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Biological father forced to pay child support to surrogate

When a couple is unable to conceive a child, they are often willing to go to great lengths to expand their family. While some will turn to adoption, many wish to have a child that shares their own genetic makeup. Surrogacy is an option that appeals to many Florida couples, and it is a great way to bring a new life into the world. When things do not go as planned, however, the outcome can be far different than anyone imagined. Such is the case for a family that is now being forced to pay child support to the woman who acted as their surrogate.

The couple sought the services of a surrogate, and they found a woman who seemed perfectly suited to the role. She was young, but even at 22 years old, she seemed committed to helping the couple expand their family. The surrogate was married, and she told the couple that she and her husband were waiting to have their own kids until they could purchase a home.

The parties signed a surrogacy contract, and the surrogate underwent a procedure that used her own egg and sperm from the other woman's husband. The surrogate became pregnant and seemed joyful when she shared the news with the couple. However, within three months of conceiving the child, the surrogate began to act strangely. She soon ended all communication with the couple.

The couple, under the advisement of an attorney, continued to pay the surrogate's medical bills and send her gifts and money for maternity clothing. However, she gave birth without notifying them, and she took the child home to live with her. The couple has been fighting to gain custody of the child every since; however, they have only been able to secure limited visitation rights.

Because the husband is the child's biological father, he is tasked with making child support payments to the mother, who originally intended to act solely as the surrogate. This leaves the husband's wife in the unusual role of being a technical stepmother to the child she intended to raise as her own. The case is unusual, and it has led to a great deal of stress and expense for all involved. It also serves as a warning to Florida residents who are considering using a surrogate to add to their family.

Source: People, "Heartbroken Parents Left Paying Child Support After Surrogate Keeps Their Baby Girl: 'I Spend Every Day Thinking of Her,' Says Mom", Caitlin Keating, March 7, 2016

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