Couple ‘devastated’ after surrogate baby DNA shock

family law

A gay couple in the Netherlands are “devastated” after they had to return a baby girl they thought was their surrogate daughter following a DNA test.

Arnout Janssen and Stefano Franke desperately wanted to have children so they sought out a surrogate. Last year they found a woman online who was willing to carry their child. Although the surrogate mother was married she agreed to use protection if she had sex with her husband prior to going through artificial insemination using sperm from both Janssen and Franke and her own eggs.

Earlier this month, she gave birth to a girl and the same sex couple were elated. However these feelings did not last because a DNA test soon revealed that the girl was not the biological child of either man: she was the husband’s daughter.

Janssen and Franke were originally undeterred by this revelation. They insisted that the girl was their daughter “and DNA changes nothing about that”. At first the biological parents seemed to accept this and agreed to meet the couple to discuss the matter further but they did not show up. Instead they arranged a court hearing to have the girl returned to them as they intended to raise her themselves.

Under Dutch law, all matters regarding surrogacy are based on the mother’s “willingness and good faith” so even before the hearing started, the couple knew they were going to lose the girl. In a blog post about the situation, Franke wrote that they were “completely devastated and do not really know what to do”.

They felt like “months of [their] lives have been taken away” he continued, but they still hope the girl “gets all the attention and love she deserves, and … grows up to be an amazing woman”. Even though they only had her for 13 days they still “love her very much and … will never forget her”.

Photo by Lindsey Turner via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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3 comments

Jim - May 27, 2017 at 6:20am

I have a little sympathy for all parties in this situation. No-one likely intended for this outcome, my concern would be around the fact that if the couple were paid by the homosexual couple for carrying thier child then surely there is the question of fraud.

However, and I don’t mean this in a homophobic way, who consenting adults have any form of relationship with is thier business, not mine and certainly not the state’s, I question the morality of same sex couples using surrogates to have children. I am uncomfortable with the idea of them adopting, but children need loving and nurturing parents, there is no reason to think a same sex couple cannot be as loving or nurturing as any other couple, so I ignore my ‘conventional’ thinking on this.

However, if a same sex couple want a child from birth, I am of the opinion that they should do it the old fashioned way, but this thinking is also crossing over into conventional IVF treatment too, where a couple cannot have a child conventionally they should be encouraged to adopt first rather than use IVF.

I accept my thinking on this may be out of step with many, but children are not fashion accessories, they are not pets and they most certainly are not possessions. When deciding to raise children, the needs of the child should be paramount. Just because an adult can be a parent, doesn’t mean they should, or at least they should consider each and every alternative route to parenthood.

Lastly I would suggest that any couple, same sex or otherwise, that goes down the surrogate route, draw up a contract first, ensure the rights and needs of all parties, especially the child, is accounted for before doing the deed.

spinner - May 27, 2017 at 11:47am

This whole area needs to be normalised and regulated properly. If two gay’s want to have a child they shouldn’t need to be searching the internet just as if a single women wants to have a child she can go to a regular sperm donation centre.

Dr. Manhattan - May 27, 2017 at 3:41pm

Sounds like intelligence and common sense are rather sparse with this Gay couple. just a ludicrous story from start to finish.
of course the biological father will want to keep his own little girl.

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