What happened to Jessica Allen is probably the strangest surrogacy story you’re ever going to hear.
Allen had agreed to be the surrogate for a couple who contracted her for $35,000 to be their gestational surrogate, according to The New York Post. She became pregnant with twins, and gave birth via a C-section. Although she was contractually allowed an hour to spend with the twins before their departure with the Liu family (names changed for anonymity), this never happened.
Mrs. Liu visited Allen the next day, only showing her a photo of the twins, in which Allen thought they looked too different to be related. And she was right. One of the twins was biologically Allen’s and her husband’s. As she explained in the Post:
Little did I know that I’d hit the nail on the head. Not only were Mike and Max not identical — they had completely different DNA from one another. Mike appeared to be an Asian child, and was Liu and her husband’s biological baby. But Max, half-white and half African-American, belonged to me and my now-husband, Wardell Jasper, 34, who works for a cable company. It turned out that, in an extremely rare medical incident called superfetation, we had gotten pregnant naturally, despite using condoms, after the in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle during which Mr. and Mrs. Liu’s embryo was transferred into my uterus.
Per her contract, she and her husband did not have sex until they were given permission by the IVF doctor — and they used condoms — so Allen’s pregnancy wasn’t a contract violation, but a rare occurrence in nature. Because the staff never realized (or commented) that the babies were in separate sacs, no one thought the children wouldn’t be twins.
DNA tests confirmed that Max was not the Lius’ biological son. Despite this, for Allen and Jasper, getting Max back proved to be onerous and Kafka-esque, with tremendous legal fees incurred. But the story has a happy ending: Max, who is now renamed Malachi, has been back with his biological parents since February.