Barbara and David told People magazine they searched for a suitable surrogate for months before deciding on young married woman Jamie, 22, who said she wasn’t ready to start her own family because she and her husband were saving for a house deposit.
Jamie signed the 38-page surrogacy agreement, accepted a $15,000 fee, and on Mother’s Day, she called Barbara with the good news. She was pregnant with a baby conceived using her own egg and David’s sperm.
But almost immediately after revealing the pregnancy, Barbara says Jamie “started to act off”, becoming secretive and distant. By the time she was three months along, she cut off all contact with Barbara and David completely.
When their baby was born in January, 2009, the couple weren’t even informed and when it was time to leave hospital, she went home with Jamie, where she has been for the past seven years.
Barbara and David estimate they have spent $90,000 on legal fees trying to get custody of the child
Now, they have to pay $459 a month in child support and are only allowed to spend two weekends a month with their daughter. Despite that court order, they haven’t seen the child since October 2015.
"I've had to watch when that baby came into our life and watch her older sister cry when she had to leave," Barbara says. "I've watched this emotionally destroy everyone."
But Barbara says she refuses to give up hope that their family will be reunited one day.