Cindy’s Status as Mother Appealed

 

Hello Everyone,

I thought you all would like another update.

My visits with my babies are the highlights of my week.  They are such sweet darlings and so very precious.  They are getting bigger and stronger every day.  My son is over 18 lbs now and my daughter is just under 18 lbs.  They were so small when they were born, and their health and growth is just so wonderful to see.  I wish I could share pictures.

They have great personalities and I hope someday all my friends can meet them and see for themselves what wonderful beings they are.

However, while the temporary custody case decision in January technically gave their father and me joint custody, I still only get visitation 3 times a week instead of having them live with me.

In addition, despite the judge verifying that I am their mother, their father is still disputing that decision and is moving forward with his appeal.  His appeals lawyer has until the end of the month to file the appeal, then my appeals lawyer has until the end of May to file the response.

My understanding is that if the judge’s ruling is overturned on appeal, not only will I lose my rights as a mother, reproductive rights and freedoms for both sexes will be severely compromised.  This would be disaster for my children and me, and for anyone who has used or will use donor eggs or donor sperm to have a child.

And while all this goes on, my children still do not live with me.  I believe this works into their father’s plans as the longer my babies live with him and his partner, the less likely it is that the court will award me possession during the permanent custody case.

While the case progress is slow, the expenses keep mounting.  I managed to pay the initial fee for the court ordered psychiatric evaluation on time, thankfully, and the appointments are going forward.  I am in debt much farther than I ever expected to be in my lifetime, and there will be more fees as time goes on, including to the psychiatrist, my family law attorney, the Amicus Attorney the court assigned to the children, and the appeals attorney.  In addition to these fees, I have the expenses one usually associates with having children.

When I planned my pregnancy with my children’s father, I believed I would have help in setting up the nursery and with the ongoing expenses of raising a child or children.  With the way things have turned out, I have had to set up my nursery and obtain all things I need for the children without their father’s help.  I have been blessed with friends that have helped me with many things, but more expenses keep coming.  I need to soon obtain another set of car seats, a playpen, safety gates and other items for when my children visit my home.  My children are growing so rapidly I can see the time will come soon where I need to get toddler beds for them.  I hope the custody battle will be over by then and that child support will be in place to assist me.

In the meantime I am searching for a second job, or a better paying main one to try to deal with the expenses.

I am blessed to have many good friends.  Some of them are planning a fundraiser for me to help defray the expenses associated with my legal battle, as well as to help me cover other ongoing expenses.  The flyer for the planned walking event is posted here  and on the Facebook pages: Baby Steps For Cindy, and Give Cindy Back Her Babies.

I would like to take this time to ask for your help and participation in this event.  Every donation will help me to move forward in my battle to regain possession of my children and to meet their needs until it is all settled. (Ed. Note: For your convenience, we’ve set up a PayPal account to accept donations. You can donate by clicking  here.)

I thank you all for your continued prayers and good thoughts.

May you be blessed in all that you do.

Cindy

Congratulations on Your Pregnancy

So here’s a blast from the past. I was going through some cards that I sent earlier this year, and I came across the card I sent to Cindy congratulating her on her pregnancy. Pay particular attention to the note I included. She had given me her HCG levels and I remember thinking that they were high, hence the observation about twins. Who called it?!

Of course, I could have never called what happened after she gave birth. Marvin McMurrey is still petitioning the court for  “a Declaratory Judgement, establishing Petitioner, Marvin McMurrey III, as the children’s legal father and declaring that no parent-child relationships or standing to pursue any rights to the children exist between Respondent, Cindy Close, and the children…” (Emphasis and bold added.)

The next court date is November 5, 2012 at 1:30, with a march just before. I hope you’ll be there to show support for Cindy.
–Danielle

Want To Understand What’s Happening? Read This Article.

Pete Shanks of Biopolitical Times, published a blog post entitled, “Is This Informal Surrogacy or Exploitation?”

