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The 26-year-old, who was already a mother of three, agreed to be a surrogate as part of a $35,000 deal.
Eight months after she got pregnant, the adoptive couple said they wanted out. Now she is stuck with twins she said she can't care for.
The drama highlights the risks of Canada's surrogate black market, where women are willing to rent out their wombs on the Internet for tens of thousands of dollars. Marie-Pier — not her real name — told QMI Agency she met the Quebec couple after they answered her Internet advertisement. She told her story to the JE investigative journalism show, which airs on Sun Media's French-language network, TVA.
The couple agreed to pay Marie-Pier $35,000 to have the man's sperm fertilize her egg. Marie-Pier got pregnant with twins. However, the couple also decided to have another go at in vitro fertilization treatments, a process that had previously failed them twice. Eight weeks after Marie-Pier got pregnant, the couple called and said they were dropping out of the deal.
The in vitro treatments worked and the adoptive mother discovered she was pregnant with twins. "I got pregnant...and they end up telling me bye-bye, we're letting you go," Marie-Pier said.
The adoptive mother, who is now a mother of two and didn't want her name published, told QMI Agency by phone that four newborn children would be too much of a burden. "Four (children), we really thought that was too much," she said. "We have other kids; we would never have been able to take care of all of them."
The surrogate and the couple were able to find a second couple to adopt Marie-Pier's twins. Marie-Pier said she will lie to the province's adopting agency by hiding the fact that the man in the first couple is the biological father of the twins inside her. "We are going to say that the (man in the second couple) is the real biological father and that I had an extra-marital relation with him," Marie-Pier said. "We won't necessarily talk about me being a surrogate."
Surrogate contracts are legal in Canada — except in Quebec — if the mother is over 21 years old, but she cannot get paid. An adoptive couple is legally allowed to pay for reasonable expenses relating to the pregnancy. Surrogate contracts are illegal in Quebec, but the practice is tolerated.
Marie-Pier told QMI Agency that would-be surrogates should hear her story before deciding to have another couple's kids. "To all those women thinking about becoming surrogates, pay attention, I am living proof that it could turn into a nightmare," she said.