Seraphina Harrell had just celebrated her eighth birthday, but even that short life was nearly stolen from her, and the world.
A Price on Her Head
Before she had a name, Seraphina was growing to term inside her surrogate mother, Crystal Kelley. A routine test at the five-month mark showed that the baby had multiple abnormalities, including a cleft lip and palate, a cyst in her brain, and serious heart defects. That was enough for the “parents” (the egg donor was not the biological mother) to demand that Crystal get an abortion.
She flatly refused, even after the parents bribed her with $10,000. “I told them that they had chosen me to carry and protect this child, and that was exactly what I was going to do.”
In Connecticut where Crystal and Seraphina’s parents lived, surrogacy laws made the egg and sperm donors the legal parents. So that she could have control over the baby’s fate, Crystal moved her family to a state where surrogacy contracts weren’t recognized. She was seven-months pregnant.
“Mama Bear Instinct”
“Once I realized that I was going to be the only person really fighting for her, that Mama bear instinct kicked in, and there was no way I was giving up without a fight.”
A single mom, Crystal thought it best to give the baby up for adoption. She found the Harrell Family, who had experience in raising children with special needs.
This is not a plug for surrogacy. Assisted reproduction is problematic for pro-life people. In the process of surrogacy, fertilized eggs are destroyed and fetuses are aborted. Surrogacy in particular exploits women. In Canada, lack of transparency in the industry causes ill will, leaving biological parents feeling ripped off and surrogates seeking abortions.
Instead, this is a tribute to courage and love: The courage of a mother who chose the high road over the convenient one. The courage and and love of a family for which Seraphina was their “heart and soul”.
“Her joy and excitement over the simplest things were the best part of everyday life. There was not a single morning at home where she failed to express a delighted astonishment at the very idea that she was now awake. There was not a single evening that she did not drop everything and insist on being held by her father as soon as he came home from work.
Seraphina embodied the idea that happiness is contagious…”
Thanks to those who fought for her, Seraphina Harrell had a life to live and a story to tell. She reminds us that all any child needs is the chance to be.