"However, as I mentioned in my previous correspondence, abortion is off the table and will not be considered under any circumstance," he said.
A secret flight
In an affidavit filed in Connecticut Superior Court, DePrimo described what happened next.
DePrimo received a phone call from Fishman telling him the parents had changed their minds. They now planned to exercise their legal right to take custody of their child -- and then immediately after birth surrender her to the state of Connecticut. She would become a ward of the state.
DePrimo explained to Kelley that this was no empty threat. Under state law, they were the parents, not her, and under Connecticut's Safe Haven Act for Newborns, parents can voluntarily give up custody of a baby less than a month old without being arrested for child abandonment.
Kelley couldn't stand the thought of the baby in foster care. She'd heard the nightmare stories.
She felt like her back was up against the wall.
Her lawyer explained she could go to court and fight to get custody of the baby, or fight to appoint a guardian for the baby, but Connecticut law is very clear that the genetic parents are the legal parents, so she'd likely lose in court.
There was one more option, DePrimo told her. She could go to a place where she, not the genetic parents, would be considered the baby's legal mother.
That place was 700 miles away.
Over the years, states have developed different laws about surrogacy. Some, like Connecticut, say the genetic parents -- the ones who supplied the sperm and the egg -- are the baby's legal parents. Other states don't recognize surrogacy contracts, and so the baby legally belongs to the woman who's carrying the baby.
On April 11, in her seventh month of pregnancy, Kelley and her daughters left for one of those states -- Michigan. While she was gassing up her car to leave, her lawyer informed the parents' lawyer about her plans.
"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," Kelley said.
Kelley chose Michigan because of its laws, but also its medicine: she'd been doing research on the baby's condition, and concluded C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan had one of the best pediatric heart programs in the country.
When she arrived, she found an inexpensive summer sublet from a University of Michigan student and applied for Michigan Medicaid. She made appointments with a high-risk pregnancy specialist and a pediatric cardiologist and settled into life in Ann Arbor with her girls.
There was one thing left to do: She had to decide if she would keep the baby.
She was a single mother with no job and no permanent place to live, but she'd grown emotionally attached to the life inside her, and some days she wanted to keep her.
Kelley struggled, and finally decided she wasn't the right person to raise the child. But she knew who was: in her online research, she'd met other mothers of children with special needs. One of them had been particularly helpful, putting her in touch with support groups and sharing stories and photos of her own children -- both biological and adopted -- with medical problems.
The woman and her husband helped Kelley pack up to move to Michigan, and gave her emotional support as well.
"While it is true that (the baby) will face some life-long challenges, it is also true that it is also more than possible for her to have a wonderful life and to thrive," the mother wrote to Kelley in an e-mail. "I am sorry that (her) biological parents have abandoned their daughter and left you navigating this new, unexpected journey as the sole person bearing responsibility for (her) well-being and care."
Kelley asked the couple to adopt the baby.
They said yes. The baby now had a home, and it would be undisputed.
Or so Kelley thought.
An unexpected challenge
Kelley hadn't heard from the biological parents in months when in May, about one month before the baby's due date, the parents filed in Connecticut Superior Court for parental rights. They wanted to be the legal parents. They wanted their names on the birth certificate.