Michigan Couple Wins Legal Battle to Adopt Biological Children Born via Surrogate
After a legal battle that has gone on for nearly two years, a West Michigan couple are now the proud, legal parents of their own biological children, born via a surrogate.
Cancer Delayed Couple's Plans to Expand Their Family
Tammy and Jordan Myers were thrust into an uphill battle to legally adopt their twins born in January 2021. The story began for the Grand Rapids couple after the birth of their daughter Corryn, who is now 10. Before the Myers made the decision to expand their family, Tammy discovered a lump in one of her breasts. Prior to beginning an aggressive cancer treatment regimen that would render her unable to have more children, Tammy had her eggs harvested.
After Mrs. Myers made a full recovery, the couple decided to use a surrogate to carry their biological children. Jordan's sperm was used to fertilize Tammy's eggs and the couple was pregnant with twins - via a woman who volunteered to be a surrogate.
The Myers' attorney drew up a pre-birth order much like the ones successfully used by Michigan couples in the past. But the babies' early arrival derailed the couple's plans, as the order to give them legal parental rights had not been finalized.
Compensated Surrogacy is Not Legal in Michigan
An antiquated Michigan law known as the Surrogate Parenting Act makes compensated surrogacy illegal in our state and says that even if surrogacy isn't compensated, any agreement made between parties won't be recognized in court.
Two Michigan judges upheld the 1988 law, preventing the Myers from legally adopting their own children, even though the Myers' surrogate had not been paid for carrying their babies.
That was shattering," Tammy Myers told People last year. "I'd already been through cancer and fought for my life and was finally moving on."
Couple Wins Right to Legally Adopt Their Twins
Nearly two years after Eames and Ellison were born, the Myers completed the adoption process, jumping through many of the same hoops others do when adopting children.
The family is now advocating for four bills being considered by the Michigan legislature to update the state's surrogacy laws.
"It's a great day, Tammy Myers said. "We are finally being recognized as our biological twins' legal parents, and I'm feeling very hopeful that we will see a change to this crazy, outdated Michigan law."
In the video below, CBS News profiled the Michigan couple last year as they began their journey toward legally adopting their children.