I'm still trying to put my feelings on this one into concrete thoughts so forgive me if this is a bit jumbly...
Basically we finally got some activity from the IPs over the last couple of days. Right before I left their lawyer sent a letter to my lawyer demanding all my medical records up until that point. My lawyer simply told them that I had retained new counsel and gave the address of where to forward any further requests.
Fast forward 3 weeks. We heard nothing from them during that time. Suddenly I get a phone call that the IPs lawyer has called my Michigan lawyer, and not very nicely demanded that I be presented so that they can serve me with papers to 'pursue their legal and contractual rights'in the state of CT, and that I turn over the medical records that they requested. They also state that they do not consent to any adoptive placement of 'the fetus'.
Seriously?? What the hell!?
They have stated time and time again that they do not intend to take custody of this baby. For Gd's sake they wanted her life terminated after allowing her to develop for 21 weeks! They proposed signing over custody to the state.. putting her in foster care where she is pretty much guaranteed to spend her life as a ward of the state, or even better, become a pawn for some foster family who seeks out special needs kids to leech off of. Yeah.. ok!
What the hell do they think they are going to do!? Are they thinking of keeping her? Because let me tell you if they are.. well I don't really know how I feel about that. I understand that biologically she is their child, but I can't tell you how much it bothers me that they have been adamant up until this point that they do not want any responsibility for her. Even if they are seeking out the records so that they can see what the 'experts' say about her condition, what kind of people are going to base the decision of whether or not to keep their child based on 'how bad' the diagnosis is!? Oh, right, the kind of people who didn't want her to continue to exist.
So what is this!? Is this some sort of game to them? Let's see how far we can push this girl. Let's stress her out and watch and see what happens!? Cuz let me tell you.. I'm a little stressed by this. I have no idea how this can or will play out. I do know that the IF is the biological father of this child. I can't deny that, and even my lawyer says that having someone else stand in and claim to be her father is a bad idea because they can come after me for false representation that way (which I totally get and wasn't considering). But that means that he can make this really really freaking difficult. If he refuses to give up his parental rights for whatever reason.. that leaves me with a really tough choice. I have already made the decision that I can't keep this child. I love her and I want what is best for her; but I realize that what is best for her is not for me to keep her. In the state of Michigan I have parental rights to her.. that is something that no court is going to take from me because she will be born in Michigan. However if I give up my rights and he does not.. that puts the ball in their court as to what happens to her. They can then very easily turn over custody to the state, just as they intended to do in CT. I will have no recourse to stop them. If I don't terminate my own rights, then I have responsibility for this child! Don't get me wrong.. I'd love to be able to say 'yes, I will take her and care for her and love her as if she was my own'.. but this is not the time, nor the place for me to be able to do that. I have much more at stake right now. Keeping her would mean losing everything that I already have in place, as well as everything that I've been working so hard to accomplish. I became a surrogate to give joy to another couple, not add to my own family. As much as I love this child, I love her enough to know that the best place for her is with a family that can handle her physically, emotionally, financially, etc. A family that is in a good place to accept the challenges that having a special needs child brings. That family is not mine.. no matter how much I may wish it was.
Part of me thinks that this is just their way of punishing me. Keeping me tied down.. like a game of revenge in a way. If I cave, they get what they want. A child who is in no way connected to them, put in a place where she can just be forgotten. And the woman who carried her is forced to go the rest of my life wondering what happened to her and if she is ok, with no way of finding that information out. That's what happens if she goes into the state's custody. I"m sure that's what will happen if she goes into the IP's custody. They certainly aren't going to be too keen on keeping me involved in their lives after all this has transpired. If I don't give in to what they want.. then I"m the one that has to live with the responsibility of the child, the situation, the medical bills, etc. I don't think they see that there is another life that is going to be severely affected by their quest for revenge. A beautiful little girl who is going to suffer at their hands. For being people who wanted so badly to 'avoid her suffering'.. they're doing a pretty good job of ensuring it right now.
So currently the lawyer is trying to negotiate. He has asked their lawyer what their intentions are. He has made a proposal for carrying forward which includes me turning over the medical records that have accumulated in Michigan, that I allow them access to speak with the doctors here in Michigan, that they sign over their rights before the baby is born and allow the adoption to take place, and that we all sign releases saying we will not sue each other. He doesn't think that the last item is going to go over well, but he says it's worth a try. And at this point, once again, it's a waiting game. We will see what they say when they decide to get back to us. In the meantime, as worried as I am, I am trying my best not to stress. Everything works out just as it is supposed to... Right????