HOUSTON—Cindy Close said she always dreamed of being a mother. And this summer, the 48-year old thought she finally had her chance.
She gave birth to twins at Texas Children’s Medical Center in July. But then on the night of their birth she was visited by a social worker.
“She told me we had a surrogacy situation,” Close said. “I looked at her and said ‘I’m not a surrogate, what are you talking about?’”
Close said that she had been duped by Marvin McMurrey, a man who she said had pretended to be her friend and allegedly promised to be a partner in raising the children.
He had paid for her in vitro fertilization using his sperm and a donor egg. When the children were born, he claimed custody with his partner.
Close said they were not in a romantic relationship and that she never even knew he was gay.
“We didn’t have everything nailed down because it was based on trust,” Close said. “There was never any contract and no money was exchanged.”
The twins had been born prematurely and spent weeks at the hospital. It was during that time a suit was filed challenging the mother-child relationship.
Since Close is not linked to the children genetically, it alleged they were not hers. All she has now are visitation rights for two hours a day, six days a week.
“I’m not allowed to use my phone, I’m not allowed to take pictures of my children,” Close said. “I’m not even allowed to close the door.”
Close and McMurrey are due back in court next month to attempt to resolve the matter. Calls to McMurrey’s attorney were not returned Tuesday.