Melissa Cook offers herself as a surrogate mother to help pay her bills after divorce – TDPel Media
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Melissa Cook became a surrogate mother because she believes that bringing new life into the world is “the greatest gift you can give anyone.”
‘I was overjoyed when I found out I was expecting triplets,’ she says. ‘At the time, I believed that everyone has the right to have children.’
Six years later, she has a radically different perspective. She never saw the three babies after they were born, and she also has no idea where they are now.
Long-running legal attempts to gain access to the children have failed, and she is quite concerned that they are in danger.
‘Little did I know what a nightmare it would become,’ Melissa says, distraught.
‘It’s a nightmare that never ends. When the triplets were born, they were taken away before I could even look at them. It’s heartbreaking.’
Her story has startled the nation and sheds a dark light on the surrogacy industry, which can have disastrous repercussions, no matter how carefully regulated sections of it are.
The truth is that commercial surrogacy in the United States has devolved into a Wild West, with little done to protect mothers or the children they bring into the world if things go wrong.
Melissa’s experience also has crucial lessons for the United Kingdom, not just in terms of the hazards of changing the law to make surrogacy more accessible, but also in terms of the fact that many childless couples in the United Kingdom seek children in America.
Varying states have different regulations, however in the United States, surrogates can be paid handsomely, whereas in the United Kingdom, just expenses are permitted.
Melissa, 54, advises would-be parents to think long and hard before considering an international surrogate.
Her experience began on May 31, 2015, when she signed a surrogacy agreement with Surrogacy International, a California business.
She is a divorced mother of four who freely confesses she needed the money and was set to get $33,000 (£26,000).
Surrogacy costs in the United Kingdom typically run from £12,000 to £18,000 – not insignificant, but leaving little or no profit.
Melissa is not adequately compensated for her work as a’mobile notary,’ traveling to clients’ homes and offices to assist them with legal documents.
‘As a single mum, money was tight,’ she concedes. So she had, once before, become a surrogate to a gay couple – successfully carrying a baby for them.
She says: ‘It was a positive experience. One of the dads came to all my doctors’ appointments. I felt part of their family. When the baby was born I was happy to hand the little boy to his daddies.’
Melissa, on the other hand, claims that her second time as a surrogate was a complete disaster.
She confesses she was apprehensive from the start, claiming that the agency provided her with little information about the family she was supposed to be assisting, citing client confidentiality as an excuse.
It was only after she pushed that she uncovered the truth: she would be functioning as a surrogate mother for a 51-year-old single guy who was deaf and living in his parents’ basement, rather than for a couple.
The Georgian postal worker can only be referred to as ‘C. M.’ for legal reasons.
‘The caution bells rung, but I thought, ‘Why should a disability hinder someone from becoming a parent?’ she said, keeping an open mind. As a result, I signed the deal.’
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