Analysis

Surrogate mother and twins she carried abandoned by biological parents

surrogate, Virginia, surrogacy, adoption

A surrogate mother is raising twins after the would-be biological parents abandoned the children. Allegedly, they did not want to undergo the quarantine requirements in order to enter the United States, where the surrogate lives — but long after the travel restrictions have been lifted, the parents still have not come to claim their children.

The surrogate, whose name was only given as Amanda, told Kidspot that she had previously gone through surrogacy, and it had been a positive experience, so she decided to do it one more time. An agency connected Amanda with a couple who lived overseas, and after signing the contract, Amanda became pregnant with twins. In February of 2021, she gave birth… but the parents never came.

“They weren’t willing to quarantine for two weeks before entering the US,” Amanda said. “Not only did they not pick up the twins – they never established their parental rights.”

Amanda and her husband were listed as the children’s parents on their birth certificates with the plan that a second set of birth certificates would be created with the biological parents’ names when they arrived to get their children. But since they never arrived, Amanda and her husband are still the parents on the birth certificates. Since the parents never filed to claim their parental rights, Amanda has been left to raise twins Hannah and James.

READ: Buying a baby: The harmful objectification inherent in surrogacy and IVF

Initially, Amanda said the parents kept in touch and sent money. “James is smiling a lot and Hannah is fussy,” she wrote in a letter to the parents. She said the response from the mother was odd. “She asked which twin was James and which was Hannah – she didn’t know which baby I was talking about… it had been three months. I had to take another picture of the babies and label it.”

Eventually, at the end of 2021, the COVID travel restrictions were lifted, and the parents continued sending money, but never came to get the twins. Amanda asked them to stop sending money if they didn’t plan to get the twins, and after that, contact stopped completely. The parents didn’t even contact the twins on their first birthday, and at 14 months old, Amanda is still raising them.

Surrogacy is an inherently exploitative industry, with women like Amanda often taken advantage of by wealthy buyers, renting their wombs on demand. Sadly, it is not unheard of for the children of surrogates to be abandoned, usually because the child has an unexpected disability or condition. But for now, Amanda and her husband have no idea what the future will hold for them — or for the twins she agreed to carry.

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