Jessica Allen became pregnant with her own son while carrying a baby as a surrogate for a Chinese couple — launching an “emotional” battle to get her baby boy back.
“I didn’t even know I was pregnant with [him],” Allen, of California, said through tears during an interview with ABC News. “I carried my own child and I didn’t know he was mine.”
Allen, who already had two children, was surprised to learn that she had gotten pregnant with her own child while carrying as a surrogate due to a medical phenomenon known as superfetation — when a woman continues to ovulate after becoming pregnant.
Doctors initially believed the babies were simply twins.
“The chance of an embryo splitting is very small, but it does happen,” Allen told ABC. “I was very surprised.”
She gave birth to the pair last December and handed the babies over to the couple. However, Allen said she was perplexed when she saw a photo of the growing boys.
“I did notice that one was much lighter than the other,” Allen said of the babies — one is Chinese and the other is black and white. “You know, obviously they were not identical twins.”
She and her husband, Wardell Jasper, later learned that one of the boys belonged to them, and a DNA test confirmed the news, ABC reports.
They then fought to get their son back in a legal battle they described as “emotional.” They were granted custody of the little boy in February.
“He’s just so smart, so intelligent,” Allen told ABC of the baby they named Malachi. “He’s learning fast. He’s got two big brothers to run after and learn from.”
Allen first shared her story with the New York Post, and told the outlet that “Wardell and I, who got married in April, weren’t planning to expand our family so soon, but we treasure Malachi with all our hearts.”
“I don’t regret becoming a surrogate mom because that would mean regretting my son,” she added. “I just hope other women considering surrogacy can learn from my story.”