Surrogate mother refuses $10,000 offer to abort baby with birth defects

A woman hired to be a surrogate mother refused to have an abortion when tests showed the unborn child would have birth defects.

Crystall Kelley, then 29, told CNN she really needed the $22,000 fee and used a surrogacy agency to meet a couple who had two frozen embryos.

Kelley told CNN the couple was attentive and caring, until an ultrasound at five months revealed something was wrong with the fetus. The ultrasound showed the baby had a cleft lip and palate, a cyst in her brain and serious heart defects, and they couldn't see a stomach or a spleen.

Doctors told Kelley and the parents the infant would need several surgeries, and only had about a 25 percent chance of having a "normal life," CNN reported.

The parents offered to pay Kelley $10,000 to have an abortion, but she was conflicted. Kelley told CNN she has always been against it, but really needed the money.

According to an affidavit filed in Connecticut Superior Court, after Kelley refused the abortion, the parents announced plans to exercise their legal right to take custody of their child -- and then surrender her under Connecticut's Safe Haven Act for Newborns.

Instead, in her seventh month of pregnancy, Kelley left for Michigan, where she, not the genetic parents, would be considered the baby's legal mother. There, Kelly found a couple to adopt the child.

But the fight wasn't over -- about one month before the due date, the parents filed for parental rights. The legal papers contained a stunning admission -- the wife was not the baby's genetic mother -- the couple had used an anonymous egg donor.

When the baby was born, doctors quickly got her breathing on her own, and she cried and moved normally, CNN reported.

Kelley's name went on the birth certificate.

A few weeks later, Kelly reached a compromise with the couple.

The father agreed to give up his paternal rights as long as he and his wife could stay in contact with the adoptive family.

"They do care about her well-being. They do care about how she's doing," the adoptive mother told CNN.

CNN reported it made several unsuccessful attempts to contact the couple by phone and e-mail.