There was a story recently by a woman, about becoming pregnant while she was already pregnant. It resulted in her giving birth to two children. They were not conceived at the same period of time. And also had different sets of parents.
The New Your Times reports that the 31-year-old mother from California, Jessica Allen, underwent in vitro fertilization after she decided to be a surrogate mother for one Chinese couple. California is actually one of the few states in the US which has legal commercial surrogacy programs. Here a woman can be paid in order to be a surrogate mother.
Following a routine ultrasound in her sixth week of pregnancy, Jessica was told that she was carrying twins.
Because of this, her payment was increased by $5,000 for the second child. The doctors and the surrogacy agency simply assumed that she had unexpectedly become pregnant with twins.
Later that year, in December, Jessica went to give birth to two boys via cesarean section. After a month passed, she received a photo of the two boys from the Chinese couple, with a message saying:
They are not the same, right? Have you thought about why they are so different?
In a report for ABC News, Jessica explained:
I didn’t notice that one of the boys was much lighter than the other. You know, they were not identical twins obviously.
After some DNA tests, the suspicion was confirmed. According to them, one of the babies was Allen’s biological child. The other baby was the Chinese couple’s child.
I don’t know how to describe this situation…we were floored. We were like, how this could have happened?
This is actually a phenomenon which is known as “superfetation”.
It is an extremely rare phenomenon. In the majority of cases, the body of a pregnant woman releases hormones in order to stop ovulation. But, in the case of Jessica, her body continued ovulating, releasing an egg which managed to become fertilized. Since superfetation is rare in human beings, scientists, as well as practitioners know just a few facts about it. About how and why it actually happens.
After a complicated and pricey legal process, Jessica, together with her partner Jasper received custody of their son in February. They gave him the name Malachi.
In one article for the New York Post, which was called “I rented out my womb — and they almost took my own son“, Jessica finished by saying:
I do not regret that I have accepted to be a surrogate mom, as that would mean regretting my own son. I sincerely hope that other women that think about surrogacy will learn a lot from my story. And then, some greater good will come out of this nightmare. [Image Credit/Inspired by IFLScience]