DALLAS - Inside Medical City Dallas, a surrogate mom is breathing a sigh of relief after months of worrying that the biological parents of the baby boy she delivered Thursday morning would prevent him from getting the care he needs.
The Dallas County District Attorney's office told WFAA Friday the biological parents consented to any medical treatment necessary.
"My client is delighted," said Karen Turner, attorney for the surrogate. "That's really all she ever wanted, is for this baby to get the medical treatment."
The baby was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, or HLHS, 16 weeks into pregnancy.
His biological parents demanded an abortion. The surrogate, refused, saying doctors told her the condition was treatable and never recommended an abortion.
"Texas law says that it's the decision of the surrogate to make all health care decisions for the child while carrying child," said Turner. "The [surrogacy] agreement confirms that."
The surrogate doesn't want to be identified. The biological parents are from out of state, complicating matters even further.
HLHS is a serious defect that can have lifelong complications. But the CDC said a series of three childhood surgeries can drastically improve survival rates. If surgery is not performed, a child likely won't survive beyond a few weeks.
Barry Smith knows that all too well. His five-year-old son, George, was born with the same heart defect.
"It's treatable," said Barry. "These kiddos have every opportunity to have a normal life."
Barry was so touched by this case, he said he would take this child in if needed. The surrogate said the same.
It's unclear at this point if the biological parents will put the child up for adoption. They and their attorney have not commented.
CPS said they are not involved. Privacy laws prevent Medical City Dallas from confirming any details.
The surrogates' attorneys said they hope this case will prompt the legislature to write clearer laws on the rights of surrogates and biological parents in these instances.
According to the surrogates' attorneys, the biological parents contend that the surrogate mother violated their contract when she refused to get an abortion, and have not paid or communicated with her directly since.
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