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January 28th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Mental Illness and Motherhood

pregnantToday’s show is one of the most controversial issues I think I’ve ever dealt with, and emotions ran high onstage and in the audience. A guest named Shelly agreed to be the surrogate for Amy and Scott Kehoe, carrying donor eggs and sperm. Although Shelly gave birth to twins, a few weeks later, she demanded that the babies be returned to her care. According to her, Amy withheld important information about her past, including a criminal record and having been diagnosed with a mental disorder.

Everyone who watches the show knows that I’m a child advocate, and I believe we should do everything in our power to protect our kids. But what would you have done in Shelly’s situation? Did she have a right to demand that the twins be returned? Should a mental illness prevent a woman from being a mother? I really want to hear from you about this one.

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1,861 Responses to “Mental Illness and Motherhood”

  1. Pat says:

    This show first aired in Jan 2010. Can we get an update? Did Shelly ever do the right thing and return those children to Amy? (I doubt it)

  2. kate says:

    This is one of the worst stories I have ever heard. I understand that shelly and her husband have bonded with those children but they’re babies and if returned to their actual parents they will still have the adequate time to bond w them. I’m not sure how these ppl are able to go about their lives living a lie like this. These are adults behaving this way and instead of dealing w the pain of doing the right thing they would rather these children suffer in the long wrong. I am sure the babies are greatly cared for but no doubt will ppl make these children aware of what has happened to them. It’s going to make their lives very difficult. Maybe missed something but shelly and her husband just seem downright selfish. They need to think about the future of the children first. People with mental disorders are NOT told they can’t have babies.. so who is shelly to decide that? She opted not to really look into things bc of her past experiences. Shelly, I hope that you and your husband read all the viewers opinion and re evaluate the choices you have made. What if this was happening to you? Do tje right thing without being selfish and spiteful.. it’ll be nothing more than respectable.

  3. Phyllis says:

    I have just finished watching this show and must say that Shelly and her husband are making decisions they are not qualified to make. Most mental illnesses can be controlled by medication. As long as Amy’s Psychiatrist believes her illness is under controll, who is Shelly to say otherwise. Mental illness carries such a stigma, even today, which is one reason people do not disclose the illness. Would SHelly feel the same way if Amy was diabetic or had heart disease? Is she trying to play God and determine who should or should not be a mother? Mental illness, in and of itself, should not be a reason to take children from their parents. There are many more issues to be considered. In this particular case, I’m not so sure who the person is with the mental illness. The children belong with their natural parents unless it has been determined by professionals that it would be detrimental to their health and well-being. So Shelly has bonded with the children! Anyone would if they had the children in their care for six months. The agreement was to be surrogate parents. That agreement has been fulfilled and it is time for the natural parents to have their children in their custody.

  4. Mishan. G says:

    I think that That Shelly has nerve to sit there and say,even with help and proper eveluation she would not give the twins back.. I think that IS HORRIBLE, (SELFISH).. shelly has no right to judge.. I feel so much for Amy and Scott, I do think it is crap!! Shelly sure put on a show though, very disturbing!!! I was blown away at the end of the show when she denied the help.. I actually think maybe Shelly herself needs to have a mental evaluation… It saddened me to no end..

    Shelly and her husband are able to have children of there own.. So why on Gods green earth dont they??? Amy & Scott pd money for lots of things in this process.. I wanted to jump into my T.v and just let go on Shelly.. I my self suffer form cronic depression and an anxiety order with ocd.. Everyday life is a challenge for me, but I take my meds and have learned some tools to help with the ocd, I will be going to the Dr, soon again, I am on med, but just because of this does not lessen my ability as being a mother.. I try my best and LOVE MY 7 YR OLD SON TO BITS!! I could not imagine someone saying I was a bad mother or an unfitt mother because I washed my hands 100’s of times a day, ect.. Maybe Shelly has a fault, does that make her unfit??? My heart breaks and goes out to Amy and Scott!!! I have nothing good to say about Shelly..

  5. Michelle says:

    Where is the State of Michigan in all this? Their laws against surrogacy were broken from jump street. Ms. Baker put an ad in the paper offering her services as a surrogate. She took money from the Kehoes and even though both parties claim she was “compensated for expenses,” anyone with a lick of sense knows that her “expense account” was well-padded.

