Ask David and Nicky Beard about their time in Mexico to bring their newborns home to New Zealand, and they'll tell you they're stuck in a "dangerous ... hellhole" and "third-world" nation they say has left them $190,000 in debt and abandoned by the Cancun surrogacy agent for their "triplings" (three babies created with one set of sperm and one egg, but carried by different surrogates), per the Guardian. Ask their Mexican lawyer (and others), however, and the response is: "There are no problems." It's an odd case, with the same-sex couple saying they lost four years' worth of savings not only on the process, but also through fraud: They claim their agent skipped out with money they paid for medical costs, which skyrocketed when one baby was born prematurely in what they say was a cockroach-infested hospital, per the Yucatan Times. The Beards, who first IDed themselves on Stuff, also said they had to fund DNA tests and travel to get the babies' passports, GayNZ.com notes.
But Leon Altamirano, the Beards' surrogacy lawyer, is skeptical of what they're saying. Although he admits that the couple seems to be out of funds to bring their sons and daughter home, he says they're exaggerating their story to play on people's sympathies and that all that's left to pay is document notarization, which would cost around $1,100 (far less than the $19,000-plus donated on a fundraising page set up by a friend). "The truth isn't all there," Altamirano tells the Guardian. And their Cancun surrogacy coordinator says the men knew that a premature birth wasn't covered by their contract. Meanwhile, another dad who went through a surrogate there says he met the couple and they raved about Mexico and expressed fears about the costs of raising three kids. Both an official from the New Zealand Embassy and a rep for Mexico's welfare agency tell the Guardian the Beards haven't approached them for assistance. (A California surrogate refused to abort one of the fetuses she was carrying, per the biological dad's request.)