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Fri Oct 31 20:32:53 SAST 2014

Surrogate mom flees to save baby

©The Daily Telegraph | 06 March, 2013 01:00

Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

A surrogate mother fled to protect the unborn child growing inside her after the baby's parents demanded she abort the foetus when it was found to have developmental disabilities.

Five months into her pregnancy, doctors told surrogate mother Crystal Kelley, 29, that the baby she was carrying had a series of disabilities.

When the child's parents told her they wanted to abort the foetus, she fled from Connecticut across the country to Michigan, where, under state law, she had legal rights as the child's mother.

Kelley arranged to be a surrogate through an established agency in August 2011, after finding herself in financial difficulty, CNN reported.

An embryo was implanted on October 8, with Kelley confirming she was pregnant 10 days later.

In February, however, ultrasound tests began to show that the baby was developing abnormally.

The baby was suspected to have a cleft palate, a brain cyst and serious heart defects. Doctors were unable to locate the child's spleen or stomach, and gave the baby only a 25% chance of living a normal life.

The parents sent a letter to Kelley asking her to terminate the pregnancy.

But Kelley, who is deeply religious, argued that "it wasn't their decision to play God".

With the 24-week legal limit for abortion approaching, Kelley drove to Michigan, a state which considers the surrogate mother the legal guardian.

She decided that she could not raise the child, however, and began to find a suitable adoptive couple who wanted a disabled child. On June 25, the child was born amidst complicated legal proceedings.

Kelley told CNN that, although some people may hate her, she felt she had done the right thing.

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