Surrogate Mother Takes Back Babies

by in surrogacy


Scott and Amy Kehoe tried everything they could think of for eight years to become parents, finally turning to a surrogate to help them. One month after birth, however, the surrogate came back for the babies she delivered for them and kept them.

Michigan, where the Kehoes live, is one of only five states that does not recognize surrogacy contracts. Because the adoption was not yet completed, the surrogate mother was within her legal rights to take back the twins at any time. To the Kehoes it is nothing more than “legal kidnapping”.

Shelley Baker, the surrogate mother, went before a judge one week after having the twins to begin the adoption process. She told the judge that the Kehoes “love these babies very much.” However she said she also began feeling uncomfortable after learning more about Amy Kehoe having a criminal record and seeing a psychiatrist.

Amy Kehoe’s psychiatrist gave her a letter of recommendation, saying she was consistent with her medication and her therapy. He felt that her mental health issues would not get in the way of her being able to parent well. Shelly and her husband felt otherwise. Despite the infants bonding with the Kehoes, the Bakers removed the twins and choose to parent them. They have also legally changed the infants names to Peyton and Dani.

Amy Kehoe was arrested for minor cocaine possession 9 years ago and has had no criminal issues since then. She was also diagnosed with an unspecified psychotic disorder for which she takes medication and sees a psychiatrist regularly. Amy claims that she was honest with Baker about her mental health issues, however Shelly says that she first heard of the issues during the custody hearing. – Summer, Staff Writer

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About the Author

Summer is a mom of three, living life in the slow lane along historic Route 66. She writes, homeschools, gardens, and is still trying to learn how to knit.

Comments (16)

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  1. ernest says:

    The adoptive mother had schizophrenia and the surrogate mother did not know this until after the twins were born. She feared for their welfare.

  2. G says:

    I believe the biological mother has psychosis, Ernest. The surrogate mother had every right to be concerned about where they were ending up. And on Dr. Phil the biological parents were extremely aggressive and attacked the surrogate’s parenting and religion. I would not give them the babies back if I were her, and I hope she sticks to that.

  3. Heather says:

    I think this women Shelley had intent on keeping these babies she signed the birth certificate with her husband as soon as they were born she’s just managed to find a loop hole in Michigan law she’s the one with a disorder she truly believes these babies are hers she is 100% wrong SHAME on you Shelley…..

  4. Michelle says:

    She did know about a unspecified disorder. Bottom line, she led them on and is the worst kind of Christian. I fear for those babies being raised by a thieving woman like that.

  5. disgusted says:

    The surrogate mother is not a doctor. She has no business deciding the BIOLOGICAL mother is not fit. Those babies need to be placed back with their biological parents. As a mother, I am seriously disgusted by the actions of Shelley Baker. I think she needs to seek mental health therapy.

  6. Wanda says:

    I saw these folks on Dr. Phil. If any one displays mentally ill behavior, it is Shelley Baker. She and her husband obviously never had any intention of giving these babies to their real parents. They defrauded Amy & Scott. What wonderful Christian behavior! Shelley and her husband and lying, deceptive, evil crooks & had no business stealing those children from their real parents. They used mental illness as an excuse. If that had not worked they would have used something else. I would love for Shelley to have to be tested for Mental Health. She certainly IS NOT A CHRISTIAN!!!

  7. Steph says:

    This story has had such an impact on me…I have spent all night just thinking about this. Shelly Baker is a witch for what she did to poor Amy. Amy deserves to have a family and she was on her way until evil Shelly betrayed her. Shelly is an awful person. I hope these twins get taken away from her and return into the hands of the two people who honestly deserve these babies’ love. I could see right thru that evil b**ch on the Dr. Phil show…the fake crying! c’mon!! She used the fact that Amy had a mental disorder as a way to keep these kids. I fear for these children being in the hands of this kind of women!!!

  8. Another mother says:

    I agree, I think the surrogate mother had all intentions of keeping the babies since she put her & her husband’s name on the birth certificate right from the gecko. If she really had no intentions of keeping the babies she would have consulted an independent psychiatrist prior to making the decisions of taking the babies away instead of diagnosing the biological mother herself. If she is someone who truly does surrogating for the reasons she says she does then she would understand where the biological mother is coming from & not past judgement based on her own assumptions. The biologiccal mother has the right to show she is fit to take care of her babies. If this was such a big decision maker for the surrogate mother then she should have inquire as well prior to getting involve with this couple. To me she stole those babies from their biological parents & she should be ashame of that. I like to know what she’s going to tell these children when they get older. Maybe there is something wrong with the surrogate mother that she can’t conceive her own children & was waiting for the right couple to be able to do what she did to this couple. I don’t know how they are going to be able to live with that. I am a mother & I could not even think of anyway trying to take my baby from me. I really do think that this is a unique case & the state of Michigan should look into this case before those babies get any older.

