Carrie Mathews, a mom of four from Colorado said she loved being pregnant. She wanted to help another family who couldn't otherwise have kids and decided to become a surrogate. This pregnancy turned out to be anything but easy, though, with a quarter-of-a-million-dollar consequence to follow.
Mathews found the National Adoption and Surrogacy Center online who connected her with many families before she found the "perfect" couple: Rudolf and Teresa Bako, from Austria. The Bakos had been trying to have children for 20 years, 9news reports.
Bakos agreed to pay Mathews $25,000 for carrying the child and signed a contract. According to 9news:
"The 30-plus page contract also took into account every possible scenario that could happen during the pregnancy, as well as exactly when and how the Bakos would pay."
After flying to Cyprus for the embryo transfer, Mathews became pregnant with twins -- said to be harder to carry than just one baby. She couldn't keep food down, had severe swelling and ended up with preeclampsia which led to HELLP Syndrome, she told 9 news. She was ordered to bed rest. The contract indicated that if for any reason Mathews could not work or take care of her kids during the pregnancy, she would receive an additional $250 per week -- but she never received it.
Mathews gave birth on July 21 and was in the hospital for 20 days because of complications. The Bakos headed back to Austria with the twins while Mathews waited for the rest of the money owed to her -- a sum of $14,077.67, according to Hilary Neiman, the surrogacy center's founder and attorney.
(As 9News mentioned, Neiman made headlines in August when she plead guilty to wire fraud because of a baby-selling ring in the U.S. and Ukraine.)
Then, on top of the money already owed to them, the Mathews received a $217,000 hospital bill. 9News has made several attempts to contact the Bakos but they have been unresponsive. After their 9news sent their 5th email, Teresa Bako responded that they're working with their attorney.
The Mathews have yet to hear from the Bakos regarding the babies or their money.