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No More Test-Tube Babies, Surrogate Vows; Hospital Says It Was Misled

April 17, 1986 GMT

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) _ Gerald and Shannon Boff say they’re happy she could become what is believed to be the first surrogate mother to bear a test-tube baby, but they won’t do it again.

″I think I’m going into retirement,″ Mrs. Boff, 23, told a news conference Wednesday, three days after giving birth to a 7-pound, 3-ounce girl for another couple. ″Any more babies coming from me are going to be keepers.″

″I was very happy this is the best pregnancy she’s had,″ said Boff, 27. ″This was exactly the experience we had hoped for. We were very fortunate to find the couple we did.″


The baby was born at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital near Ann Arbor and went home Tuesday with her parents, identified only as East Coast residents, said their attorney, Noel P. Keane.

The Boffs have a 3-year-old son, David, and Mrs. Boff had served as a surrogate mother once before, when she was artifically inseminated and gave birth to a baby girl.

Mrs. Boff was implanted Aug. 1, 1985, with an egg removed from the East Coast woman, who lost her uterus after a spontaneous abortion during a pregnancy in 1982. The egg was fertilized in a laboratory with the father’s sperm.

Officials of the Ohio hospital that carried out the insemination said Wednesday the genetic parents failed to tell them that Mrs. Boff was getting $10,000 for her services.

″We cannot be party to a situation where we know a financial transaction is taking place,″ said Dr. Wulf Utian, obstetrics and gynegology director at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Cleveland.

″Money really wasn’t a big deal,″ Mrs. Boff said. ″I was excited because this had never been done before.″

Keane, who arranged the deal for the childless couple, said there may have been a misunderstanding with the hospital.

On March 14, Wayne County Circuit Judge Marianne O. Battani granted custody rights to the biological parents in a ruling Keane said was unprecedented, coming before a child’s birth. In her ruling, she defined the mother of a child as the one who bore the egg.

Mrs. Boff said she and the biological parents made no agreement about whether she would be able to see the baby later. ″I believe we’ll keep in touch because we’ve grown to like each other,″ she said.