    It seems to me that a responsible Michigan judge would have terminated any rights Ms. Baker had as the so-called birth mother, forced her to turn those twins over to the State of Michigan’s custody and let a third couple that had followed all their laws adopt the twins. That was the most just solution for all this. The fact that the Bakers are allowed to hold onto the twins after bilking the Kehoes out of their time, energy and money is yet another example of how no one respects the rule of law in America anymore, because the authorities refuse to enforce them.

    Not that it is relevant, but I believe the Kehoes. I found the Bakers dishonest. I believe Mr. Baker wanted a son and the Bakers could not afford to go through the adoption process themselves, so the duplicitous Ms. Baker tricked Ms. Kelso into disclosing her past mental health issues, seizing on her admission in court as a pretext to renege on her promise and withhold the twins.

    Baker’s attitude of pious self-righteousness and dragging God into this mess made me want to vomit and wish God had struck her with lightening right then and there. “Thou shalt not steal” is a no-no on God’s list and the Ten Commandments are not the Ten Suggestions which give us a guideline to take or leave at our convenience, Ms. Baker. Shame on you.

    I will keep the Kehoes in my thoughts and prayers. Assuming they can summon the strength to attempt this again, I hope that they find an honorable woman to bear their offspring who will help them create the family they have prayed for.

  6. nsalisb1 says:

    I have never been so furious after watching your show. That woman is selfish and needs a reality check. Those are not her babies and she should not deny those children or their parents from being together. Shelly is a heartless person and has turned what is suppose to be a completely selfless act into exactly the opposite! The sole fact that she and her husband will not surrender the children now, after so many months, because they have bonded with her family makes me question if her initial intensions were ever in the best interests of the children.

  7. Tiffany says:

    Shelly just played the system!!!If she was really concerned about the baby’s,she should’nt have gone thur with it anyway.She should have check the people out befor she said I DO!I feel like she just wanted someone to pay for medical care and bills while she was carriing the baby’s!!What else does she want from them?Maybe to have medical care for them now!(Dont get any ideas Shelly)12 years ago,I gave my son up for adoption,I had some worries(every parent dose),But I checked out the people I was going to give him to BEFORE I gave him up!I lost touch with him for 10 years,now I know what I did was right!!!SHAME ON YOU shelly!!You should have the baby’s taken away from you..
    Thank you, Tiffany

  8. Mishan. G says:

    Sorry about all my typos and spelling.. I guess I should of reread it before I posted..haha.. OH yes, DR.PHIL YOU ROCK!!!!!! ♥

  9. Shari W. says:

    Dr. Phil you have to do something about this Shelley stealing these babies. She can not make a decision like this. She cannot do this!! Poor Amy, this is just wrong in every way, shape and form. By going public with this why is the law not on the side of the parents, who are by the way Amy and Scott. This is just so upsetting. I love your show, but shows like this is too twisted. Shelley was lying through her teeth, she had no intentions on giving up those babies. She is the one with the criminal background and should pay for what she is doing. Those children should most definitely be sent directly to their parents. Please do something about this!!!!

  10. Ann says:

    Shelley is a very selfish person and I believe she worked it out this way along with her husband supporting her…they both should be ashamed. And I believe they are stealing someone else’s children as well as telling stories that simply are not true….that is a sin in God’s eyes. I believe Shelley and her husband mislead Amy and Scott, which is another lie in God’s eyes. Shelley and her husband do NOT deserve these babies. And just because someone has a mental illness does not mean that they are not going to be a good parent. My heart hurts for Amy and Scott….these 2 children are there’s!!!!!!!!!!!! I will pray for Amy and Scott, God Bless you both for what you are dealing with here.

  11. daina dorval says:

    They werent even her babies so i dont think she has a right to just take them away from amy. And if amy decided she wanted to have a kid i think she would have to be in a right mind to decide that so why would she want to have a baby if she knew that she had a mental disoder and knew she wouldnt be able to take care of them. Amy was never arrested,never put in an institution,and she is on medication.I think that she deserves to have her kids back. The bible says you should not take what is not yours if Shelly claims to be christian i think she would of known that. Amy and her husband have every right ot be upset cause this is so unfair. Dont be a serrogate mother if you know your to emotional to give the babies to the people they belong to then dont make a promise you cant fufill

  12. naednes says:

    Although I am curious as to the nature of Amy’s mental disorder, I believe that Shelly has an even more serious mental disorder. SHE has kidnaped 2 children!!! As a mother, Shelly’s behavior cuts me deeply and it is painful to watch this situation and not be able to do anything to correct it. Shelly and her husband’s actions are pure evil. I pray that God will correct this wrong and make it right. Shelly…. PLEASE do the right thing. What you have done is UNCONGIONABLE.