  9. Poodlepal says:

    Apparently, Amy’s disorder was described, in court, as “paranoid schizophrenia.” If that is correct, and that is the disease that the Kehoes said she had, then Shelly is right. I would not give a child I delivered to a woman with paranoid schizophrenia. This is a disease where voices in your head tell you that various people and things are out to get you. Remember Andrea Yates?

    They claimed on Dr. Phil she did not have that disease, but it was apparently different from what they said under oath. They also never went into any details about what happened when Mrs. Kehoe had her mental break. From what I heard on the show, I side with Shelly. She should give the money back, though. The Kehoes may meet the Family Services definition of fit parents, but the standards for a woman to give up a baby she birthed (as Shelly is) are allowed to be a lot higher, I believe.

  10. A Mommy says:

    The consensus is clear. This Surrogate and her spouse are of the worst type. Why
    dont they have their own children anyway? It is so obvious that they are guilty, they even look guilty. They have now stolen the children to glorify their own lives and at the least should be required to repay the couple for the money spent on the process plus millions for pain and suffering and defamation of character and then they should have to give those children to their rightful parents. My fear is that years down the road we will hear about the terrible psychosis that is realized by those babies, as a result of being raised by such brazen dishonest and calculating people.

  11. Julie says:

    As a surrogate mother myself and currently pregnant, I’m at a cross roads here. I understand how Shelley could feel a responsibility to these babies happiness because she grew and birthed them, but as I obviously have sympothy for an infertile couple, I couldn’t imagine the long awaited babies being snatched from them. The obvious problem here is that Shelley didn’t do her research BEFORE doing this. In my opinion if Shelley is not the biological mother then all she can do is leave it to the state to investigate and make the decision of “fit” or “not fit”. I wish the best of luck to both parties and remember to not judge lest you be judged.

  12. Jennifer Gregory says:

    I just saw the surrogate on Dr. Phil an hour ago, I guess it was her second time on and she wanted to defend herself.

  13. Morals says:

    I believe that even though the biological mother may be using pills or has a condition, or has a 9 yr arrest for something come on can we all say we never did anything wrong in our lives? How would she feel if someone did that to her saying that in her past she heard she was in a domestic case with her previous husband for example and they fair for the babies, i know she would feel horrible. Can’t sleep..yea right, you cant sleep because you already knew you would take the woman babies away from the start. Wat she did was morally upsetting and because i that she is not fit either to raise a child. What will she teach them?? She can’t set a good example.
    KEEP YOUR PROMISE TO THAT WOMAN THAT OBVIOUSLY IS NOT AS LUCKY AS YOU (UNFORTUNATELY) TO HAVE CHILDREN, AND IF YOU ARE THAT AFRAID, SEEK THE LAW AND LET THEM DEAL WITH IT, IT IS NOT YOUR RIGHT AT ALL IN ANYWAY POSSIBLE TO MAKE THAT DECISION. EVEN IF THE LAW DO FIND HER UNFIT AND PUT THEM UP FOR ADOPTION THEN GO TRY TO GET THEM THROUGH THOSE MEANS BECAUSE IN ALL THRUTHS THEY ARE NOT YOUR CHILDREN. HENCE, THE WORD SURROGATEEEEEE! ITS DISGUSTING AND PEOPLE LIKE HER SHOULD NEVER CALL HER SELF A CHRISTIAN AND BRING GOD’S NAME IN SOMETHING THAT DISHONEST!

  14. Morals says:

    OHH AND ANOTHER THING…SHE SAID IT WOULD BE WRONG TO GIVE THE BABIES BACK BECAUSE THEY ARE ALREADY COMFORTABLE IN THEIR HOME..BUT WAIT A MINUTE THEY WOULD NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT SITUATION IF SHE DIDNT TAKE THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. WE ALL HAVE THINGS THAT MAKE US STAY UP AT NIGHT…OH GOD YOU JUST HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT! LOL OR GO SEEK HELP…

  15. Moderator? says:

    Quick correction to these comments. The intended parents were NOT the biological parents in this surrogacy. Neither couple were biologically related to the children. They purchased donor eggs and sperm.

    Michigan does not recognize surrogate contracts, which both parties should have reasonably known. That’s why it was treated as an adoption with the surrogate/birth mother and her husband listed on the birth certificates. As an adoption, the birth parents had the legal right to change their minds for any reason, about the adoption.

    Why does growingyourbaby.com not have a “Report” button to report and moderate hateful/threatening comments? Look at some of the responses, some of them probably are against the terms of service.

    [ed. note. We have removed a couple inappropriate comments and apologize that they were able to make it through our filter]

  16. Katethegr8 says:

    Totally disgusting.
    The consultant even said that Kehoe was doing well and was fit to be a mother. I don’t think Shelly and her husband intended for the twins to be given to Amy and her husband.
    They were just in it for the money it seems. I hope when the twins are old enough, they seek out their ‘real parents’ and tell Shelly baker to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine! What a cold,calculating and dishonest woman.

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