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My Thoughts on the Theresa Erickson Baby Selling Scandal

Important update for commenters at the bottom

I got the first email in the morning, asking me if I had seen the article.  I was off to the beach, certain by the keywords in the url that it was one of those stupid-ass stories that would make my blood boil, so I decided to not click over to read the article at the moment.  There would be time later to get myself good and angry.

I got the second email in the afternoon, asking me if I had seen the article.  But we were trying to think through dinner, and I wanted to get the kids fed before I read it.  Though I found it odd that two people sent me the same article.

And then the third email came and the fourth and I finally clicked over to discover that I had heard of the San Diego lawyer.  I sat down to read about how Theresa Erickson, otherwise known as the surrogacy lawyer, had pleaded guilty for her involvement in a baby selling ring.

And I wanted to throw up.

I had not expected to know the guilty party.  I recently did her radio show with Dina Roth Port and Barbara Collura from Resolve, and I’ve pointed people her way in the past when they had surrogacy questions.  I knew nothing about her actual work as a lawyer, but she was the only person I could think of beyond surrogates themselves who had any tie to surrogacy.  So I sent people her way when they asked me if I knew anyone who could answer their surrogacy questions.

Which is why I wanted to throw up.

It’s a small reproductive rights world.  I’m certain there are many of us that had the same sinking feeling when they read the names of the people in the article.  And frankly, I felt a bit shattered, beyond what I felt with something like April Rose.  Because Erickson was a very real person that I spoke with several times via email or on her radio show.  I trusted her because other major organizations seemed to trust her.  And why not — there was nothing that I could tell from our emails or the radio show that she would play into the very underbelly that people fear from reproductive sciences, setting back public perception on surrogacy yet again.

There are very real babies at the heart of this who will grow up to be very real adults who will have to contend with their feelings on how they came to be.  And there are very real parents at the heart of this, who built their families on Erickson’s lies.  And there are very real women who were used as surrogates without intended parents in mind; the babies they were producing meant to be sold.

Which is why I wanted to throw up.

There is a lot of trust one needs to have to engage in assisted family building.  There are so many people you need to trust along the way as well as trust the processes of building families in a non-traditional way.  And Erickson’s actions are so damaging because they don’t just affect the families involved.  They don’t just affect the surrogates or the babies or the parents.  Her actions affect public perception, they have created doubt, they have caused confusion in those of us who need to use assisted family building.

And I don’t know why, but I immediately started crying while writing this.  Because I am so fucking angry that I can’t build my family without assistance and because I need to depend on other people in order to form my family.  And I am so fucking angry that the majority of people in this world don’t have to navigate the ethical concerns that come with assisted family building.  They want a child, they have sex, and they raise said child.  And I am so fucking angry that I have to depend on others.

And I am so fucking angry because now I don’t fully trust even the people that this morning I trusted fully.  Just because she planted a small seed of doubt in my mind.  And I’m certain I will weed it out, that the trustworthy people in this world will tip the scales back.  But tonight, I’m just really sad for everyone who needs to reach out to others to build their families.  Because it pains me that anyone in the ALI community was taken advantage of by mere virtue of the fact that they need assistance.  And it makes me so fucking angry.


I was putting this in the comment section and then decided to move it up here to ensure that everyone saw it.  As I wrote literally days ago, I have a commenting policy on this site: “I’m all for disagreement, as long as it’s polite. I will remove any comments that I deem off-topic, rude, or mean-spirited.”  Anonymous started something that is walking a thin line.  What we know right now is that Theresa Erickson pleaded guilty, therefore, the next day in the court room will be for sentencing.  Without a trial for affected parties to voice their hurt, having their say online or offline within conversations is a way of keeping their voice.  My heart goes out to the people who have been directly affected, such as one commenter below.  My heart goes out to the people who used her services in other situations and now feel queasy.  My heart also goes out to those of us who were indirectly affected, which I’d counter is pretty much everyone in the ALI community.  I encourage those who feel passionately about Theresa Erickson to write their own blog post on the topic.  My comment section won’t be a place for fighting, but luckily there is plenty of space in the blogosphere for people to still voice their opinions elsewhere.