  13. Barbara says:

    I think you were WAY too hard on Shelly. While the situation is very sad and unfortunate for all, I’m convinced that Shelly did what she felt was best for the children. She was concerned that Amy had not been upfront about her health issues and her previous drug and alcohol abuse. I would be concerned about that information gap as well. Since MI law does not recognize surrogacy, Shelly is within her rights to keep the babies and Amy should have known that was a possibility. Dont blame Shelly for caring about the babies she carried to term, about failures in Michigan law, or about inadequate legal advice that Amy may have received. Dont lose sight of these children in your vehement defense of the “rights” of the mentally ill to have children.

  14. ginnajuice says:

    I have a mental dissorder, and I understand Amy. You don’t feel it’s anyone’s business if you are sick. Plus you fear people will judge you, just like she did. It’s not fair that Amy chose a surrogate, and now can’t have her babies! It’s horrible. Did she chose a surrogate so she could keep taking her medication? A lot of medication can cause birth defects.

  15. Crystal Ramos says:

    I think that Shelly just wants the babies!! I dont feel in my heart that she really took those babies from there RIGHTFUL parents because she truely felt they couldnt take care of them, it was for her own selfish reasons!! I would just like to say.to Amy and Scott, I’m so very sorry that you have to live throu this and feel the pain of having your children ripped from you!! You will be in my prayers!!

  16. Barbie says:

    MY heart goes out to Amy and Scott u 2 have been wrong. I hope u have fought a good fight. u 2 need to keep Shelly where abouts known so the day those children turn 18 u can tell them the truth. Keep all paperwork and taping of Dr. Phil’s show to show them. Your heart will ache for all those years but your day will come to make it right with your children. Love them and wait for them. My heart hurts so much for u, alot of mean people in the world and SHELLY AND HER HUSBAND are 2 of them. I will pray that those 2 will change thier mind. Dr. Phil I wish u could help Amy and Scott so unfair that so-called christains can do this, if I was your mother I would be so ashame so ASHAME!!!

  17. LeTisha says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,
    I wish I could have a sit down with Shelley so that she could see that someone who has a mental illness is very capable of raising children. I am 30 years old and since I was 12 I was diagnosed as having epilepsy and a mental disorder. I got pregnant with my daughter in 2000, against everyone telling me i shouldn’t and to get an abortion because of my history. In 2003 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and at the time I was taking care of my daughter all on my on my own. I am currently raising her full time alone and even though I may have a slip from time to time but because of great family support my daughter is well loved, healthy, and happy. I involve her in a lot of activities, go to school functions and parent/teacher conferences. Actually if shelley ever met me, she would not know that I have bipolar disorder. I hope you do an update and I hope Amy and Scott get their kids back. I would love to be a gestational surrogate, I had a very healthy and uneventful pregnancy, but because of my mental illness no agency will allow me to be. I love my daughter so much but even though I don’t want anymore children because I have all that I can handle, I think anyone who wants one should be able to and I would love to be able to help someone else fulfill their dream.

  18. Valerie says:

    I have never responded to any show before. This one broke my heart. Shelly should be charged with fraud. She took money from Amy and Scott and stole their babies. It is my opinion that she never intended to give the couple their babies. She is not now nor will she ever be their mother. She delivered someone elses children and the children should be with their parents not someone that had them for money. I was so upset watching your show today. Upset that the law would allow Shelly and Paul to steal someone elses chldren. I don’t care that Shelly carried the children they are not hers to keep. Who does she think she is, judge and jury. I can’t not believe that a court upheld what amounts to kidnapping. What will she do if one of those beautiful babies has a mental illness. Will she lock the baby away, since she has such an aversion to mental illness. I will pray that a great attorney will take this case on and return the children to their rightful parents. Shelly said she has bonded with the babies and I am sure that is true but she should not have had them to bond with in the first place. I am sick over this.

