Well this turned into a terrible situation, especially for one of the babies.
A Georgia man hired Melissa Cook (age 47) for $33,000 to have a child by in-vitro fertilization using his sperm and the eggs of a 20-year-old donor. The woman, from California, was implanted with three embryos. The “dad” became overwhelmed when he learned she was having triplets — and demanded the woman abort one of the fetuses while threatening her with financial ruin, Melissa claims.
“They are human beings. I bonded with these kids. This is just not right,” Melissa Cook told The Post. They learned she was having triplets when the
Cook, a mother of four — including her own set of triplets — is now 17 weeks pregnant. She also had a fifth child as a surrogate. According to California law, aside from life-threatening exceptions,
The dad’s lawyer, Robert Warmsley, says “the dad understands, albeit does not agree, with your decision not to reduce,” which he wrote in a Friday letter to Cook, who has never met the sperm donor.
Apparently they have an agreement, hence the threat of financial harm. “As you know, his remedies where you refuse to abide by the terms of the agreement, are immense [and] include, but are not limited to, loss of all benefits under the agreement, damages in relation to future care of the children [and] medical costs associated with any extraordinary care the children may need,” the lawyer warned.
The surrogate received another letter from Warmsley on Tuesday urging her to schedule a “selection reduction” — abortion of one of the
Cook wrote an emotional letter to the dad, “The doctor put in three healthy embryos . . . The chances were high they were all going to take. You knew I was 47 years old. If you knew you only wanted two babies, then why put in three embryos?” According to her contract, Cook is entitled to her $33,000 pregnancy fee for one baby, plus an additional $6,000 for each additional child.
Given the pressure she’s under, Cook said she was wavering on her decision to keep all three babies. “I have to reduce. I’m scared. I don’t want to suffer,” said Cook, who is split from her husband and lives in Woodland Hills, Calif. (What about the baby’s suffering?)
Jennifer Lahl, head of the Center for Bioethics and Culture, a group that opposes surrogacy, said the Cook case is the first she’s aware of in which a surrogate mom has gone public to expose the pressure she’s under to undergo an abortion.
The dad’s lawyer declined comment to the New York Post.
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