Redditor ThrowawayAlt345 is a woman who is unable to have kids due to health problems.
But because she and her husband want to raise a family, they opted to go with surrogacy and were introduced to a volunteer by a friend.
The person willing to bear a child for the couple is a 29-year-old woman named Brittany. When her behavior throughout the process rubbed the Redditor the wrong way, drama ensued.
The Redditor visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for telling my surrogate to stop acting like she was my husband’s wife?”
The OP explained:
“My husband and I have been together for 5 years. We wanted kids but because of my health problems this wasn’t possible.”
“We decided to go with surrogacy, my friend nominated her sister ( Brittany 29) I agreed right away cause I know Brittany and the family.”
“We’ve set everything up. Discussed payment, short and long term plans, counseling and dr appointments. We explored IVF and chose a private clininc to get it done.”
“It started after Brittany took a pregnancy test. She only told my husband though she had both our numbers.”
“she only sent my husband a pic of the test while he was at work and sent me nothing when I gave her my personal contact info but it was okay.”
“Things got complicated when Brittany started having access to our credit cards for her own wants and claim they were the baby’s needs.”
“She excluded me from dr visits and scans and had only my husband go with her. Her excuse was my husband drives and has time since I work and ‘unavailable’ most of the time.”
“I felt isolated from this experience but said nothing knowing she’s bearing a lot of burden so I had patience. My husband had no idea what was going on and if this was normal. This was new to us so we didn’t know.”
“She’s 7 months in and last week she had us visit to discuss things that I thought we’d previously agreed on but she said she changed her mind about and her mom was there too.”
“I heard Brittany out and was shocked when she gave a list of how things should be from now on since she said ‘there was lot of confusion’ in the past cause of me stressing her out by complaining.”
“She requested she gets say in things like baby name after I ‘deleted’ the list of names she sent to my husband. She wanted more access to my husband’s credit cards/free time to get stuff done at her place. Also more time with the baby than agreed on.”
“Then wrapped up by saying only my husband should be with her in the delivery room and used the hospital as excuse. I got up and firmly stated I don’t agree on her new terms and that she had to stop acting like she was my husband’s wife and this was their baby.”
“My husband didn’t speak til she started crying. He asked me to sit down but I said I had boundaries, reminded her what her role was and how she overstepped.”
“Her mom went off and and said her daughter was being mistreated when she put herself mentally and physically through the most selfless act for us, to make us a family.”
“She gave up a part of her life in those months to give us what we want and I was acting selfish and ungrateful. She had us leave then told my friend and it got more complicated. I was told to apologize for what i said. IATA”
She provided more details in a series of updates.
“Yes, we agreed on paying for the surrogacy like I stated above. So no favors or anything.”
“No, we did not have a legal contract because my friend said there was no need for us to do that and basically talked us out of it since we are considered family but we had an agreement including paying her.”
“Question about whether Brittany had kids of her own. She was a single mom of a 4 year old who passed away from an accident. She had him at young age but she always seemed in good mental and physical health.”
Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Redditors weighed in with their conflicting judgments on the situation.
Many expressed the OP and the husband went about seeking a surrogate the wrong way.
“This is why surrogacy is so heavily regulated. Was there a contract? If not, yikes, get a lawyer ASAP.”
“Surrogates have no business being involved in naming the baby or dictating time spent with the child. Red flags abound.”
“You’re NTA but you may have put yourself in a situation where an unstable person could now have leverage to essentially be a 3rd parent to your child.” – Widgetsinparadise
“The big mistake was asking someone whose only child had died to be a surrogate at all. Surrogacy takes a huge emotional toll on anyone – it’s pretty much impossible to carry a pregnancy to term without bonding with the baby, even if intellectually you know it’s not yours.”
“Imagine the emotional toll on a woman who has tragically lost the only other child she ever gave birth to. No medical professional in the world would have cleared this, given full information.”
“It looks like OP wanted to choose a surrogate privately to avoid doing things correctly (like having a standard contract in place, paying an appropriate amount, providing mental health care throughout and after the pregnancy, providing full health insurance for the surrogate, life insurance and disability insurance in case of complications, etc).”
“Going through a reputable agency would have prevented OP’s problems – that’s what an agency is for, to protect the surrogate and the intended parents legally, physically, and mentally. Long story short don’t try to cut corners on surrogacy.” – Bananapanda123
“I may be downvoted for this, but I honestly find it quite predatory to have hired a bereaved mother as an under-the-table surrogate.”
“It looks like the situation turned around and bit OP on the butt this time, but imo the original idea was not ethical to begin with.” – ShimmeringNothing
“It was a wild risk for you to do this without a legal contract. Surrogacies getting complicated is very, very common and there’s a reason that there is such a prescribed legal outline for these things, especially if you’re in the US (don’t know where you live).”
“Also, if it’s simply an acquaintance and not a close family member, I would have avoided using someone I know to ensure lines didn’t get blurred.”
“And to be ‘talked out’ of a legal contract raises red flags, because what possible reason could someone have to not want one or want to avoid one other than to overstep boundaries or because they know they may not want to stick to the terms?”
“It guarantees her payment and your boundaries. If someone is hesitant about signing a contract, it is because they are unsure if they’ll be able or willing to stick to the terms.”
“This was a recipe for disaster, and your current situation was a highly foreseeable outcome. Congratulations on the pregnancy, but get a lawyer involved NOW.”
“This is not how surrogacy is done. For exactly this reason.” – blklornbhb
Redditors continued scolding the couple for opting out of a legal contract and agreeing to appoint a woman who had tragically lost her child.
Hopefully, the OP is spared further complication and seriously considers seeking legal counsel as the Redditers suggested.