…The National Post reports surrogate mothers in Ontario are being billed for hospital services after giving birth even though they have provincial medicare coverage.
The reason: The babies were being taken out of the country.
From Washington State and Tennessee:
…when Byers was contacted to help a couple in China start a family following several miscarriages, she agreed.
“It was just pitched that they wanted a genetic child of their own. They tried and they had miscarriages,” Byers explained. She learned that many Chinese couples turn to American surrogates to carry a baby on their behalf.
It is expensive for the Chinese parents. The babies born here that return to China are called “million dollar babies” because the surrogate process, through delivery, really does cost the equivalent of one million U.S. dollars.Byers was flown to Chicago and the U.S. headquarters of Yulane, the international surrogacy agency managing the match. In Chicago she met the intended parents.
It was during a subsequent visit to Chicago when Byers was inseminated with the embryo that she got worried.
She was supposed to be taken to cash an expense check, but said the man who picked her up was clearly drunk and had been out partying with a friend. The bank then wouldn’t cash her check from Yulane because the signature was invalid. She said the situation wasn’t resolved until a day later when the company sent her a money order. “So right then I’m like ‘well, now I’m pregnant so what can I do now? I’m like stuck in this situation,’” Byers said. “I knew right then this was going to be a crazy nine months.”
Five months into the pregnancy a test showed the baby boy had a 90 percent curvature of the spine and his organs were growing outside his body. As instructed by the intended parents, Byers decided to not carry the baby to full term. “There were a lot of tears, a lot of tears,” she said. “You don’t get into it wanting to go through the death of a baby. You want to create a family.”
It was around that time that Byers discovered something disturbing in an email forwarded to her by the surrogacy agency. Tucked into the messages was a reference to someone named Shannon and Chinese characters. Using Google Translate, Byers learned Yulane was reassuring the intended mother in China.
“Shannon has an appointment for genetic testing during pregnancy and to know the problem as soon as possible, identify problems,” the email said. “I was like, who’s Shannon?” Byers remembered. Further detective work revealed that Shannon had been simultaneously contracted as a surrogate for the intended parents in China. Shannon was pregnant with twins in Tennessee.
…A former Modesto woman who ran a surrogate parenting agency pleaded guilty Tuesday to four felony counts of wire fraud in a $2-million scheme carried out through her agency and another business she owned, federal authorities said.
Tonya Collins, 37, carried out a scheme to defraud prospective parents, surrogates and financial institutions while she owned Surrogenesis and the Michael Charles Financial Holding Group, according to the US. attorney’s office in Fresno.