A Michigan couple is in the middle of adopting their twin babies who were born earlier this year through a gestational carrier. The twins are almost ten months old, but the couple is still fighting for legal parentage rights.
Becoming parents is a blissful journey that every couple looks forward to wholeheartedly. However, some people have to go through a series of unfortunate events and numerous complications to experience this genuine joy.
At the same time, adoption and surrogacy have made it possible for many couples to embrace parenthood, but opting for such methods isn't always easy.
Tammy and Jordan Myers pictured with their twin babies. | Photo: facebook.com/tgath
Tammy and Jordan Myers from Grand Rapids, Michigan, have been married for nearly 11 years. They are parents to a nine-year-old daughter, Corryn. After welcoming their little princess, the Myerses wished to expand their family.
The couple was living in Columbus, Ohio, and had plans to move back to Michigan. They had bought a house and were ready to embrace parenthood again when they made an unexpected discovery.
At 33, Tammy was diagnosed with breast cancer. As a part of her treatment, she went through 18 rounds of chemotherapy, 28 rounds of radiation, and more than 25 surgeries.
RAY OF HOPE
While she fought and beat cancer, the five-year battle had adversely impacted her health. Her oncologist then told her that she could no longer conceive naturally. The Myerses then came across a solution. Tammy further revealed:
"The only way we could grow our family with a biological child would be to harvest my eggs, freeze them, and use a gestational carrier to carry them."
The couple then shared a Facebook post seeking a gestational carrier which was seen by Lauren Vermilye and her husband, Jonathan Vermilye. Lauren had carried two kids of her own and immediately felt the need to help the couple.
BUNDLES OF JOY
Eames Alexander and Ellison Erin Jewel were born at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital on January 11, 2021. The medical staff knew the Myerses as their mom and dad, but the birth certificate listed the Vermilyes as their parents.
The Myerses are close to the twins' gestational carrier, Lauren and her husband, and have even named them their godparents.
Even though Lauren and her husband had made no claim to the babies and had done what they did out of the goodness of their hearts, the Myerses were denied legal rights to their own kids as per Michigan's laws around surrogacy.
MICHIGAN'S SURROGACY PARENTING ACT
The Myerses had an idea of how complicated things could be in Michigan. They had even tried for a pre-birth order, which could give them legal rights to the twins before birth, but they were born eight weeks early. Tammy also expressed:
"We also believed with everything inside of us that there was no way a judge could hear our story and look into our faces and tell us that we do not have rights to our biological children.”
As per Michigan's Surrogacy Parenting Act passed in 1988, Tammy and Jordan were denied legal parentage rights to their twins. Consequently, they had to file for adoption for their own biological babies.
As it turned out, they had to go through psychological evaluations and home inspections and obtain letters of recommendation to adopt their bundles of joy. Regarding their struggle, their attorney, Melissa Neckers, said:
“Cancer has taken a lot from Tammy and Jordan, including Tammy’s ability to carry another child, but they have not let it defeat them."
Neckers also added that despite the adversity she's endured, Tammy has dedicated her time and energy to raising awareness and collecting funds for cancer research.
Tammy and Jordan are now the twins' legal guardians and say they couldn't be happier to be finally a family of five the Myerses are close to the twins' gestational carrier, Lauren and her husband, and have even named them their godparents.
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