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British Surrogate Mother Told: “I Don’t Want A Cabbage”

August 26, 2014

It’s been years since anything shocked me, readers. But I am lost for words– except to say that I flatly refuse to refer to the couple as parents. They don’t know what parents are.

A BRITISH surrogate mum of twins has kept one of the babies after the intended mother rejected the child because she was disabled.

The woman referred to the baby as “a dribbling cabbage”.

The surrogate mum said: “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.”

The child, one of twins the mum gave birth to for a couple in a £12,000 agreement, was born with the severe muscular condition Congenital Myotonic Dystrophy.

The couple took the healthy boy and rejected his poorly sister — after an astonishingly callous phone conversation.

The surrogate mum, who we are calling Jenny to protect her anonymity, said: “I’ll never forget what she said on the phone.

“I remember her saying to me, ‘She’d be a f****** dribbling cabbage! Who would want to adopt her? No one would want to adopt a disabled child’.

“I was shocked.

“She had basically told me that she didn’t want a disabled child.”

Jenny and her partner are now bringing up the girl, who we are referring to as Amy, with their other children.

She said: “I got into surrogacy because I wanted to help a mother who couldn’t have children.

“But I feel very angry because of what they’ve done to her.

“I’m glad they are miles away and I will never see her in the street.

“I hate them for what they did.”

Jenny has decided to speak out in the wake of the baby Gammy case, which caused global outrage.

He was kept by Thai surrogate mum Pattaramon Chanbua when an Australian couple are said to have abandoned him because he had Down’s syndrome.

Jenny said: “We and Amy are living proof what happened with Gammy in Thailand can happen here in Britain.”

Jenny and her partner, who we are calling Mark, got involved with a surrogacy organisation to help childless couples.

Prospective parents were introduced by email and they chose a couple with whom they identified.

After an initial meeting and talks Jenny and Mark signed a surrogacy agreement with the couple in return for £12,000 expenses.

Two embryos were implanted into Jenny’s womb. A few weeks after becoming pregnant she learned she was carrying twins.

The couple were told they were going to have a boy and a girl.

Six weeks before her due date Jenny was at an antenatal appointment when a doctor said she needed an emergency caesarean.

She said: “When I had the epidural I was gone. I came round and they were both there.

“When I saw Amy she was silvery grey and her legs were just dangling. I wondered if she was alive.

“I was in a bit of a state by then. I thought something was wrong and at that time I blamed myself.”

In some surrogacy cases the host couple say goodbye almost immediately after birth and the child goes to its intended parents.

But because Amy and her twin were so premature they needed special hospital care and doctors asked Jenny to stay on and help with feeding.

After a month Amy’s brother was allowed to go home with the couple who were paying Jenny.

Amy stayed in hospital for further treatment. It was then she was diagnosed with Congenital Myotonic Dystrophy. Babies with the rare muscular condition need help with breathing.

Muscles are initially flabby but can improve as the child grows.

Often young sufferers have a lack of facial expression and can be intellectually a few years behind their peers.

When Jenny and Mark learned of Amy’s condition they contacted the couple. It was during that phone conversation the intended mother made her shocking comment about Amy’s condition.

Jenny said: “I was stunned when I heard her reject Amy.

“I was in such a bad way I put the phone down — I had to.

“I felt very angry, not so much at what they were doing to me but to Amy. I am an adult and I can take this, but she will find out one day what went on.”

Mark and Jenny decided they had to keep Amy.

Mark said: “How could we possibly sign over to somebody showing a disregard of the child’s health?”

The two couples subsequently attended mediation meetings with the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.

It gives an independent assessment to help judges hearing child custody and care cases.

Although those hearings are confidential, The Sun understands the intended parents expressed concerns about Amy’s disability and their desire to take her on.

The couples agreed Jenny and Mark would keep Amy and the boy would stay with the intended parents. They brought Amy home and she lives happily with them.

Jenny said: “Amy is 100 per cent our daughter. I love her as much as my other children.

“I wouldn’t change anything. It’s been an absolute rollercoaster but I’d do it again in a second.”

Caring for Amy has been an upheaval financially.

Mark changed jobs so he could be home more to help with Amy and they moved to a bigger house with a larger mortgage.

Mark said: “One of the biggest concerns was I was the only one earning because Jenny is her full-time carer.

“I retrained and took a pay cut at first, it was a gamble I thought was right at the time. It gave me flexibility on my hours so I could support my family more.

“We used to have a lovely house, we had to change that to support our bigger family.

“It’s affected us financially and I had to make sure that if something happened to me, in terms of if I couldn’t work or died, they would be provided for.

“There is a lot of money we spend every month on insurance.”

Jenny added: “We did not set out to have another child so it was a big decision to make.

“We just wanted to help another family. That’s why we got into this.”

Law backs the parent

ALL surrogates in the UK have the legal right to keep the child as contracts are not binding and cannot be enforced.

If the child is to be handed over, then the would-be mum and dad can adopt them or get a parental order.

Commercial surrogacy is illegal here and women cannot advertise themselves.

Direct payment is banned and only “expenses” are allowed to be paid.

Favourite of celebs


A STRING of celebs have gone for surrogacy — including Sir Elton John and partner David Furnish.

The pair have two kids, Elijah and Zachary, who were both born to the same woman from California.

Sir Elton previously described her as a “wonderful” woman and said they kept in constant contact while she was pregnant.

In 2011 actress Nicole Kidman and musician hubby Keith Urban had daughter Faith Margaret via a surrogate in US city Nashville.

Nicole said: “We just decided this was our thing together.”

Sex and the City’s Sarah Jessica Parker and actor Matthew Broderick had twins Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge through a surrogate in 2009. They used Sarah’s eggs and Broderick’s sperm.

Sarah said of the experience: “We had explored lots of options.”

Sad plight of Thai tot

BABY Gammy was allegedly abandoned in Thailand by Australians David and Wendy Farnell for having Down’s syndrome.

His healthy twin sister Pipah was taken by the couple Down Under. David Farnell — exposed as a sex offender — claimed they wanted both babies.

Let’s look at rule review

RULES on surrogacy now need to be debated and reviewed, said Louisa Ghevaert, an expert in fertility and family law.

She added: “It’s incredibly rare for surrogate babies to be split up.

“This case raises challenging legal issues for everyone concerned.”


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