Two Michigan women are taking on the state of Michigan, which is considered to be the worst state in the nation for those seeking a baby through gestational surrogacy, to make it easier for other families facing infertility.
Cortney Welz and Stephanie Trombley were strangers until they were united by their unique paths to motherhood. Both women are unable to carry babies themselves due to medical conditions. So both women and their husbands decided to turn to gestational surrogates to have children through the same clinic. Both couples were blessed with healthy sets of twins, conceived through IVF and carried by surrogates. Their doctor obtained eggs and sperm from each woman and their respective husbands and implanted them into the surrogates.
Each couple used a surrogate they knew: Cortney used a close friend and Stephanie used her sister.
GESTATIONAL SURROGACY: LABOR OF LOVE, GIFT OF LIFE
Despite both couple finally getting the family they wanted, the law in the state of Michigan bans paid surrogacy outright and declares any surrogacy contract, “contrary to public policy” and “void and unenforceable” in court, even those not compensated. So both couples had to adopt their own biological children after birth.
The indignity didn’t end there. They were told by the state “These babies don’t legally belong to you”
“You’re hit with, ‘Now it’s time for you to go visit an adoption agency,’” Cortney Welz recalled. An adoption agency? What do mean an adoption agency? They’re my biological children. They (told me), ‘These babies don’t legally belong to you. They belong to the surrogate and her husband.”
An again, the indignity didn’t end there. It ultimately cost both couples around $18,000 to adopt their twins through an adoption agency that routinely visited their home over six months to ensure it was appropriate for children.
“I had climbed mountains, 13 years of infertility treatments,” Cortney Welz said. “And now I had these thriving babies, yet I had an adoption agency that was now starting a process to judge me and my husband, our lives, our past lives, literally having to treat us as if we were unfit until they deemed us fit to parent.”
A Grand Rapids family law attorney, who represented both Cortney Welz and Stephanie Trombley, considers Michigan’s surrogacy laws the “worst” in the nation.
“It’s offensive to have to adopt your own biological child,” said their attorney. “Think about all the people that get pregnant that have never thought one bit about being pregnant and then these people work so hard to have babies and then they still have to adopt them. It’s crazy.”
Some times all it takes is one or two people to call out an injustice, try to correct it and make a difference. Cortney Welz and Stephanie Trombley are committed to making their voices heard. Both women want to see Michigan make it easier for childless couples to build their families through gestational surrogacy. “It’s time to wake up,” Courtney Welz said.
At Agency for Surrogacy Solutions Inc, we know the laws in every state and can help you navigate through the process in what ever state you live in. If you have any questions please contact us, click here to send us an email