  19. kate says:

    I will be hoping everyyday that this family gets their children back. These ppl lost their children but were so calm and collective while talking on the show. I would not have been able to do such. I do not have any children yet but the mere thought of someone else raising the children that are biologically mine.. I dont think so. These children belongg to a family is someonee is not allowing them to be a part of it. This family has been trying to have children ofcourse they are going to love them. You’re right shelly they are NOT puppies they are people and you know they should be with their biological family. Someone please tell me their is something Amy and her husband can do to get these kids back

  20. Tiffany says:

    Could Scott fight the patenity of the babies? Shelly’s husband is listed as the father, but if Scott is the biological father, he should be able to fight the birth certificate and at least get some custody of their babies. Mothers should not be able to keep a baby from it’s father by trying to go around the law. I don’t know if this would work, but it could be a shot!

  21. Tracy Moore says:

    Dr. Phil, I believe that it is IMPERATIVE that it be determined exactly what kind of mental illness Amy has. A true psychosis such as paranoid schizophrenia is definitely a reason for a person to be ruled as an unfit Mother. I know someone who has this and even on medication, she still has issues that could dramatically affect a child’s upbringing and well being. There are so many factors here. Anxiety and depression are definitely not reasons that a woman would be an unfit Mother.

    I do believe that Shelley should have been told about Amy’s mental illness before she agreed to be a surrogate Mother.

  22. ginnajuice says:

    what about now.. doesn’t Shelly realize that a lot of mental illness is hereditary? Like, those babies could have mental illnesses, and since Amy and scott have been through mental illnesses, they would better know the symptons when they appear?

  23. Ann says:

    I agree with Dr. Phil. If mental health issues determine the ability to be a parent, then I would have never been able to adopt my son.

    This woman’s body signals were that of someone who found a way to be paid for costs associated with pregnancy as well as the desire to have a boy to complete their family.

    Her refusal to go to counselling only confirms her selfishness, she knew 30 days before and I do believe along that this couple faced some challenges and over came those issues, yet she didn’t say anything.

    These are not her babies and I hope the courts are asked to weigh in this and award custody to the right family.

    My heart goes out to the other couple. May God grant you patience, serenity and continued love for each other as this will be a time of mourning.

    Stay strong please.

  24. Shala Noufe says:

    Correction: I meant Amy not Anne. Still I hope someone who is in a position to help Amy and Scott are listening.

  25. Sheryl says:

    I have just watched the re-airing of “Am I the only one…” I cannot even describe the incredible emotional pain I feel for Amy and Scott. I myself have gone through fertility issues, and it is a monumental emotional roller-coaster when every cycle turns up a negative pregnancy result. But to go this far to have children of their own, and then to have someone with the likes of Shelly and her husband utterly destroy that reality by “taking” TWO children (children they have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT TO IN ANY WAY) is an absolute outrage. I tended to feel that Shelly and Paul most likely took advantage of the knowledge that they had of Amy’s past as well as ill Michigan laws and saw an opportunity to have all expenses paid to extend their own family. I think Shelly is a completely selfish, manipulative, and immature woman whose character is far more questionable than Amy’s. Shelly’s actions and reactions reveal all: Yeah, its really a “hoot” that she is listed on the birth certificate. And when you Dr. Phil asked Shelly at the end of the show if she was given the chance to choose mental health officials to determine whether or not Amy and Scott would provide a safe and nurturing environment for the twins, would she do it. Shelly’s response: “No.” That just reiterates my suspision. She simply is evil, and for her to categorize herself as a Christian is an insult to the faith. She may play judge and jury now, but SHE will be judged at her end of life. Shelly and Paul are WRONG in their actions because they are dishonest and deceitful.

  26. Sandra Nielsen says:

    I am an adoptive mother and a birth mother and the question that I have is when one enters into the agreement of surrogacy, why are they not required to terminate their parental rights at that time? I gave a child up for adoption and I terminated parental rights as soon as possible for the benefit of the adoptive parents.
    The other comment that I have is that if the surrogate mother is Christian and sought out a Christian family then my question is What would Jesus do based on the agreement that was entered into?