The article does an excellent job of summarizing all the pertinent facts of Cindy’s case. Definitely recommended reading if you want to come up to speed on what this case is all about.

“A bizarre tragedy is playing out in Houston. Some commentators are calling it “a landmark case in motherhood” but it seems more like either a horrible misunderstanding or an appalling case of exploitation.”

Visit http://bit.ly/OgomBT to read the entire article.

Supporter Posts Powerful Video

Cindy Close supporter Toni King of Mother’s Moments has created a powerful, “tissue required” video and was kind enough to share it with us. Please feel free to share it with as many people as you like.

Bioethics Site Writes Up Cindy’s Case for Article

If you’re considering surrogacy, you may want to read Michael Cook’s article on BioEdge first. He goes on to list three cases of “Separating motherhood from gestation”,  including “Your Boyfriend’s Gay”, and goes on to explain how Marvin McMurrey III revealed he was gay and sued Cindy Close for custody.

Other things that could go wrong are “Your Indian surrogate never signs the release papers” and “YOUR clients don’t want the babies.” Real-life examples are given that are frankly, disheartening. However, it’s a very good article and thought-provoking. You can find it on our Press page, or here.

Lawyers.com Features Cindy’s Story, Legal Expert Raises Frightening Thought


Michelle Bowman, a freelance writer for Lawyers.com, wrote a great article on Cindy’s case today, with quotes from Professor James Paulsen of South Texas College of Law here in Houston. Professor Paulsen raises an alarming possibility, though – if Marvin and Phong can manage to drag the court proceedings out for more than six months, Phong may be able to ask that custody be awarded to him.

“If Mr. McMurrey’s partner can hold on to the children for six months while things are tied up in court, under Texas law he can ask for custody on his own, even though he has no biological ties to the children,” Paulsen says. “By then, the children may have bonded with him more than with their birth mother.”

You can read the full article here.

Again, you can help by going to our How You Can  Help page and following the three easy steps.

Cindy’s struggle featured on KHOU, Dr. Drew

Cindy was interviewed yesterday by Andrew Horansky of KHOU about her ongoing struggle to have her children returned to her. That segment aired on the 5 o’clock broadcast here in Houston, and we have reports that it’s being seen in Austin, TX, as well as in Arkansas.

In addition, Cindy did a Skype interview last night with Dr. Drew and esteemed attorney Lisa Bloom on Dr. Drew’s call-in show on the HLN network. The interview almost didn’t take place since they had mistakenly referred to her as a surrogate on their website, but they quickly fixed the offending error with minutes to spare. Unfortunately, she is referred to as a surrogate in two other places on the website. We have an email in to them requesting that they get that fixed immediately. However, the stories make it clear that she’s not a surrogate. Some web editor somewhere just needs to get with the program (literally.)

Cindy did a  great job, as usual, explaining the unusual circumstances of her case. She even held her own against Lisa Bloom and corrected her on how Texas determines maternity as she’s pretty familiar with that particular set of laws. Lisa accepted the correction gracefully, to her credit.

We’re grateful to the media for helping Cindy get the word out about what is taking place here in Houston. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.

Check out the videos after the break.

–Danielle [Read more…]

Change.org Petition Posted

Our very own CindysTwins.com editor Kim Archer launched a Change.org petition on Sunday. It went “live” on Monday with 100 signatures. Today we’re at 253 signatures and growing.

If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to sign out petition and to share with as many people as you’re able.

Because the court may declare that Cindy is NOT the mother of her children based solely on the fact that she used donor eggs, even though she carried them and gave birth to them.

Moreover, a ruling against Cindy would set a precedent that would add another limitation on womens reproductive rights by making it unclear as to who is the actual mother. This would have the effect of making infertile women reluctant to use what is, for many, the last good chance they have of finally becoming a mother. It would also have the effect of making prospective egg donors reluctant to donate, whether for the chance of possibly being declared the legal mother or for having the children conceived from their eggs ending up without a mother.