Children are a blessing, but not all parents are biologically capable of conceiving children, and while adoption is the right answer for many, other parents prefer to use a surrogate mother. After having two beautiful children, Jessica Allen decided she wants to share her luck with others and be a surrogate mother. She matched with a Chinese couple unable to have a baby, and they began the mutual journey. At the beginning, it all went smoothly, and Jessica surprisingly but happily gave birth to twins. The story got complicated when Jessica, as well as the new parents, noticed that the twins aren’t identical, and in fact, they don’t look alike whatsoever. A DNA test revealed the shocking answer.
Sharing her bliss
After having two beautiful babies, Jessica Allen decided to do the most generous act imaginable and help a couple who is unable to biologically conceive.
Jessica and her husband Wardell knew this process involves some health risks, but she wanted to be able to give someone the greatest gift possible.
It wasn’t just that she could bestow someone this beautiful gift, but Jessica knew it would pay off for her family as well – being a surrogate involved great financial benefits.
As parents for two, Jessica and Wardell needed the money to support their children. It seemed like a win-win situation for her.
Embarking on the journey
Jessica and Wardell signed to begin the surrogacy process with the agency Omega Family Global, who promised her compensation in the sum of $30,000.
She was matched with a Chinese couple by the name Liu, who identified on the form as the “Lius.” The Chinese woman wasn’t capable of naturally conceiving a baby, and so she underwent IVF treatments (in-vitro fertilization).
An absolute miracle
Fertility treatments aren’t a sure success, and sadly their success rates aren’t too high, so when they work smoothly it’s often considered a proper miracle. That was the case for Jessica Allen, and on April 2016 she was pregnant with the Liu’s baby.
IVF is a medical process that allows to combine the mother’s egg with the father’s sperm outside the body and place the embryo in a surrogate body. Thanks to its success, the process is increasing in popularity among parents who are unable to have their own babies.
According to the rules
Jessica made sure to follow the agency’s guidelines meticulously, as such proceedings of adoption are sensitive and might involve many different complications.
Jessica knew there is a lot at stake for her family as well as for the Lius. She understood the responsibility involved in carrying someone else’s precious baby.
Double the miracle
Everything was going smoothly, and the expecting parents were impatient to meet their baby. However, at the six-week scan, they had a surprise waiting for them – Jessica was carrying twins.
This wasn’t uncommon for IVF treatments, though. Since the treatments don’t always work in the first try, they use more than one embryo to increase the chances of fertilization.
A pleasant surprise
Jessica was speechless – she never had twins before, and this wasn’t planned. But when she heard the parents were thrilled to have twins, she was happy for them and her worries immediately dissolved.
Having twins was good news not only for the Lius but for Jessica as well – she was told her payment would increase for having two babies, and indeed it was raised to $35,000.
No more surprises
Everyone simply assumed the embryo had split in two and they were expecting identical twins. It might not be common, but it’s not at all impossible.
They didn’t have any more surprises during Jessica’s pregnancy, which was completely ordinary. After this surprise, Jessica was extra cautious not to do anything that might risk this pregnancy in any way.
Welcome to the world
In December that year, Jessica’s due date came around and she happily gave birth to two healthy baby boys. The Lius, as well as Jessica, were over the moon, and both sides thought this was where they were parting ways.
Jessica wasn’t allowed to spend any time with the babies according to her contract with the agency. In fact, she hardly got to see them at all.
Something isn’t right
Jessica only got a short glance at the babies after her delivery, and that was the first time she noticed that the twins she has been carrying for nine months weren’t identical.
She was troubled by this observation, and she wished there was a way for her to see them once more. Only when she received a photo of the babies from the Lius, shortly after her birth, did she really start to suspect something wasn’t right.
Are they even twins?
At first glance, she noticed that only one of them looks Chinese. But as she studied the photo, she realized the babies had practically nothing in common.
This put in her mind the idea that one of the babies might be her biological son. She didn’t know if it was biologically possible, but it was hard to argue with how different the babies looked.