1 Peg { 08.10.11 at 8:27 pm }

I don’t have any experience in this at all other than supporting my sister through her struggles to have their family. I just wanted to say I’m really sorry. I’m really really sorry.

2 Kymberli { 08.10.11 at 8:46 pm }

I am in the midst of writing on this very topic. I’m so sickened and angry about it all that I’m having a difficult time writing this piece. *sigh*

3 Chickenpig { 08.10.11 at 8:49 pm }

I just can’t believe. It is a bad Lifetime movie of the week, except it’s real, and so unthinkably wrong. I’m not angry, I’m just totally gobsmacked. I’ll probably be angry after I’ve stewed about it.

4 Keiko { 08.10.11 at 8:56 pm }

My post is forthcoming and let me just tell you, I’m right there with you right now.

I feel so fucking dirty to have been associated with her.

5 Mrs. Hope { 08.10.11 at 9:04 pm }

Wow. Stunning, and not in a good way.

6 T_Lee { 08.10.11 at 9:55 pm }

I am so, so angry. And so, so sad. Not only does it plant a seed of doubt within the community itself- but it’s yet another knock on the public perception of infertility and assisted family building. And we need that f*cking perception to get better, not f*cking worse!! If someone ‘within’ the community did this, then we all ‘look bad.’ And it’s so freaking hard to fight for acceptance and insurance coverage and freaking equality when everyone thinks we’re BUYING our g**d*** babies!!!!!!! I just want to scream!!!!!

7 Hope { 08.10.11 at 10:00 pm }

What Chickenpig said about it being a bad lifetime movie only real. I am in shock and disbelief. And it makes me really scared, since surrogacy might be on the table at some point for us if I can’t ever carry to term . . . Yikes.

8 Meredith { 08.10.11 at 10:24 pm }

I’m so sorry to read about this! It’s so maddening and heartbreaking!

I wish attorneys and firms would donate time to people building their families. I don’t know how some lawyers justify the huge amounts they bill for facilitating surrogacy arrangements or adoptions.

9 a { 08.10.11 at 10:39 pm }

It’s impossible to believe that things like this evolve from good intentions – people must actively decide to do something so morally corrupt. And when you’re confronted with the fact that you know someone involved? Well, I guess you know why all those neighbors of serial killers say “but he was such a quiet and helpful person. I never would have thought that.” My sympathies on your disillusionment. I haven’t even tried to process the implications of the actual story.

10 Kathy { 08.10.11 at 10:51 pm }

This makes me sad and angry too. Beyond that I am still processing and uncharacteristically speachless. I really try to give people the benefit of the doubt and then shit like this happens…

11 Sunshine { 08.10.11 at 11:18 pm }

My heart is in my stomach. I used both Theresa and her co-defendent, Hilary, for our surrogacy journey. Right after our GC gave birth we had some trouble contacting Theresa/her assistant, and my GC was owed some medical bills fund for awhile. I was told they got a new phone system and many voicemails were lost in the turnover. But she also stopped returning our calls. We thought it was very odd, as they had really been on top of things prior to that. Thank goodness everything is done, if we were pregnant right now I’d be a mess. This means that I’ve officially come into contact with three criminals during my 5 years of IF (three that I know of, at least. The third being the egg donor agency that scammed us with a non-exisistent donor.)

Mel, great post. You wrote what is in my head.

12 Anonymous { 08.10.11 at 11:44 pm }

U should be ashamed at the way u speak about Theresa! This is a set up someone had to go down! And who better then her! Those of us who know her know she was set up for this bullshit! You will soon put ur own foot in your mouth when the truth is revealed and who is behind all this. You will be sorry!

13 It Is What It Is { 08.10.11 at 11:45 pm }

I did not realize the degree to which you were connected with her IRL. That would be sickening enough if it weren’t for these very real babies who came to be by virtue of her avarice.

I am just not sure where someone, a lawyer and trusted adviser to the DE and surrogacy community, loses her moral compass or did she never truly have one? At what point along the way did this idea get hatched and then executed and is she a narcissist or sociopath to believe that she was above reproach for human trafficking. And, for a few bucks at the expense of so many lives affected forevermore.

