Ex-surrogate mother exposes ‘evil’ womb-renting industry
Former surrogate Melissa Cook didn’t know she was carrying triplets for a 51-year-old single deaf man living in his parents’ basement. He later tried to pressure her into aborting one of her babies.
The practice of surrogacy made the news recently when podcaster Dave Rubin announced that he and his male partner had rented the wombs of two women who were carrying children created with their respective sperm and eggs purchased from a donor. This commodification of both human life and the female body is dystopian enough, but most missed a particularly horrifying aspect of what Rubin clearly believed to be a feel-good story: The fact that he noted in his recent book “Don’t Burn This Country” that he and his partner had decided that if they discovered that any of the children being carried by the surrogates were disabled, they’d have the child aborted.
Rubin doesn’t mention how the surrogate might feel to have his disabled child suctioned out of her womb, or that she might be horrified to find that her offer to carry a child mutate into a demand to abort a child. But that’s how it works with surrogacy: the mother is erased entirely.
She now tells the Daily Mail that her perspective has changed. Six years ago, she became pregnant with triplets and was thrilled. On May 31, 2015, the mother of four had signed a surrogacy agreement with Surrogacy International in California. She thought surrogacy was a beautiful thing, but did it largely for the money (she would earn $33,000). A Brit, Cook didn’t make much money at her job as a “mobile notary” and thought that surrogacy was a good example to do a good deed and make money in the process.
“As a single mum, money was tight,” she told the Mail. She had done surrogacy for a homosexual couple and liked it, noting that one of the partners “came to all my doctors’ appointments.” Cook apparently did not consider the tragedy of a little boy growing up indoctrinated in homosexual ideology without a mother, and saw no problem with surrogacy at the time.
But for her second experience, the agency told her almost nothing about who she was carrying the children for, and she later discovered it was for a 51-year-old single deaf man still living in his parents’ basement. However, she decided to sign the contract anyhow, and ended up pregnant with triplets. When the man who’d hired her discovered this, he asked her to abort at least one of them, texting her: “I’m not sure I can have three kids. Can you think about aborting?”
According to the Mail: “[C]ourt records show emails from C. M. to the clinic monitoring Melissa’s pregnancy, in which he asks staff to help him to keep the costs down. ‘Please try to make her visits [to the clinic] less often because I get a bill that costs me a lot of money … it causes me financial problems … [I can’t] afford triplets … that worries me so bad for real.’ Tears filled Melissa’s eyes as she recalled: ‘It became obvious to me that this man wasn’t capable of raising triplets.’”
Cook discovered that the father of the triplets she was carrying lived in the same house as a nephew who dealt drugs and according to his sister was “socially awkward,” “paranoid,” and had “frequent anger fits.” Cook was terrified. “I became filled with anxiety. It affected my pregnancy. I could feel all three babies inside me. C.M. kept demanding I abort one of the babies. I wrote back to him saying I would keep one myself and raise it myself. The agency owner, who was also his lawyer, said ‘These are his children’ and I told him, ‘I don’t care. They’re mine while they are in me and I’m protecting them.’”
Cook took legal action, went public, and refused to abort any of the triplets, who were born in L.A. on February 22, 2016. “I went public because I didn’t want to abort one of the babies,” she told the Mail. “As a mother, I felt protective towards them. I still do. I have never seen the boys, who are six now, but I want them to know I am here for them. My door is always open. They were delivered by caesarean section and there was a screen halfway down my body. I heard them but never saw them. There was a guard posted at my door. I offered breast milk but was told the father declined that offer. I had a friend who wanted to be there with me in the delivery room but the doctors refused because the babies’ daddy said he didn’t want anyone else in the deliver room. No one at the hospital would even tell me how they were doing.”
After weeks in the hospital, a medical team delivered the triplets to Georgia to their father. Cook told the Mail she turned down offers of payment from the father “because it would have felt like blood money.” Despite all legal attempts, she has failed to establish any maternal rights to the children, and the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case. Cook, as a surrogate, has no legal rights. Cook has heard from the sister of the triplets’ father that he is known to let the children fend for themselves and eat off the floor, and that if he had “applied to adopt a child and a home inspection was conducted, he would never have qualified to be an adoptive parent.”
Her experience has led Cook to a different view of surrogacy. “It’s not only disreputable—it’s evil,” she said. “Commercial surrogacy shouldn’t be allowed. The mother has no rights. No one ever checked the home of the intended father before the triplets were born. He didn’t even have to go through a psychological background check like I did. When we went to court, the judge said the contract I signed basically gave the father all rights to the children. I feel bad every day for those babies. I wonder what he tells them about their mother?”
Probably nothing. Surrogacy renders the woman invisible—the biological mother is usually entirely unknown. The surrogacy industry is, as Cook now realizes, evil—and intrinsically so, not simply because she had a horrifying experience. The conservatives who congratulated Dave Rubin and his partner should realize this—and should also know that if one of Rubin’s children had been disabled, he would have made the same demand of the woman carrying the baby that the unnamed father made of Melissa Cook: that she have the baby killed.