Looking for answers
A little more than a month passed since the birth when Jessica received another message from the Lius. Apparently, she wasn’t the only one suspecting that something was wrong.
Mrs. Liu noticed that the babies aren’t similar. While Jessica agreed there is no similarity between the babies whatsoever, she was clueless as to what might explain this.
The two couples agreed that the wisest thing to do was take a DNA test – this was the only way to explain the confusing situation both Jessica and the Lius found themselves in.
Though the results were somewhat expected, it was still shocking to hear it from the doctors – one of the babies’ DNA matched that of the Lius, and the second baby matched the DNA of Jessica and Wardell.
This was an extremely irregular situation. A reproductive medicine specialist told the ABC news this case was so rare, there were only about 10 reported pregnancies like this one.
Jessica’s case, called superfetation (from the word fetus), describes a simultaneous occurrence of more than one offspring in the same body. This phenomenon is the result of the woman still ovulating past becoming pregnant and is extremely uncommon among humans.
After the oddity was explained, the only question remaining was who gets to keep the baby. Since these cases are so rare, there are no regularities for them in the agency and no clear legal instructions.
Jessica was heartbroken after learning she gave away one of her babies. She argued that the baby should be under the care of his biological parents, “where he belongs.”
A major conflict
The Lius, on their part, felt as if the two boys were their babies, even if they weren’t twins as they initially thought. They argued that they fulfilled their part of the deal by paying Jessica what she was promised.
At the beginning of this long process, the couple adored Jessica for allowing them to have this blessing, but now they accused her of being selfish.
Max or Malachi?
The Chinese parents called their baby Max, while Jessica and Wardell insisted that his name is Malachi. The two couples realized the only way to solve this conflict was to hire a lawyer.
The Chinese couple wasn’t ready to give up the child, who they considered their own even though he wasn’t biologically theirs. By the time this mistake surfaced, they already considered him a part of their family.
The disappointed Chinese parents then decided that if they must give back their son, they should be financially compensated for it.
After all, they have been raising him and paying for him for the last few months since his birth, not to mention the fertility treatments paid for by them, and they demanded their money back.
Jessica and Wardell felt as if a great mistake and injustice was made here. The Lius knew of their meager financial situation – after all, that’s part of the reason Jessica wanted to be a surrogate.
It wasn’t easy for them to come up with the money the Lius required, but they were willing to do anything to have their son unite with them.
They couldn’t give them back the money from the surrogacy either, as they already spent all of it and more on a new house for the family.
They had spent their entire savings on a new home and were now struggling to pay the legal fees for the process of getting back their baby.
A new development
Jessica and her husband were desperate to unite with their baby, and although they knew he belonged with them, he was an unexpected blessing – and their financial difficulties troubled them.
That’s when the agency informed them that the Chinese couple was no longer interested in keeping that baby that wasn’t biologically theirs.
However, it wasn’t that simple – they were willing to give the baby to Jessica and Wardell but demanded compensation in the sum of $22,000.
Having to buy their own baby was something Jessica and Wardell never imagined they would have to do. They didn’t have this amount of money and felt completely helpless.
The agency came up with a solution to this conflict in the form of putting the baby up for adoption, and the adopting parents would pay the compensation fees to the Lius. When news about this reached Jessica and Wardell, they couldn’t believe what they were hearing.
If this didn’t work out, the Lius could put the baby up for adoption, as he was still legally their son. This scenario was beyond Jessica and Wardell’s wildest imagination.
Clearing the air
Just when the desperate couple thought this couldn’t get any worse, it turned out that the Chinese couple was being manipulated by their lawyer.
An unfortunate miscommunication led the Lius to believe that Jessica and Wardell are threatening to sue, and this is what made them demand compensation. Truth was, Jessica and Wardell never planned on suing anyone for money – they simply wanted their baby back.
Happily ever after
They thought that after clearing the air they would have no trouble with getting back their son, but Jessica and Wardell were once again surprised. According to them, the Lius still refused to sign the necessary papers.
After hearing endless excuses, the Lius finally signed the papers, and Jessica and Wardell were given custody over their baby.