  27. Teressa says:

    Unbelieveable show today, Dr. Phil! Shelly and her husband call themselves “Christians” ??? ha! When you point blank asked both of them if after a full study was done on Amy and her husband with neutral mental health people that you would provide and they said “no” that the children would not be returned to Amy and her husband even if they were deemed competent to parent, that said it all. Selfish, selfish, selfishness on both of their parts. Unbelieveable how people can hide behind the word “Christian” and be nothing by hypocrites.
    If they (Shelly and her husband) really walked the walk of Christianity they would hand those babies over right now, instead of thinking only of themselves and their “emotional bonding”. What a bunch of crap. I don’t believe any of Shelly’s excuses about worrying about Amy’s mental illness. I believe that Shelly bonded with these babies during her pregnancy and the bonus that she would have boys.
    The mental illness was just a way for her to manipulate the laws to get what she wanted all along, custody of the babies. I see her as a manipulative, hypocritical snake. Many of these types of people go to church and call themselves “Christians” when they lie, cheat and steal all the time. They never look at what they do, they only judge everyone else. Sickening, really sickening.
    I am going to pray that the right thing is done in this case, I hope that someone who can make a difference watched your show today and can help Amy and her husband get those babies back.
    Written by a Christian woman who walks the walk and doesn’t just talk the talk.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    Shelly had every right to make the decision she did regarding the twins. If the IP didn’t even stay at the hoospital with the babies, hid criminal charges and a mental health disorder, what else could they be hiding? I agree with John V. that reperations should be made to the IP and whole-heartedly agree with Dr Phil that mental illness does not preclude someone from being a good parent, but it is obvious there was underhandedness and deceit on the IP’s part and Shelly made a wise decision in keeping her children, which because she gave birth and carried them for 9 months, have some biological aspects that are HERS, the eggsd and sperm are none of the intersted parties, therefore the only person who has ANY claim on these children is Shelley!

  29. kate says:

    The only ppl who have LOST SIGHT of these children are shelly and her husband who are not thinking about the future of these kids. They are going to resent you.

  30. Rebecca says:

    I am amazed at how many people are against Shelley and her husband. They must not have been paying close attention. Most of them seem to think that Amy and Scott are the biological parents, which is not what I understood from your program. I don’t where all these negative comments about Shelley and her husband are coming from. These commenters must have been watching a different show. It doesn’t make any sense to think that Shelley planned this from the beginning. She obviously doesn’t have a problem going full term and delivering. So, if she wanted a baby for herself, all she needed to do was get pregnant, whether from her husband or a donor.

    Now, let me say that I’m not in agreement with any of these extraordinary ways people employ to have a baby. I believe that if you can’t naturally give birth to a baby and want a child (for the right reasons), you should adopt.

    That being said, dealing with the current situation, I believe that anyone who is truly interested in what is best for the babies, would have to agree that they should stay with Shelley and her husband. Amy is on medication which she says prevents her from “self-medicating” with drugs and alcohol. I know people who were on medication and decided not to take it any more. (Sometimes because they think they don’t need it anymore—-other times because they don’t like the way it makes them feel). Whatever the reason, the results can be and have been disastrous. In addition, to the potential threat from Amy relapsing, you must consider her husband. This is a man who cannot manage to speak respectfully and appropriately, even when he knows he’s on television. What kind of an example will he be to those children? Moreover, how will he react to them when they get older and don’t behave they way he wants them to? Will he be verbally abusive to them, also? —-Or worse, physically abusive?

    Normally, you want what’s best for the kids. But, in this instance, I think you have lost sight of this in order to make a point for mental illness.

  31. Sarah says:

    **************
    MY AND SCOTT I HOPE YOU KEEP FIGHTING THIS TILL THE SUPREME COURT!! GET JUSTICE AND GET YOUR BABIES BACK!
    **************

    SHELLY AND PAUL- YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEM! WHO ARE YOU TO MAKE SUCH JUDGMENTS? YOU ARE NOT THOSE BABIES MOTHER! YOU ARE THE SURROGATE AND YOU KNEW THAT FROM THE START!!!!!!! I AM DISGUSTED! YOU CLAIM TO BE GOOD CHRISTIANS BUT YET YOU ARE TRYING TO PLAY GOD AND MAKE WRONGFUL JUDGMENTS ON THIS COUPLE.

    *****************************
    SHELLY AND PAUL GIVE BACK THOSE BABIES PLEASE!!! YOU SAY IT IS TOO LATE BECAUSE YOU HAVE BONDED WITH THEM AND THEY ARE PART OF YOUR FAMILY BUT THAT IS BECAUSE YOU MADE A POOR CHOICE. DON’T YOU THINK THOSE TWINS ARE GOING TO GROW UP AND RESENT YOU FOR TAKING THEM AWAY FROM THE THERE WONDERFUL LOVING FLESH AND BLOOD!?!?!? THEY WILL ASK QUESTIONS AND TRY TO FIND THEY’RE REAL BIOLOGICAL PARENTS AND FIND OUT WHAT A HORRIBLE THING YOU HAVE DONE!
    **************************

  32. SHARON says:

    From hearing this story it is easy to see that Shelly had no intention of giving up these children she is using whatever excuse she can to not give them to the real parents,Shelly is a monster no matter what she says,Is Shelly going to tell them when they grow up that she is not the mom that she stole them from another couple we just have to hope someone stays with this story so these children do know when they grow up that they were stolen from their real parents.

