9:11 am

    *stands up and claps*
    well said and said in such a heartfelt and honest way.



  18. Half of a Duo, Raising a Duo on December 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Moxie I just want to add one more comment here.
    Those of us who have read the surrogacy boards and know that THE SHOE CAN DROP just “like that”.
    OMG. I spent a sleepless night last night after reading that article. It disturbed me beyond anything imaginable. I cannot tell you how disturbed. I try and try to overcome the fear that some day, after MANY losses, the shoe won’t drop on us. There is an anti-TS, anti-surrogacy and anti-adoption movement out there that can’t be denied.
    Those people who are anti everything… it is due to them that perhaps some day adoption and surrogacy will be outlawed completely. What choices will those of us who are unfortunate enough to be barren (like me, totally barren), infertile, or childless have? These people say, if we are infertile and barren it is our problem. No, it is society’s problem and it is a HUGE problem.
    I cannot tell you the things I have seen with regard to the foster care system. It would pierce your HEART. Kids being taken from abusive horrible homes, with nothing but a diaper and t-shirt on. Yes. For real. That is what the system would devolve to. Many, many more children in foster care. Many, many more children damaged permanently, their psyches destroyed by physical, mental and sexual abuse.
    Good lord.
    Do people like the author of this article actually REALIZE that children in foster care, when they age out at 18 are THROWN TO THE WOLVES. OMG! That is what the “system” would turn to if we did not have the avenues we have w/regard to ART and adoption.
    By the time most kids get placed in foster care by parents unfit to procreate… it is too late to save their little souls and hearts from living way too difficult and psyche altering things.
    OMG. This makes me so burning mad. I just cannot TELL YOU.



  19. Amanda on December 17, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I wish you hadn’t had to write this post, but it was very good and I’m glad that a balanced voice of reason is out there.



  20. Beautiful Mess on December 17, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    I read part of the article last night after reading Mel’s post and it made me sick to my stomach. I can NOT believe she took those children away from their parents! It’s disgusting. I feel for both sides of this situation, despite what I just stated. It’s a whole mess that could have been avoided if they would have just paid attention. It’s so very sad.
    Great job on staying in the middle and being informative. It’s appreciated!
    *HUGS*



  21. loribeth on December 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    You & Mel are voices of reason & compassion (not to mention you have first-hand experience with the topic). Thank you!



  22. duck on December 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Moxie,
    As an IM we had mixed feelings on the story, I knew of the situation from SMO and although the article is horrid in the manner it was written, I am glad that there is a bigger light being shined on Surrogacy Law in certain states.
    I would NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER ever even for a nano second ever consider working with any surrogate who did not live in a surrogate friendly state or province (in Canada where I reside this means avoiding surrogates from Quebec).
    No matter who amazing a surrogate relationship can be, things can happen, and I never want to be without the law on my side (in Ontario it is the person who intends to be the parent who is considered the parent – ie the intended parents).
    All that said, my current GS is a dream GS and now a really grea friend, and it is women like you and her that should be featured by the NYT and I would be more than happy to share our wonderful story with any paper.



  23. Steven and Michelle on December 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Like many above, my wife and I were horrified by the NYTimes story, on so many levels. My wife is 4 months into her own journey as a gestational surrogate to a wonderful couple in New Jersey and we’re so thankful that BOTH sides in this arrangement did all their homework. The extra vetting, screening, precautionary meetings with lawyers, etc. was so WORTH it in the end. To that end, I’m sharing our story in a blog — from the GS’s husband’s perspective — called: http://GuestWomb.com



  24. JessPond on December 17, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Good night, that story is apalling on so many levels! I’m always interested to hear your pov, and you said it well. It’s much like adoption (or ANY parenting), really. Going in half-blind is a sure way to get burnt. But still, just so, so sad.



  25. Amanda on December 17, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you for speaking out for the good surrogates out there. You are all amazing and I admire you more than I can ever express for doing what you do. If only we could clone you and delete Michigan…
    My heart breaks for the Kehoes and for their children that will probably never know the parents that worked so hard to pave their way into this world!



  26. WiseGuy on December 18, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Completely heartbreaking….I am so sorry for the mother who waited for the twins to arrive, had them for a month and were then ‘recalled’…Awful….and I love the insight you have in the article. I sure hope that people who are interested in choosing surrogacy as a famiily building option, will focus on the legal modalilities of it, which was the downfall of the intended mother here…..



  27. Erin on December 18, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Sadly, though, there will certainly be intended parents who were at the deciding point and will now decide that surrogacy is not the route they want to pursue. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind.
    I am absolutely floored at how journalists, who are supposedly to be unbiased and present even-handed stories, are constantly coming out with these anti-ART stories. The NYT is particularly bad about it. It doesn’t surprise me that they would post this kind of story, or that the comments are so vile.
    How sad for the Kehoes.



  28. Me on December 19, 2009 at 2:24 am

    Have I told you lately that I love you?



  29. Barb on December 19, 2009 at 4:25 am

    Fabulously written and thought out as always. Thank you for this well worded insight. Indeed, Thank God for people like you. ๐Ÿ™‚



  30. Merlot on December 19, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Wow, wow, wow… And yes, I have been thinking about it for my embryos because I can’t carry them myself without making myself very sick. This article has scared the heck out of me. Much more than the lawyer I spoke with.



  31. Cindy on December 20, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Wow. Just wow. Thank you for sharing this. I tried to read the NYT artcile, but as with most of the articles out there about any form of ART the chosen language and bias just pissed me off. I am horrified by this story…and by the opinions that will be generated by it. Thank you for sharing this.



  32. Regina on December 28, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Oh I can’t even finish reading your post. My heart breaks and I have had enough heart break lately. So, so sad…..



  33. luna on December 29, 2009 at 2:14 am

    you are so full of The Awesome. seriously, where is that book contract? you have SO much to add on this issue and you say it SO much more eloquently and passionately and compassionately than anyone out there.



  34. Sarah@ when two becomes three on January 28, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    As a FIM, I cannot even express how sad this story makes me. It’s just heartbreaking. I watched Dr. Phil today and I was floored by his last question to Laschelle and her answer that no matter what she would not return the babies to their parents. Not only does it taint surrogacy but it also taints conceiving with the help of a donor.



  35. A Very Sad IM on January 29, 2010 at 3:17 am

    I’m also an IM with empty arms, I have been through what the Kehoes are going through. When I saw the segment on GMA, I was utterly sickened. Even after going through it, I can say that the heartbreak is truly imaginable. There were days when I didn’t know how I could breathe or get through it. It eclipses any other trial of my life. I don’t think my surro or the Kehoe’s surro will ever comprehend the magnitude of hurt they’ve caused.
    And, I live in a surro-friendly state and covered all my bases and it didn’t change the outcome. It’s based on case law not legislation.
    I believed in surrogacy. With all my heart. I still do. But the laws desperately need to be clarified and redefined to include the reality of what ART can be in this day and age. In every state.
    Infertility sucks. I send my love and best wishes to every single family out there trying so hard to be parents. I have not yet succeeded but I will keep up the fight for the honor of motherhood someday.
    Thank you for writing this story.



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