Last week, a woman named Jessica Allen, 31, authored a story for the New York Post about how she became pregnant whilst already pregnant. The unexpected development resulted in her giving birth to two children who were not conceived at the same time and had two different sets of parents.
The 31-year-old explained that in 2016, she underwent in vitro fertilization after agreeing to become a surrogate mother for a Chinese couple. She was paid a sum of $30,000 for carrying their offspring. As IFLScience points out, California is one of the few US states where commercial surrogacy programs are legal.
During a routine ultrasound in her sixth week of pregnancy, Jessica was surprised with the news that she was actually carrying twins! Her payment increased by $5,000 for the second child as a result. This is because the doctors and the surrogacy agency assumed she had unexpectedly become pregnant with twins. But that was not the case…
In December of that year, Jessica gave birth to two boys via cesarean section. A month later, she received a photo of the babies from the Chinese couple. Their message read, “They are not the same, right? Have you thought about why they are different?”
Later, Jessica told ABC News: “I did notice that one was much lighter than the other. You know, obviously they were not identical twins.”
After taking a DNA test, Jessica learned that one of the children was hers biologically. The other was the Chinese couple’s child. Said Jessica, “I don’t know how to describe it… we were floored. We were like, how did this happen?”
The phenomenon is known as “superfetation.” Reportedly, it is extremely rare. This is because a woman’s body usually stops releasing hormones which stimulate ovulation) when she becomes pregnant. In this case, that didn’t happen. Jessica’s body released an egg that managed to become fertilized by her partner, Jasper.
Initially, the Chinese couple wanted to keep the infant. But after a complicated and pricey legal battle, Jessica and Jasper finally took their son home. Soon after, they named him Malachi.
The article, entitled “I rented out my womb — and they almost took my own son,” has made international headlines because superfetation is so rare. It almost never occurs in humans, which is why scientists and the surrogacy agency had no idea how to respond.
In her article, Jessica concluded: “I don’t regret becoming a surrogate mom because that would mean regretting my son. I just hope other women considering surrogacy can learn from my story. And that a greater good will come out of this nightmare.”
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