I do not understand how that happens.

14 aisha { 08.10.11 at 11:50 pm }

I am sickened. . . I keep writing things but deleting because I am . . speechless.

15 Summer { 08.10.11 at 11:56 pm }

I am having trouble finding words right now to describe what I am feeling. It sickens me that I had associations with her firm.

16 Lori Lavender Luz { 08.11.11 at 12:15 am }

Hmmmm….Anonymous. Your defense of Theresa would be so much more powerful if you’d actually put your name to it.


I am speechless. But at least my name is on this comment.

17 Jonelle { 08.11.11 at 12:18 am }

This whole thing just makes my stomach hurt, and more than a little angry. She just set us back like ten years, and you know that this won’t just affect the surrogacy community, but I’m sure the adoption community as well.

I think we have a new candidate for the most hated person in America.

18 Anonymous { 08.11.11 at 12:42 am }

Don’t you worry about my name, worry about what is coming out of your mouth!

She was caught up in this, this is some serious bullshit! Someone had to come down and who not better then her, right!

Truth will speak all on it’s own when she steps in that court room with all the proof she needs to bring others down! The ones who put her in this place to begin with! There is no possible way she would have done this judgment and paternity documents all on her own! Makes you wonder if a judge is behind all this. Someone had to sign on of these legal documents!

She is a strong femAle and she will take it as it comes!

19 M { 08.11.11 at 1:28 am }


Two others went down with her…and if there’s more, bring it on. But one things for sure, she’s not innocent. And why do I know this? Because I am involved in this case first hand.

If she had nothing to hide, she wouldn’t have pleaded guilty especially since she’s such “a strong female” according to you.

20 Mike { 08.11.11 at 1:45 am }


It is people like you you who make it possible for Evil people such the 3 witches to go on for so long, it is your type that feeds their egos and let them think they wont be cought. No asnwer this if she was not involved why in the FUCKING HELL do I have her fucking voice on my phone you think you know her but you have not fucking clue. Yes I am or should I say we have been a victim of her scam and been quiet long enough you want to hear the truth be there when she goes to jail and hear here bagging for forgiveness, cause thats what all criminals do when they have to face the music. NO EAT THIS

21 Mike { 08.11.11 at 1:50 am }

Further more, thank god that there are more good people leaving comments on here.

22 jjiraffe { 08.11.11 at 3:16 am }

I am so sorry, Mel. I feel the ALI community is such an open, welcoming, trusting place, so to have that trust shattered feels violating.

On the plus side, It’s the biggest news week in three years. Maybe the story won’t gain too much traction?

23 Sara { 08.11.11 at 9:05 am }

I’m sickened by this whole thing. I have friends that have seen her (despite that this is local news for me, I haven’t seen much coverage of this). Just the mere fact that not only does she make a career out of being a part of the ALI community she IS a part of the ALI community – she has seen what we go through on more than one level. (*according to her book, she was an egg donor to finance law school)

24 mash { 08.11.11 at 9:26 am }

Wow. I’m just so amazed when something like this happens, and I wonder how it starts. Surely. Surely. Surely. She must have had some kind of guilt or realisation somewhere along the way? How do people get SO blindsided by money, it completely fascinates me! When someone has been that dishonest and destroyed lives in that way, are they really expecting to enjoy the money they make from it? Will they then buy a swish car and feel good when someone comments on how fancy it is? I just. don’t. get it. How will she spend the rest of her life inhabiting a personality that she knows has done this…

25 Pam/Wordgirl { 08.11.11 at 9:28 am }

I am sitting here in my house, just sitting with this. You voiced the same feeling that surfaces every so often for me — but I almost don’t let myself feel it — its too deep — that grief — and I simply can’t imagine that grief compounded by what I imagine to be the greed of another — life, real life, is so hard — it’s hard enough — why on earth do we make it so ugly for one another.


Love to you Mel — I know it’s difficult to have even one person direct their vitriol in your direction — you are a beautiful and strong clear voice here.

26 Bea { 08.11.11 at 11:03 am }

Wow. Um. I’m so sorry – for all sorts of reasons. I can see why you’re feeling the shock.


