A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation.
A Michigan couple is undergoing background checks, psychiatric evaluations, fingerprinting, home inspections, loads of paperwork, and other logistics necessary to adopt a child.
The catch: The twins they’re fighting to adopt — and possibly paying upwards of $70,000 for, two adoption agencies told them — are their own.
The couple, Tammy and Jordan Myers, used a gestational carrier to carry and deliver their biological children due to Myers’ history of breast cancer. The Myers have been raising them since their January birth.
But a restrictive Michigan surrogacy law and the judges enforcing it are preventing the couple from being recognized as the twins’ legal parents.
“The only thing that we’re trying to do is be on the birth certificate and try to get them on our insurance,” Tammy, who also has a 9-year-old daughter with Jordan, told Insider. “That’s, you know, like any normal thing that you would do when you have a baby.”
The fight follows another battle Tammy waged against breast cancer.
Diagnosed at age 33 after finding a lump and pushing her doctors for testing, she and Jordan had about 48 hours to decide whether they’d try to spare her fertility via egg freezing before undergoing aggressive treatments.
“We didn’t know if I would even be here or if we would even have this opportunity, but we knew we wanted to grow our family and we needed to do whatever we could to make that possible,” Tammy said.
So after undergoing a double mastectomy, Tammy underwent an “emergency harvest” to retrieve as many eggs as possible in 10 days as opposed to the typical two to three months. That meant being pumped with hormones, feeling extremely sick, and visiting the hospital daily. But the procedures resulted in 58 eggs — a record for that fertility clinic, Tammy said.
18 rounds of chemotherapy, 28 rounds of radiation, more than 20 surgeries, and about about five years later, Tammy and Jordan revisited building their family. She’ll continue to undergo hormone therapy for 10 to 15 years.
The Myers found a gestational carrier, Lauren, through social media. She’d had two kids on her own and wanted to help the family at no cost. They worked with a lawyer, drew up a plan, and had Tammy’s frozen eggs fertilized with Jordan’s sperm before implanting two in Lauren.
Due to Michigan’s Surrogacy Parenting Act, which makes compensated surrogacy illegal and doesn’t recognize agreements between even uncompensated surrogates and parents, their attorney told the Myers it was possible they’d have to adopt their own children.
However, it was unlikely. Instead they could get “pre-birth order,” which recognizes the parents as full legal parents before the surrogate gives birth. 75 other Michigan couples had been granted one.
But when the babies, Eames and Ellison, were born two months early before the pre-birth order was complete, Lauren and her husband were listed on the birth certificate. Two different judges denied the Myers’ request for emergency legal rights, despite 70 pages of documentation proving their biological connection to the child and Lauren and her husband’s support.
Finally, in April, a judge ruled the Myers could be recognized as the legal guardians of their babies, but they’re still fighting to be recognized as adoptive parents.
“It feels like it is another terrible thing that’s happening to our family,” Tammy said, “but maybe we’re meant to be an example so that something good can come of it and this law can be updated in Michigan so that other families are not facing the same thing.”