In January, 47-year-old Melissa Cook filed a lawsuit to get custody of one of the triplets she was carrying after the father she was carrying them for requested a reduction, stating he could only afford two of the three children.
In her lawsuit Melissa claimed that she is the legal mother of the triplets she is carrying, and she was asking for custody of at least the one who was targeted for abortion.
Through his own attorney, the intended father, who is described as a ‘deaf, 50-year-old, single postal worker from Georgia’, said at the time that he planned to claim parental rights to all three children.
Following the premature delivery of the three babies earlier this week, the case has taken another turn and Melissa now wants all three babies.
In California, however, a gestational surrogate has no parental rights because they didn’t provide the egg or sperm to create the baby. Now, Melissa is challenging the state’s surrogacy law in federal court, claiming it is unconstitutional.
But because she isn’t the babies’ legal guardian she isn’t being granted access to them, or given information on their current health conditions.
Melissa’s lawyer Harold Cassidy, told Fox News that the minute the babies were born, they were immediately taken from her because a state court judge had granted the father parental rights.
“The hospital personnel refused to let Melissa see the children, allow her to know what their condition is, refused to tell her their exact weights, and she is not being permitted to see the children at all,” Cassidy said. “We have a mother who loves them, who fought for them, who defended their life, who stands ready to take care of them. You can’t tell a mother who gives birth to children that what happens to the children is none of her business.”
When asked for a statement by Fox News, the father’s lawyer said
“There have been many misrepresentations made about this matter,” the statement read in part. “I have addressed those misrepresentations in the appropriate forum -the judicial system -and the appropriate Court has heard both sides and issued a correct ruling based on California law and any constitutional issues that there may be. I stand by the Court’s ruling.
“My interest is in protecting my three children,” the statement added. “I continue to have concern for the health and welfare of the surrogate and wish to avoid her having unnecessary stress through a public presentation. I have no interest in sensationalizing the situation.”
Melissa’s lawyer says they are also keeping the focus on the children,
“Some man who donates sperm on the other side of the country is a stranger to that child, so much so that it is nothing for him to demand that the mother who loves the children he’s carrying has to kill one of them,” he said. “So his focus was not on the children, his focus was on what he wanted, what he could do, what he was capable of without any regard for what’s best for the children. And quite frankly, for a state to pass a statute that says the children should be turned over to someone who admits that he cannot care for the children is not good at all, and by the way, the way it’s written, it is not constitutional.”