A surrogate mother who lost a legal battle to keep the child she carried has now been sent to prison for harassing court officials.
The 42 year-old woman waged a year-long campaign against the Judge who ruled against her and a court welfare officer who was involved in her case. On one occasion, she attempted to fasten herself to the second floor balcony of the officer’s home after she tracked down the address. In addition, the woman also protested outside the homes of various politicians and even climbed Westminster Cathedral to unveil a banner which read: “Family courts do evil”.
This week, she was found guilty of harassment in a Preston court and sentenced to 22 weeks in jail. But she is only expected to serve half that time before being considered for release, the Lancashire Post reports. Last June, she was handed a suspended sentence and a restraining order as a result of her actions but continued to target the officials.
Her campaign began after she decided she wanted to keep the baby she had originally agreed to hand over to another couple as part of a surrogacy agreement. English law states that, in surrogacy cases, the woman who gives birth to a child is legally the mother until the couple who wanted the child can secure a parental order.
The couple she carried the baby for insisted she honour their agreement and took her to court where Judge Sarah Singleton ruled in their favour. In a statement to the Preston court this week, Judge Singleton said the harassment had “trampled over [her] right to a family life”, making her feel “alarmed and fearful”.
Kate Dobb is the Projects and Communications Manager for the charity Surrogacy UK. She explained that the “overwhelming majority of surrogacies go really smoothly and are a good experience for all parties”. It was “obviously very sad when things go wrong like this” she added.
Photo by meesh via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.