In a very complicated custody case, former View co-host Sherri Shepherd has abandoned the baby boy born from a surrogate mother whom she paid $25,000 for the surrogacy.
Jessica Bartholomew, the surrogate hired by Shepherd and her now-ex-husband Lamar Sally to carry the couple’s baby, tells Inside Edition that Shepherd has nothing at all to do with the baby.
“I don’t understand how she can do that and act like this baby is non-existent. It just blows my mind.”
According to Jessica, who is a working mother with two daughters, she originally decided to become a surrogate mother in order to both help an infertile couple while making some extra money for her own family. She was reportedly matched up with Sherri Shepherd and Lamar Sally on September 12, 2013. She did not meet Shepherd until a month later, in November, when the embryo was transferred into her uterus.
An egg donor was used in the pregnancy, someone described as “African-American, tall and athletic,” so, whereas Lamar Sally is the biological father of the baby, by all technicalities, there is no biological link between Shepherd and the baby. But Bartholomew says she signed a 23-page contract with Lamar Sally and Sherri Shepherd, who was referred to as the “intended mother.”
And Shepherd herself announced that her search for a surrogate was over on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, saying, “I am having a baby, so everything is going great. We found a uterus. We found a girl that didn’t have any drama in her life.”
Shepherd called several times throughout the first half of the pregnancy to see how Bartholomew was doing and to make sure she was eating well. She was also present at the 20-week ultrasound, and at that point, Bartholomew said there were still no “warning signs” that Shepherd had any intentions of abandoning the baby they now knew was a boy.
But shortly after the ultrasound, Lamar Sally called Bartholomew to tell her that he and Shepherd were splitting up, and that Shepherd wanted nothing to do with the baby. Bartholomew was, understandably, shocked.
“Being a parent myself, I just could not believe this was happening. How could you give up on a human being that you decided in a contract you signed to do that? This is your child.”
On top of her shock, Bartholomew was about to become the unintended recipient of a whole slew of legal problems.
When Bartholomew went into labor that August, Shepherd did not show up at the hospital. And because there was no other mother present at the birth of the baby, Bartholomew’s own name was listed on the birth certificate. And because Shepherd has refused to have anything to do with the baby, including providing insurance for him, Lamar Sally turned to the state of California for the service.
And since Bartholomew is listed as the mother and the non-custodial parent of the baby in the state of California, she now has a child support case coming against her — and because Sally applied for state assistance, the state is coming after her salary. She also gets medical bills for the baby, as well.
All because she decided to help out a couple who had problems with fertility.
Lamar Sally is currently suing Sherri Shepherd for child support, and demanding that she acknowledge Lamar Jr. as her son in a very, very complicated custody case.
Sherri Shepherd did briefly address the issue on The Wendy Williams Show, saying, “I have a lot of lawyers and I’m in court right now and it’s very public and very painful.”
What do you think? Despite having no biological link to the baby, is Sherri Shepherd responsible for his welfare? And if not, is Jessica Bartholomew, who also has no biological link, but carried the baby?
Pregnancy, even with carefully chosen surrogate mothers, does not always go as intended. Click here to read the shocking story of a couple who paid a woman to carry twins, but rejected one of the babies.
[Image via TMZ]