27 serenity { 08.11.11 at 11:17 am }

Awful. I’m sorry.

I wish I had something to add. Know that I share the same anger at the unfairness of IF.


28 Holly { 08.11.11 at 11:19 am }

OMG!!! I am heart sick and think it’s going to take me days to process the horror.

29 loribeth { 08.11.11 at 11:21 am }

Yikes. Even if the accused was set up, as Anonymous claims, the point here is that, once again, someone is taking advantage of people in the ALI community who only want to do something — have a family — that that most people just take for granted. It sucks, and I share your anger & frustration, Mel.

30 Rachel { 08.11.11 at 11:52 am }

I’m sick to my stomach. Literally. I had the lap surgery a few weeks ago, and daily I’m receiving new bills, things like “$12 to have someone read my chest x-ray”, which makes me feel so used since I already paid $100 for said chest x-ray. To think that this woman and her co-horts are profiting tens of thousands of dollars off of people who just want to have a baby? Seriously? Disgusting. I want to understand more…do the women having these children to give up for adoption understand the emotional havoc they are creating? Is money really that important in the scheme of things that they would essentially be ok with creating fake adoption back stories?

31 Alexicographer { 08.11.11 at 3:06 pm }

Without intending to suggest that anyone’s blood should not be boiling — clearly, major crimes and violations of trust have occurred here — taking a small step back I see …

Donors who provided eggs and sperms presumably with the intent that those be used to create babies for parents who desperately wanted and would love and care for them. Not via the exact path that those babies got created, and I don’t mean to downplay that violation (indeed, in seems to me likely that of the various parenting roles this story entails the gamete donors were the least ‘aware’ in all of this), but all the same.

Women who got paid to serve as surrogates for babies conceived via those gametes. This, too, seems to have occurred disreputably and illegally but nonetheless, women who knowingly agreed to serve as surrogates for IPs, albeit not-yet-identified IPs.

IPs who were tricked and who paid exorbitant fees for the privilege of adopting babies they very much wanted. Again, I am not saying this is OK, I don’t think it is. But, people who desperately wanted to become parents, became parents.

In short, we have babies knowingly and planfully created that were bound for loving homes where they were desperately wanted.

Again, I am not saying I think what happened is OK (far from it). But I do think from the perspective of the children involved (to touch on one of Mel’s many concerns) that there are, to be honest, far worse ways to come into the world, and worse circumstances into which to be born. I also hope that the surrogate mothers are themselves at peace with their roles in helping families welcome babies into their homes (I am not clear whether they were knowingly duplicitous or not?). And I hope and trust that the adoptive parents will always be grateful that their children reached them, the route involved notwithstanding.

32 Davina Fankhauser { 08.11.11 at 3:10 pm }

I commend you on not ignoring the elephant in the room and expressing your personal reaction to the charges against The Surrogacy Lawyer, Theresa Erickson. Like, you I have spoken with her and found her to be absolutely wonderful. I am so sorry your reaction has been full of so much anger and disappointment.

I encourage you to NOT be at the mercy of others. There is a lack of social justice when looking at equality for infertility care and it IS infuriating. This is why Fertility Within Reach created step-by-step instructions and resources to help individuals effectively advocate for family building benefits with their legislators, employer and insurer.

I implore you to not waste another minute in anger and focus your energy and talent toward strategic efforts. You are familiar with Resolve so you are familiar with Advocacy Day. Fertility Within Reach wants to get the message out that EVERYDAY is the day to be your own best advocate.

33 niobe { 08.11.11 at 4:14 pm }

I think Alexicographer makes a great point.

Because with full disclosure to all parties and a little more attention to the rules (contracts before IVF or complying with state adoption law) they could have done pretty much exactly the same thing legally.

34 HereWeGoAJen { 08.11.11 at 5:34 pm }

Excellent post, Mel. I don’t really have anything to add that someone else hasn’t already said. I am disgusted that someone could do something like this.

35 R { 08.11.11 at 6:20 pm }

Being a week out of the hospital after having a hysterectomy with an eye on surrogacy to help me build my family, this broke my heart and scared me speechless.

