Tammy and Jordan Myers‘ twin babies, Eames and Ellison, were born via a surrogate last January.
And one year later, the couple is in a continued legal battle to adopt their twins and obtain full custody of their biological children.
“Since they got out of the NICU, we’ve had them with us every second,” Myers shared. “But we are still not listed on the birth certificate as their parents.”
The Myers, who are also parents to daughter, Corryn, began their path to surrogacy in 2015 when Tammy Myers was diagnosed with breast cancer and doctors informed her that becoming pregnant would be high risk.
“With my cancer, it was highly hormone-positive, so carrying a second baby would likely bring my cancer back,” she said, adding, “We were just getting started with our lives and planning to grow our family.”
Tammy Myers then decided to freeze her eggs and the couple said they decided to grow their family by using a gestational carrier. They found the surrogate through social media and did not compensate them.
The Myers revealed how they worked with an attorney from the very start of the process – as they were aware of Michigan’s surrogacy law, the Surrogate Parenting Act of 1988, which requires anyone who has a child through surrogacy to be either recognized by a judge as the legal parent or go through the adoption process.
The Myers decided at the time to apply for a pre-birth order, which would have put their names on the babies’ birth certificates at the time of their birth and given them custody of their children.
The pair was in the middle of applying for a pre-birth order in January 2021, when their babies decided to come eight weeks early.
“We were still kind of in the middle of starting the legal process and applying for a pre-birth order, so all of that was thrown into question for us,” said Tammy Myers. “Literally minutes after they were born, we were on the phone with our attorney and talking to the hospital social workers and just trying to figure out if we were allowed in the NICU and could we make medical decisions.”
Added Jordan Myers, “Here we had our dreams coming true and it just felt like it was the floor was falling out from beneath us and now we were kind of being thrown into a bit of a tailspin from a legal perspective. It was really hard.”
And because the pre-birth order was not approved by a judge before the twins’ birth, the Myers had to go through the adoption process to obtain custody of their babies, according to their attorney, Melissa Neckers.
“Because there isn’t a clear path to obtain full custody if a pre-birth order is not issued, it’s tricky,” said Neckers, adding of the Michigan’s surrogacy law, “It’s something that really needs to be updated to keep up with the technological advances with fertility in general.”
“We have to go through background checks and home inspection, a lot of rigorous things that you normally have to go through when you’re doing an adoption process for a child that’s not your own,” he said. “Our babies are biologically ours, so it’s a hard pill to swallow.”
“I do wish that the laws were different in Michigan,” said Tammy.
She continued on saying of the custody battle: “I wish that we didn’t have to fight for the rights to be the parents of our own biological children. Honestly, that’s my only wish.”
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