Surrogate Reacts To Lawyer's Role In Baby-Selling Ring
Theresa Erickson Pleaded Guilty For Part In Baby-Selling Operation
7:37 AM, Aug 10, 2011
A woman hired by local attorney Theresa Erickson to carry babies that were put up for sale spoke to 10News about her employer's tactics.Erickson was reportedly running her baby surrogate operation out of an office in Poway. 10News learned she was no longer affiliated with Conceptual Options, the company she started.Erickson pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud as part of her role in a scheme to sell babies. Two other women also pleaded guilty in the scheme.Erickson described herself as someone who has built a career around creating families in a non-traditional way.Now, according to the U.S. government, her non-traditional ways may have been illegal.Erickson was under investigation for making agreements to sell the babies after the surrogate mothers were already pregnant. According to state law, the agreements must be entered before the pregnancy."The scheme was designed to create an inventory of unborn children," said investigator Michael Merriman.Merriman and Jason Forge have been investigating Erickson, and they said she was working with women in Texas, Nevada and Missouri. They told 10News Erickson would send women to the Ukraine where embryos were implanted. The women would then return to the U.S. to give birth."At least 12 different couples interested in having babies ... price range from $100,000 to $150,000," said Forge.Heather Albaugh, one of the surrogate mothers who reportedly worked for Erickson, said, "I'm disgusted, angry. I feel violated. I feel used, victimized, lied to; every adjective out there, I'm feeling."Albaugh told 10News she learned there were no parents lined up. Instead, Erickson and her company were posting ads on the Internet and people came forward."They wanted to help the surrogate, the surrogate who's stranded; she's pregnant with this baby. Sure, I want to help. I want a baby. I want to help this person. That angers me," said Albaugh.Albaugh was reportedly one of the women flown to the Ukraine to have embryos implanted.10News tried contacting Erickson and her lawyer, but were told they would have no comment.On her Facebook page, Erickson posted that she can't wait to tell the whole story.