36 Orodemniades { 08.11.11 at 7:41 pm }

When people are desperate for something they will do whatever they have to to get that desire fulfilled, making them easy pickings for the greedy and unethical. I’m sure it never occurred to any of those parents that Erickson would be anything but above board.

37 Sunshine { 08.11.11 at 10:55 pm }

Hi, it’s Sunshine again.

I can’t stop thinking about this. Also, the story sounded so familiar to me so I went back to my email history and did a few searches. And yep, in October of 2009, Hilary contacted me about her “friend” named Carla who had a baby who’s IPs backed out, and the baby needed to be placed asap. Cost was $100,000, and DE/DS was used. The donor profiles were just one single page with only basic physical characteristics, and she refused to provide more information. The GC would have to travel to California to give birth due to their flexible laws (that’s the reason we were told, now we know it’s because that’s where Thersea worked. Oh, and we were told that the IVF clinic was located in CA but she refused to tell us which clinic), and I would be responsible for all medical expenses, her living costs, etc (all of this on top of the $100K fee.) I was not permitted to fly to Wisconsin to meet the GC, where she lived. It goes on and on. And guess what- I would have done it in a heartbeat. I had just completed my 8th IVF which worked, and then the baby died for no reason when I was 20 weeks pregnant. I would have done ANYthing- this was a slam dunk! Absolutely we knew we were being taking advantage of, but we sure didn’t care. Absolutely everything sounded sketchy and alarm bells were ringing, but I didn’t care! You’re not in your right mind.

And I was thinking, and wondering if any of you guys agree?: Even though they engaged in illegal activities, I still think they both did their “normal” jobs without these activies hampering their preofessional work. I do belive that Hilary meant it when she was so nice and awesome to us, when she bought my GC a little charm bracelet, all of those things. It’s abosolutely possible to be a good person in one realm, and a bad person in another. I mean, look at all the politicians who say one thing, yet their activies do the polar opposite, you know? All my money was always accounted for, and from what I can read I don’t think they stole money outright from their clients?

Sorry for the novel Mel!

38 Davina Fankhauser { 08.11.11 at 11:16 pm }

Hi Sunshine,
I think you are right. Good people make poor, even terrible decisions. It happens. Every profession is made up of all types of people; good, shady, unethical, fabulous, etc. There is a line and it’s either blurred by choice, drive, greed, whatever the reason; the line is ignored and it gets crossed.

This is a tragic situation. The infertility community has lost three talented, educated, hard working, family driven women who made horrible judgments, let themselves down, their families, peers, communities and those that trusted them. No one wins.

From my seventeen years of personal and professional experience within the infertility community I will share something I’ve learned and hope it brings you comfort as well, “What keeps loss from being in vain are the lessons learned and the actions we choose to take.”

39 Adoptive mother { 08.12.11 at 1:14 am }

A decade of infertility, IUI’s like crazy and 4 IVF cycles, 2 with donor eggs. I finally got off the infertility train (having finally realized the profit making insane industry that it is.) Adopted 2 beautiful kids who snuggle with me in bed as I type. In the end, I realized “what the hell is so special about MY DNA or my husbands?” I love many people deeply with whom I share no genetic material. Turns out, I love my kids more than anything in whole world. Only reason I’m on this post is because I’ve actual met this attorney and was interested to see if other’s perceptions jibe with mine. Just thought I’d share my perspective as a woman who was in your place, and decided to stop the insanity and just become a mom.

40 Port of Indecision { 08.12.11 at 1:19 am }

Wow. I feel kind of dirty now just for having bought her book when we were seriously considering DE. Interestingly, the thing she harps on again and again and again in her book is the importance of hiring a reproductive rights attorney to make sure all the legal paperwork is in order, and not trusting the informed consents and donor contracts the RE provides.

I guess now we see why. Jesus.

