A surrogate mother who unknowingly gave her own biological child to a stranger claims she was asked to pay more than $20,000 to get her baby back.
According to the New York Post, while Jessica Allen and her husband now have full custody of their son Malachi, they had to jump through hoops to get him home.
The whole ordeal began in December 2016, when Allen, 31, gave birth to identical twin boys she had been carrying for a Chinese couple.
Although the babies were quickly whisked away to be with their parents, Allen was allowed to spend time with them for two hours, thanks to her contract with the surrogacy agency, Omega Family Global.
According to PEOPLE, Allen knew right away that the boys were absolutely not identical twins.
“One, his skin tone was much fairer than the other. One looked full Chinese, the other didn’t look full Chinese,” she said. “It was very clear that they were not identical … but I didn’t ask questions.”
While Allen did mention the differences to a case worker, she was repeatedly assured that the babies were definitely identical twin brothers.
Several weeks after the birth, Allen received a text message with photos of the two boys, asking if she thought the babies looked different.
“She told me that she was having doubts that one belongs to her,” Allen said.
DNA tests later confirmed the suspicion that one of the boys was the biological son of Allen and her husband, Wardell Jasper, who is African-American.
Allen, who already has two children with Jasper, says she was shocked to learn that the pregnancy was the result of an extremely rare medical phenomenon known as superfetation.
Essentially, Allen was still ovulating after conceiving the Chinese couple’s child, but she had absolutely no idea.
Both Allen and Jasper insist they followed the rules and did not have sex until it was confirmed that she was pregnant.
“I was completely in shock. I was panicking. My husband and I were panicking,” Allen told PEOPLE. “We had no idea how this came about and we had no idea how we were going to prepare for a child over night. We just moved into a new house, we didn’t have any more money.”
While Allen and Jasper knew they wanted their son right away, they were stunned when the Chinese couple suddenly asked them to fork over $22,000 to get their baby back.
“I thought I wasn’t going to get him back because they were pressuring me to pay this money back first. Then they were saying that the intending mom was thinking about giving him up for adoption,” Allen said. “I thought I had a child out there that I was gonna be forced to let go of all because I couldn’t buy him or because I couldn’t adopt him.”
“They wanted me to buy or adopt my own child,” she added.
Allen and her husband are now furious with the surrogacy agency for letting such a serious accident happen on their watch.
“It’s very stressful financially, it’s put us in debt. We’re barely getting by right now and it stressed me out emotionally because this agency turned their backs on me,” Allen said. “We wouldn’t be able to live with ourselves knowing that [Malachi] was out there in the care of someone else. Knowing that for the first two months of his brand new life that he was in the arms of strangers, that breaks my heart. It’s really heartbreaking.”
After this nightmare, Allen says she will never be a surrogate again.
“I was considering being a surrogate again before I found out about my son, but after this whole entire nightmare … absolutely not,” she said. “I’d never do it again. I’m not the only one with a nightmare story, but I am the only one with a story like this.”