How being a surrogate mother went horribly wrong for local woman

How being a surrogate mother went horribly wrong for local woman
Cari Byers

This is a preview of Anna Canzano's full story that aired at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Click here to read the full story.

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Becoming a mother was one of the best things that ever happened to Cari Byers of Vancouver. That love of family influenced her decision to help other women who couldn’t carry a child on their own; twice Cari has agreed to be a surrogate mom for a local family.

“The first two surrogacies were pretty awesome experiences looking back,” she said.

So when Cari was contacted to help a couple in China start a family following several miscarriages, she agreed.

But more than halfway through the pregnancy, Cari began to realize the baby she was carrying amounted to little more than a contingency plan.

"This is not what surrogacy is at all," Cari said. "Surrogacy can be awesome. This is not what it is."
 
Cari described her experience with this Chinese couple - and the agencies helping to manage the transaction - as bizarre, horrific and heartbreaking.

And she's getting her story out the best way she knows how, by sharing what happened with KATU News.

As On Your Side Investigator Anna Canzano discovered, American-born children are something many Chinese parents have come to covet. There is a growing number of Chinese couples hiring surrogates in America to have babies on their behalf.

It is expensive for the Chinese. The babies born here that return to China are called “million dollar babies” because the surrogate process, through delivery, really does cost the equivalent of one million U.S. dollars.

The surging Chinese economy has given some couples the resources to go to great lengths to secure a successful birth.

"It was almost from the get go really weird and strange," said Cari. "And a lot of it, you're just like well there's a cultural difference."

In Cari's case, she didn't know her baby was competing with another woman's fetus. 

This is a preview of Anna Canzano's full story that aired at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Click here to read the full story.