A California surrogate mother, Jessica Allen, who thought she was carrying twins for a Chinese couple last year, later learned that one of the babies was her own.
A few weeks after Allen delivered the baby boys, she received a text message and photo of the babies from the intended mother.
The intended mother wanted to know if Allen thought the two babies looked different.
“She told me that she was having doubts that one belongs to her,” Allen told People Magazine.
What's the story?
After Allen delivered the babies, they were quickly taken away and she didn't see them.
Later that evening, she saw a photo of the babies and noticed that one looked Chinese and the other baby didn't, but she wasn't too concerned. Plus, her caseworker assured the babies were twins even though they didn't look alike.
“One, his skin tone was much fairer than the other. One looked full Chinese, the other didn’t look full Chinese,” Allen, 31, told People. “It was very clear that they were not identical … but I didn’t ask questions.”
After receiving the message from the intended mom, Allen said she "freaked out" and contacted her caseworker from Omega Family Global surrogacy agency, who suggested a DNA test.
The DNA test revealed one of the boys belonged to Allen and her husband Wardell Jasper. The couple who already had two children and were surprised by the news but knew they wanted to get their son back.
How did this happen?
Allen said she and her husband followed doctors' orders and didn't have sex until the pregnancy was confirmed. She didn't know she was ovulating early in the pregnancy and became pregnant with her own child, according to BBC News.
The rare medical phenomenon is known as superfetation, in which a woman continues to ovulate after becoming pregnant.
What did Allen and her husband do next?
Allen called the intended mom and told her she wanted her son.
“I was completely in shock. I was panicking. My husband and I were panicking,” Allen told People. “We had no idea how this came about and we had no idea how we were going to prepare for a child overnight. We just moved into a new house, we didn’t have any more money.”
Allen and her husband ran into difficulties getting their son back.
Since the Chinese mother signed the baby's birth certificate, she was his legal mother and could give the baby up for adoption if she wished, BBC News reported.
Allen was told the couple wanted up to $22,000 to hand over the infant, according to People.
“I thought I had a child out there that I was gonna be forced to let go of all because I couldn’t buy him or because I couldn’t adopt him,” said Allen, of Perris, California.
Did Allen and her husband get their son back?
The couple was reunited with their son, Malachi, in February.
Malachi is now 10 months old, and he's "walking around already," and "trying to talk,” she told People. "He walks around like he runs the world.”
The legal battles continue and Allen said she and Jasper still haven't received their son's birth certificate or social security card.
“It’s very stressful financially, it’s put us in debt,” Allen told People. "We’re barely getting by right now and it stressed me out emotionally because this agency turned their backs on me."