Surrogacy is a popular option for couples struggling with infertility. But what happens when the biological parents decide they no longer want to keep their child? Susan Ring, a gestational carrier, was left with twins when their birth parents abandoned them during the surrogacy. She shared her story on HuffPost Live.
Ring, who has been a gestational carrier for 11 years and had been a surrogate mother for eight babies, had previously birthed a son to the couple. When they asked her to be a surrogate a second time, she had no reason for concern.
"First time around actually was really really good. I had a little boy for the same couple," Ring explained to host Nancy Redd. "So there was no reason to think that anything could go wrong, because the first time was so brilliantly wonderful."
After getting pregnant, this time with twins, Ring found out that the couple was divorcing and didn't want their babies.
"It was perplexing because the question I kept asking was 'why? How can this possibly happen?' I mean, it just doesn't make sense -- they go to these extremes to have children, and then all of a sudden they just don't want to carry on with the pregnancy. And I was about 14 weeks along at the time. I tried to work it through the whole thing, and kept trying to tell them 'my gosh, you've got to keep the babies. These are your babies -- they are genetically linked to your son. '"
When the couple refused to take the babies home, Ring took care of them.
"I ended up taking them home with me because I just didn't have the heart to put them into social services," she explained. "I couldn't do it, just every fiber of my being said, 'no way, I'm taking them home.' I had to name them--I gave them my last name--I had them with me for three months, until I was actually awarded parentage and became the first mother in California, gestational surrogate mother, to become the legal parents to children who were not biologically mine."
Financially, Ring struggled to take care of the twins and her own children, with little support from the family or the surrogacy agency. Rather than demanding that the couple pay for the surrogacy up front, the agency had accepted an arrangement of progress payments, on good faith from the previous problem-free surrogacy. Ultimately, that was a huge mistake.
"They didn't have the funds up front -- big, huge mistake. Nothing to help the babies, nothing to take care of the babies, nothing to buy supplies," Ring said. "So financially, I was taking care of twins and my own kids and daycare kids and it was difficult. But it was well worth it in the end."