  33. karen hackshaw says:

    Kudos to Dr. Phil for standing up for individuals with mental illnesses. Having a mental illness does not automatically exclude a person from being a loving, responsible parent. I know first-hand the stigma that is attached to someone who has a mental illness. I agree with Dr. Phil when he states that “we” are in danger of setting mental illness back dozens of years.
    In regards to the guest legal analyst who was on the show, in support of the surrogate mother, psychosis can also be a symptom in generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, among other disorders. So, to say that you are only against motherhood for someone who has a psychotic disorder is to exclude many women who might otherwise be wonderful mothers.
    While I do occasionally watch shows like Dr. Phil and Oprah, I have never responded to an issue until now. I find it very disturbing that we, as a society, are still so quick to judge another human being based on her/his mental health.

  34. Renee says:

    I cannot believe this, I am watching this today its June now, and I feel so powerless to help the real parents of these children. I want to rip those babies from the surrogate and return them to their parents. This is so sad, its so scary that your children can just be taken from you by someone who agreed to carry them. This frightens me.

  35. Tracy Sellers says:

    I saw the show today and I do not agree with this woman, taking these babies. I suffer from depression and take medication for it daily. I have two sons, my oldest is almost 18 and my youngest is almost 13 and I’ve done a fine job raising them. The thought that someone can get their kids taken away from them for not being perfect mentally sickens me. This woman should consider the fact that maybe there’s something wrong with her for wanting to keep these babies. She is being so selfish.

  36. ginnajuice says:

    what about child support laws?! obviously I am watching right now. and it just occured to me. Many states use dna tests to prove paternity, and make the genetic parent pay child support. Is shelly planning on making Amy and Scott pay child support for the babies later in life? this is crap. Where is NAMI? What about advocates for disabled persons? why can’t Amy and Scott take this to a federal level? take it out of state court and tell the fbi she’s kidnapped your kids? Shelly is a thief and should be prosecuted as one!

  37. Mary C says:

    We adopted a baby whose mother and father agreed long before the birth, that the baby would belong to us. He came to us when he was 2 days old. I would have been heart broken if they had decided not to give this child to us. Shelly knows she has broken her agreement and she just wants the babies that are not hers. I can’t understand how she could take them back.
    I feel she was looking for a reason to get them back and used past history to get out of her valid conract. HOW AWFUL

  38. Lisa says:

    Dr Phil you could see your Favoritism. I’m so saddened by your prejudice mannerisms .

    These eggs were not Amy and Scotts either. Remember when you play with life you pay the consequences. This is one that will be always remember. Only the children will be paying for adults naïve control.

  39. Lizbeth says:

    Dr. Phil,
    Your show today evoked quite an emotional response from viewers as I read through the message board. I also noticed if this case were tried in the court of public opinion, the rightful “owners” of the twins would go to Amy and Scott. Of course this isn’t property were talking about, but Shelley and her husband are calling into question the “safety” of what they are calling “their babies”, in the care of someone who has been treated for mental illness. It almost sounds like an excuse, since they have made it clear that Amy and Scott have no recourse even if professionals deam her “fit” of getting the babies. This was all spelled out on National TV. I am so suprised that they would go public with this story. Aside from the laws of Michigan there is a moral/ethical question here.
    Disturbing!!!! Esp. for me who has an ex-husband lording my so-called mental illness as a reason to keep me from my children. He says the only way he can talk to me is to yell at me, so I can understand. Is he really talking about himself? But that is another story. Please do more to shed light on this stigma/fear in our society about mental illness, because I agree with Dr. Phil, it shouldn’t negate a person from living a so-called “Normal” life under the treatment of a medical health professional and not an ex with an ax to grind or in this case a Mother with an agenda.

  40. Angel says:

    I don’t believe that Dr. Phil was hard on either party. Just because someone make a poor choice a very long time ago does not mean that she will be an unfit parent. If this were true than many individuals who committed unlawful acts as a teenager or young adult should not be a parent today. Yes, she has an unclassified mental disorder. However, she is being responsible about it and her employment record and medical references show that.