41 Diana { 08.12.11 at 3:47 am }

I am posting this comment, not as the owner of a surrogacy agency myself, but as a concerned person in the infertility community. I have known Theresa for over 13 years and she has grown and changed through the years. I can honestly say, when I first met her she truly had the best of intentions in mind. She was caring, compassionate and enjoyed helping others. I think the change occurred when she started getting “too big” and stopped being personally involved. From writing her books, doing her radio show and seeing the type of money that was coming in. Most agencies make good money, but they should not rely on it or over spend and need to make more to compensate. With Theresa, she must have realized the millions of dollars a year she was making were not enough and look how much MORE couple be made by setting her plan into action. She literally prayed on couples who were desperate and knew they would pay. Greed is a terrible thing, but what is worse is that our own judicial system never questioned in 6 years ALL of these cases she presented where parents changed their minds? REALLY? That right there is like turning a blind eye and I think whomever signed these judgments under the belief Theresa presented should also be investigated. I have not once through my agency had a single client change their mind and not want the child and we have helped over 800 couples.

I have been fortunate to help infertile couples for 13 years through my agency as well as act as a surrogate twice and an egg donor many times. The pure joy, helping others brings, is priceless, so taking the kind of risk she did, after being so well respected and known in the community boggles my mind. How could she RISK everything? Her reputation? Her businesses, not just her law firm, but her surrogacy agency as well? When did the line become blurred and it start to be more about money and no longer about the couples and creating families? What she has done to the surrogacy community is ruin something those of us with true passion and hard work have spent years to build. She has changed all of our lives forever, in one way or another. It truly is heartbreaking and I wonder if any of us will ever recover from the injustice that has been done. I pray for all of the people who are involved in her illegal activities, may they find peace and know that not everyone is like this, there are good people out there willing to help others. Do not loose trust because of something Theresa has done, she will get what she deserves, justice will be served and if Anonymous is right and she IS being set up, this will come out at her arraignment as well, however, her pleading guilty does not present much of an argument to her defense.

42 Jen { 08.12.11 at 9:55 am }

I just bought her most recent book since we are now considering DE. I completely agree with Port of Indecision……How can she go on & on about the importance of hiring a reproductive rights attorney and not to trust your own RE??? What a sham! I plan to return the book for a full refund.

43 Anonymous { 08.12.11 at 5:33 pm }

Keep talking. Truth speaks all on it’s own.

