Surrogate Mother Swindled, Left With Over $200,000 In Medical Bills
Carrie Mathews, a mother of four from Colorado, said that she really wanted to become surrogate because she loves being pregnant and she wanted to help couples in need. Yet, when Carrie nearly died delivering twins to Austrian couple, Theresa and Rudolf Bakos, she found herself with some hefty medical bills to pay.
Carrie’s previous pregnancies all went very smoothly, but when she conceived twins via IVF she became quite ill. In addition to experiencing severe swelling, Carrie developed preeclampsia, followed by HELLP syndrome.
Prior to becoming pregnant, Carrie and the couple drew up a 30-page contract outlining her $25,000 payment for carrying the child as well as an extra $2,000 per month. But after Carrie delivered the twins via c-section, she was rushed to the ER due to internal bleeding. The mother spent 20 days in the hospital following the birth, and even died before being successfully resuscitated.
The Bakoses had long since departed though, taking the twins back to Austria and leaving Carrie with $217,000 in medical bills that resulted from her pregnancy complications. She has been unable to get ahold of the couple and Carrie and her husband are waiting to hear if their insurance will cover any of the cost.
But it turns out that Hilary Neiman, the attorney for the agency with which Carrie worked, confessed to running a baby-selling ring in August. The attorney and another reproductive lawyer named Theresa Erickson would recruit women as surrogates in the Ukraine where surrogacy laws are not quite as strict as they are in the United States. Once the surrogates reached their second trimester, Erickson would begin plans to sell the infant, claiming to couples that the original family no longer wanted the baby. These babies would be sold to couples for anywhere between $100,000 and $150,000.
Since surrogacy isn’t closely regulated, Carrie’s experience is yet another cautionary tale for parents interested in obtaining or becoming surrogates.