    I feel that the way Shelley felt about Amy before hand is a strong example of how well Amy is doing and that she would not jeopardize the health and well-being of the children if they were in her care. Shelley knew Amy for at least 10 months before the babies were born and if she felt comfortable with her capabilities then, she should feel comfortable with her capabilities now.

    I feel that at the minimum Shelley would have to pay the Kehoe’s back for all of the expenses that they paid. If michigan does not recognize surrogacy then the procedure to enable surrogates to become pregnant should also not be recognized and doctors should not be allowed to perform IVF using someone else’s egg and sperm. It should remain this way until Michigan law catches up with the rest of the world.

  41. Jess says:

    I think Shelly in a way was making the right choice.. but in order to make that choice she should have investigated before taking children out of someones arms.. This was by far the worst story I have ever heard. I have a 4 month old baby boy and if someone came into my house and said “I don’t think you fit to be parents, you may have a mental illness and I feel uncomfortable” I would probably turn into a very very very very angry mother bear. I feel for Amy and Scott.. There those babies parents and some women just came in and took them away because SHE does not feel comfortable.. well Shelly I don’t feel COMFORTABLE with a lot of things .. but I will not go and steal children from there parents.

  42. Candice says:

    Oh my goodness! How frustrating it was to watch Shelley and her husband claim they had only the twins interests in mind, but later in the show say they weren’t willing to go through any more psychiatric evalutations because they have bonded with the twins!? I believe this couple is shamefully selfish and they truly do have only their own interests at heart in this situation.
    I can understand they felt cheated by not being told about Amy’s past. However, what person would want to just go around advertising such a thing? I’m sure Amy is not proud of this but it is something that is out of her control aside from doing everything she did – see a psychologist and take medication. What about Shelley? Has she ever experienced a mental illness herself? What about her family history? Was that disclosed?
    This is a VERY obvious case of a surrogate mother having bad intentions from the start. ESPECIALLY when they put their names on the birth certificate from the hospital, however she is trying to argue she found out in court about Amy’s illness and THEN decided to keep the twins? Why then, was her name on the birth certificate?? This couple is ridiculous – and I wish Amy and Scott all the luck in the universe in getting their children back, because the twins are THEIR children.

  43. Sheri says:

    I agree that after watching this show, it seemed very obvious that Shelly never had any intentions of giving up these babies. Putting their names on the birth cert and not allowing Amy to be in the delivery room…not very indicative of wanting to give them up. She had every opportunity to find out about Amy’s past if she had only asked or did a background check or anything.

    I feel so badly for Amy and Scott. I really hope that they can become parents some day. :(

  44. CHAR says:

    This show made me sick!!! How dare Shelly do this to another person!! Where is the state in all of this??? I hope that the government will step in and take those beautiful babies away from Shelly who herself seems to have mental issues!! What makes her think she can decide weather or not Amy should have her babies, she was deemed to be a fit mother what more does she want a letter of recommendation from GOD?? I really feel that Shelly and her husband are the ones who need a mental evaluation!! You make me sick to take advantage of people like that!!

  45. TIFFANY says:

    This woman KIDNAPPED these babies!!! She belongs in prison. She obviously knew from the very start of this that she was not going to give these people their children. As someone who had a hard time conceiving, my heart goes out to the biological parents. They wanted these babies so desperately that they put their hopes and trust in this vial and horrible woman. I hope that SOMEONE in the court system steps in to make things right, and to put Shelly and Paul in prison where they belong.

  46. Kim says:

    I have never felt passionate enough to post comments about a Dr. Phil show, or any other show for that matter…until now! It is crystal clear Shelly and her husband are keeping these babies out of selfishness!! I believe Shelly would have found any reason to keep these children and has simply taken advantage of the “mental illness” aspect to back her own selfish interests. I hope Shelly and her husband did the right thing (or Christian thing since Shelly kept going there) and returned these babies to their intended parents Amy and Scott – though I doubt it! I’m sorry for the pain Amy and Scott have suffered and hope knowing so many people support them can be some kind of comfort. I wonder how these children will feel when they are old enough to understand they were kept from experiencing life with Amy and Scott…

  47. Anita Tarvin says:

    I feel that Shelly and her husband was in the wrong.Shelly who give you the right to judge any one.Are you a christian? If you are you just made a mistake about judgeing people,because our heavenly father said he would do the judgeing at judgement day.That is what is wrong with our world today.They say that people that has been sexualy,mentaly and pysically abused ,wil hurt someone too and that is a lie, because I’m one of the people that has went through all of the abuse’s that I have mentioned and I have four wonderful children and six grand children.MY Ex husband shot me with a 22 and almost killed me .I lost 8 pints of blood before I got to the Hospital. If it wasn’t for our heavenly father the great midical team at th Univeristy Midical center in Little Rock , Ar. and my wonderful children, I wouldn’t be here today.with all I’ve been through, I might have mental illness, because of all the things that I have been through.I’m a great mom and grandmother.

