A California surrogate mother carrying triplets has launched a lawsuit after the biological father asked her to abort one of the babies, saying he only wanted twins.
Melissa Cook was hired for $33,000 by an unnamed Georgia man to have a child via in-vitro fertilization, using his sperm and eggs from a donor. Nine weeks into her pregnancy, she discovered that all three implanted embryos had taken. Cook was then asked by the biological father to abort one of the babies or face monetary damages.
The 47-year-old surrogate mom has now filed a lawsuit with the Los Angeles Superior Court challenging the state’s surrogacy laws.
“I have a deep empathy for men who want children,” Cook said in a statement to People. “However, I now think that the basic concept of surrogacy arrangements must be re-examined, scrutinized and reconsidered.”
Watch the video above for the full story.
In the U.S., it is only legal in some states to pay a woman to carry a child, otherwise known as commercial surrogacy. More specifically, California is known to have the most lenient laws regarding surrogacy, making it one of the most booming places for the industry.
In Canada, on the other hand, commercial surrogacy is illegal across the country. It is also illegal for people to advertise payment for the service. Altruistic surrogacy, however, is allowed. This means it is legal to reimburse a surrogate for expenses incurred during the pregnancy, including medical costs, travel and so on.
In regards to abortion during surrogacy, laws vary since surrogates and parents-to-be decide on the matter in their contractual agreements. This applies to both Canada and the U.S. Some parties agree they will abort the baby if there are growing medical concerns, while others determine they will carry the baby to term regardless.
In Cook’s case, the contract with the biological father reportedly permitted him to request the termination of the babies she is carrying. Because of this, Cook wants the state's surrogacy law to be declared unconstitutional, according to the Washington Times.
Cook is now 23 weeks pregnant and is seeking custody of at least one of the triplets.
Also on HuffPost