Law Forces Couple to Adopt Their Own Newborn Twins

They were denied parental rights under Michigan's strict anti-surrogacy law
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2021 3:25 PM CST
Law Forces Couple to Adopt Their Newborn Twins
The Meyers have been allowed to visit the twins in the hospital, but they have not been granted parental rights.   (Getty Images/Avril Morgan)

Michigan couple Jordan and Tammy Myers are being forced to adopt their own biological children, and they say they want state law to change so that no other couple has to go through the same "demoralizing" ordeal. After breast cancer left Tammy Myers unable to have children, surrogate Lauren Vermilye gave birth to twins Eames and Ellison Myers earlier this month. But because of a strict 1988 anti-surrogacy law, the state has refused to recognize the Myers as the twins' parents, WOOD-TV reports. Vermilye fully supports giving the couple parental rights, but when the Myers tried to get legal parental rights months before the birth, judges rejected the surrogacy agreement as "void and unenforceable." Only two other states, Nebraska and Louisiana, have similar laws.

Vermilye, who has two children of her own, volunteered to carry the Myers' child for free. "I know what cancer can take away from you," she says. "And just to be able to help bring that hope back to somebody just really, really appealed to me and my husband." The Myers will now have to go through months of home inspections, as well as an FBI background check. The twins, who were born six weeks prematurely on Jan. 11, are still in the newborn ICU, but they are not covered by the Myers' insurance. Their attorney, Melissa Neckers, tells CBS that state judges have granted parental rights pre-birth in at least 72 similar cases since 2005. "They knew that there was risk," she says. "But they really believed that no judge would actually hear their story, which had so many additional layers of heartache and trauma, that a judge wouldn't just want to do the right thing." (Read more surrogacy stories.)

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