In North Dakota, a woman gave birth to her own granddaughter.
Mandy Stephens was struggling to have a baby with her husband Jamie so they tried IVF treatment. After the tragic loss of their son who was born prematurely doctors advised the couple that future pregnancies would be high risk.
They then started to investigate other avenues for them to have a child together such as adoption and surrogacy. Mandy’s younger sister and Mother both stepped forward and said they would be surrogates for their relative after seeing the sadness the couple experienced in losing a child.
You might be shocked to discover that doctors advised the couple that Mandy’s mum Sherri Dickson was the stronger candidate to carry a baby for the couple. Despite suffering from multiple sclerosis, which can affect balance vision and muscle movement that could increase the chances of her falling over during the pregnancy Sherri was chosen over Mandy’s younger sister.
Why Was Sherri Dickson Chosen?
The 51-year old mother of three had not yet gone through menopause and had experienced pregnancy three times. Plus her MS was in remission and it was thought that the changes in women's immune systems that occur during pregnancy might help keep the symptoms of MS at bay. But this is not the main reason she was selected.
Mandy and Jamie were advised Sherri was the better surrogate to have their child via IVF because she was less likely to develop psychological attachments to the child than Mandy’s younger sister. Often there are problems with surrogacy agreements when the surrogate mother develops a strong attachment to the baby and refuses to give them up.
An example of this is when a mother misled a gay couple in their surrogacy arrangement. It highlights how important it is to get surrogacy agreements right in the first place. Surrogacy is a complex area of law that often becomes more difficult when surrogacy agreements are made internationally.
Slater and Gordon are experts in the laws surrounding surrogacy. If you need to speak with a child law specialist you can call us on freephone 0800 916 9055 at any time or alternatively you can contact us online and we will call you back.