Thanks For Carrying Our Twins But We No Longer Want Them, Couple Tells Surrogate

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A surrogate mother in Canada was carrying twins for a British couple when, just three months before her due date, she received a text message saying the deal was off. Turns out the couple had separated and they weren’t up to the task of being parents after all. So the surrogate – already the mother of a one- and two-year-old – was left to her own devices: have the babies and keep them, or put them up for adoption. She chose the latter.

It’s a crazy story that says as much about Canadian surrogacy laws as it does the human condition (this couple abandoned their babies via text!). An article in The Toronto Star tells the entire tale of 20-year-old Cathleen Hachey, the New Brunswick-based surrogate, and how she became faced with this unfortunate situation.

It begins with Hachey meeting the British couple through the website Surrogate Mothers Online. For six months, she spoke with them daily and then met them face-to-face back in November, when they flew to New Brunswick for a visit. According to the article, the three signed a surrogacy contract prepared by the couple that declared them the child’s legal parents and granted Hachey $200 per month for pregnancy-related expenses. They agreed that Hachey would be a traditional surrogate vs. a gestational surrogate, which means she would use her own egg and the husband’s sperm to conceive (the wife has polycystic ovarian syndrome). Hachey performed an at-home insemination using a medical syringe and semen from a cup.

Everything was moving along as planned – Hachey was pregnant with a boy and a girl – when the couple split. That’s when the intended mother sent a 27-week-pregnant Hachey a text message saying she wouldn’t be able to care for twins as a single mother. Hachey was shocked and, as she tells The Star, “They were my biological children so they were my biological problem.” She eventually found a couple in Nova Scotia who was thrilled to adopt them.

Despite what she’s been through, Hachey plans to start another surrogate pregnancy in January – though this time she’ll spring for a lawyer. We think that’s a wise move.

(Photo: David De Lossy)