From the delivery room to the court room: a young surrogate mother fighting for custody of her own son

Can you imagine a situation of having to adopt your own child, one that you gave birth to yourself?

Jessica Allen, sobbing of happiness outside the court room, tells us she couldn’t even dream of the nightmare that has become her life. Being forced to fight for her own son in the media and through the judicial system was her story, after Allen dealt with a rare medical case called superfetation, a situation where the mother – in this case Mrs. Allen, that was already pregnant through an IVF process (Vitro fertilization procedure) got pregnant naturally from her husband’s sperm, even though the couple were using birth control. 

Superfetation is a rare, extortionary incident but it can happen to any surrogate mother. Between 2004 to 2008, nearly 1,500 babies were born under commercial surrogacy programs and it can happen to any surrogate mother of those babies. Let’s take a deeper look into this unique story.

Allen’s story started about a year ago, when her and her husband decided to register legally in one’s of California Commercial surrogacy agencies, as an alternative to Allen’s going back to her full-time job. At the time, it seemed like the perfect solution for the young family. Allen has had 2 healthy children in 5 years and was committed to being a stay-at-home mom. The reward that came along with the commercial surrogacy option, in the sum of $35,000, was just enough to convince Allen she was doing the right thing for her and her family.


Allen was thrilled about the option of giving birth to a couple that couldn’t have children and before she knew it, she was on her way to helping a young couple to have their own family.  The Liu family, an Asian-American couple, were also excited to find a perfect match with Jessica and were happy to sign the contract and start the IVF process. Shortly after, all parties discovered Jessica was carrying not one, but two healthy babies. The happy discovery also had a financial aspect to it, another embryo meant another $5,000 paid to Jessica according to the contract they signed.

The extraordinary story took a surprising twist after the successful C-section Allen went through. It all started after the Liu family did not follow the guidelines that were agreed upon in the contract and took the children away immediately. Jessica received only a photo of the babies after pleading to Mrs. Liu, what Allen describes as “a traumatic chain of events.” From a first glance Allen saw a major difference between the two children, especially in their skin completion, but couldn’t even imagine what was she about to find out.  The Liu couple are Asian and light skinned and the other baby, then named Max, was dark-skinned and resembled Jessica’s other kids. Jessica has a white completion but her husband is dark-skinned. A month later, Allen received an angry message from Mrs. Liu, trying to understand why both kids look so different. Allen’s world was shaken but only after they received DNA results, they could fully conclude that little Max is in fact their biological son. Her body did the impossible and continued fertilizing another egg after one embryo was already in process of growth. In fact, the babies even have different ages!

The most terrifying part has just begun: Allen got sued by the Liu couple and the surrogacy agency, both parties wanted money from her as compensation for the confusion. The Liu couple even threatened to give away her son for adoption out of anger and spite, weirdly enough – the Liu couple had the legal rights for her kid!

The local legal system in California encountered rare difficulties but Jessica and her husband did not give up on their youngest son and managed to prove they had no wrong doing in the process and they deserve to get their child back.

Their case changed their life and changed the California law system that had to find ways to deal with the new-found problem and incident. The happy ending brought lil max back to his old home with a new name, the couple changed his name to Malachi and hopefully, they will live happily ever after.