44 Anonymous { 08.12.11 at 11:20 pm }

Unfortunately, this is horrible news for the industry; however, as an insider to the ART industry and parent of twins that I had through the legal assistance of Theresa Erickson and other professionals; persons with half an idea of what happened here need to also consider that this may just be that a few greedy people used a generous and caring individual that was at the forefront of this industry to work under to hide their devious plans.
One thing to think about is that she too has a story and unfortunately cannot share it due to the pending sentencing, but the truth about the involvement shall be told in time as she stated in the lone statement made thus far by Mrs. Erickson.
Many that jump on the band wagon and go out on a witch hunt for a person that has helped create thousands of families over the years may want to wait to judge her. Has anyone thought that this whole situation may be a case of her taking the plea to protect those thousands of legitimate families that were created from having their personal lives dragged out into the public forum? I know I would be highly upset to have my private life dragged through the public eye and have judgmental people ridiculing my wife and I for using not only a sperm donor and egg donor, but for using a surrogate too; all years after my family was created. Yes, we were in an arrangement based out of San Diego with all parties (egg donor, sperm donor and surrogate) all through different agencies/companies that were local along with the fertility Dr. I am sure many would want to ridicule me as well since neither my wife nor I are genetically related to our children, yet we love them more than life itself and don’t care that the DNA doesn’t match ours. My children know who their parents are and know they are the center of our lives and are very much loved. Oh, and by the way, the final amount spent in achieving my family was not around $100k. We spent well over $150K and gave up keeping track there. When doing the math, Surrogate, Egg Donor, Sperm Donor, Insurance for our surrogate, IVF Fees (the most expensive part of the whole arrangement), agency fees (for merely matching you with your egg donor, surrogate and sperm donor) and attorney fees, it’s easy to surpass $100K. My only thought on this is where is this profit to make it worth it for an attorney that had a thriving firm with hundreds of clients a year that would pay her for the legal side which is by far the cheapest part of the whole arrangement (yet also the most important)?
As far as the other codefendants, it is my understanding that one was a serial surrogate that was not physically capable of being a surrogate any longer due to her own reproductive health issues and turned into a “coordinator” that bounced around with residences inside and outside the US while the other (who was also a well known attorney in the ART field) was also a major part of the arrangements and from what it sounds like from individuals closely related was a key person and instrumental in the early stages of these questionable arrangements.
Also, they say one of the whistle blowers was a competitor… hmmm kind of odd that a competitor would do so something like this without their own personal interests involved since everyone is saying Theresa was the top attorney in the field and known for such around the world. I’m sure they only had the best intentions in mind and in no way thought about how they may benefit from trying to take down the top attorney in the country.
So far the story in the media has changed multiple times from when they first got wind of it Tuesday afternoon. The FBI and AG have only made limited statements without giving any details of the plea agreement and only list the charges and potential maximum penalties. As anyone with limited legal knowledge may know… charges are basically a list of elements and criteria that must be met before charging a person with a crime. No one said she was indicted. She merely pled guilty and it is typical that there should have been a statement of facts in support of the plea. To not be indicted or have her office raided, she must have been very forthcoming with the FBI and was very cooperative as to her role (if any in the scheme).
I am looking forward to hearing the full story and not contributing to the hysteria that the internet message boards and blogs are doing to fuel the fire that the media has set. All of these people that are uninvolved or not knowing the industry and/or facts involved are achieving by voicing their opinions are what is making everything worse for everyone else that do business in the ART industry and those families that were built through the amazing work of an ENTIRE team of professionals that make such a thing possible.
The media loves to report on juicy topics and tend to stretch a 2 line statement into a 2 page story of unverified statements or ideas. I believe this is what’s happening here. Just stop for a second and look at how much new information is coming out since Tuesday? None… except people looking for face time on camera or to create mass hysteria with their OMG’s and I knew she was shady without even knowing the true person/ professional that has helped so many. I must say this as well to all the people writing without any purpose than to just gossip… bloggers do not have the greatest credibility either since they just type whatever they feel or believe and in most cases don’t go out and obtain the facts before posting something that could be damaging to the industry they are so-called “trying to protect.”

45 Stephanie { 08.13.11 at 3:49 pm }

I’m so sick to my stomach! I have been a surrogate for Concept. Options & how I found out about this was through my IP’s in Germany! We all where SHOCKED! I wanted to throw up! I turned on the news & there she was and it made me so sick! All I can say is in my opinion it was all greed! My god in heaven I feel weak to my knees right now! I can’t even finish typing what I want to say, I’m in tears & very angry at her!

46 Sunshine { 08.13.11 at 8:39 pm }

Dear Anonymous,

You wrote:

” The FBI and AG have only made limited statements without giving any details of the plea agreement and only list the charges and potential maximum penalties.”

Actually, the legal plea agreements for all three co-defendents are on the web, public for anyone to view. A simple Google search would have given you this link. You can see their initials signed on each page and everything.

Here it is:

47 kelly { 08.14.11 at 6:53 pm }

As a 1st time surrogate working with a family now, I can only say that there is a lot of doubt and fear associated with becoming a surrogate. The last thing the industry needed was a story out about illegal transactions going on. I’m hoping that my own arrangement is 100% legit and that the actions of this attorney and her associates do not dissuade any would be surrogates from helping a family.

48 Barb { 08.14.11 at 9:50 pm }

It is really scary.

49 Skeptic { 08.15.11 at 9:35 pm }

I think it’s an absolutely abhorrent show of human intelligence that so many people believe everything they see/read in the media without knowing the real story. Judgment should not be made without knowing all the facts. Theresa was charged with wire fraud, a fact you can find by reading the public files. The other two women involved in the case were charged with much more serious crimes. It sounds like the highest profile involved is getting the guilty-by-association finger.

50 katie { 08.16.11 at 10:52 am }

I am a little confused by the article, sorry if someone else has already clarified this – but it may just be sloppy reporting. It says “the couple who were going to adopt the baby” but I assume it means that the arrangement was written up as a surrogacy arrangement – not written up as an intended adoptive placement that fell through and then transferred to surrogacy?

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