  48. Cara says:

    This is so wrong on so many levels. Shelly and her husband should be charged with kidnapping. They have NO right to those babies. Shelly says she’s a christian, well she’s a hipocrit!!! What about “Love thy neighbour” or “Thou shelt not steal”? Shelly – U FAIL!!!! Is Shelly trained in mental health. I think not, so what right does she have to make this decision. Shelly, u are not God, so quit playing the part. Amy and her husband need legal help anyway they can get it. They are the rightful parents to those poor babies. In the end the babies will be the ones to suffer the most. My heart goes out to Amy, he husband and those babies. I am praying for that those precious babies go back home; where they belong!! God bless.

  49. Patsy says:

    I totally disagree with Dr.Phil those were Shelly’s babies as much as the Kehoes .If I am correct donor sperm and eggs were used and in michigan she followed the letter of the law.I believe she did what was right for the children.Let’s put aside mental illness , what about the multiple DUI’s and cocaine charges. This is a situation that these children don’t have to be in.I have always supported surrogacy but never in this situation.

  50. Lacey Paulson says:

    Dr. Phil, this issue strikes me so much! While I was growing up, my best friends mom who was like another mother to me, started her own surrogacy company here in northern california where I’m from. It became a very well renowned company all over the world even! I learned ALOT from this company and learned alot about how surrogacy works and even did alot of helping and volunteering with the company. The surrogate mother in this story has NO rights to those babies and to the well being of those babies, and it is not even her business what happens to them after they’re born, because technically they are not HER babies! This story is sooo sad to me and I feel so much loss for the true mother of those babies that this women took them from her like that! That would NEVER happen here in California! Just because SHE has bonded with the babies does not mean that she can just take them home like that! That is so wrong! And I’ve seen it before where surrogate women get attached to the babies they are carrying and don’t want to give them up. Just because she carried the babies, does not make her their mother. She obviously DOES NOT know what it takes to be a surrogate mother or this never would have happened. A REAL surrogate mother would never have done a surrogacy with a verbal agreement first of all. Second of all what are either of them doing making agreements like this without official paperwork and legal representatives?? These are babies as the surrogate mother said on the show, so why didn’t anyone do it the right way? And what are they doing putting their names on the birth certificates?? This whole entire thing is completely wrong and I think that the surrogate mother should be prosecuted for not following through with their agreement and stealing someone else’s children like that! I don’t understand why proposed parents didn’t immediately take the babies home with them as soon as they were born? After those babies come out they go straight to the new parents not the surrogate, or did she forget what being a surrogate mother means?? Being a surrogate mother does not give you any legal right to these children these parents are trusting you to carry these babies for them because they were unable to do it any other way. She as a surrogate mother is basically just a vessel carrying the babies for the real parents. ITS A BUSINESS AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE DEALT AS SUCH! This matter makes me so upset!! If that surrogate mother was here in California she wouldn’t even have a say in that poor women’s mental health or the well being of those babies! It’s none of her business what happens to those children after they come out. She needs to grow up and realize that. If she wanted more kids of her own she should’ve had some instead of taking someone else’s babies from them! Now that poor family is without the babies that they had been waiting for for so many years! How dare she critisize the mother about her mental state! That’s absurd! There’s nothing wrong with her and nothing that makes her incapable of being a wonderful mother to her children! What parent out there DOESN’T have something wrong with them anyways? After being completely tired beyond reason, no sleep and dealing with all the other things parents have to deal with, how mentally fit does she think anyone is after all that? Isn’t that what being a parent is all about? So does she think that everyone that’s a parent should be prosecuted because of that too? She needs to give those babies back to their rightful parents! That is so sad! I think that HER mental state needs to be evaluated! Ugh! I’m so sick over that women and how she could even THINK of doing anything like that to ANYONE!! She needs to learn her place as a surrogate and do what she was supposed to do in the first place which is give back those poor babies! They are young enough where this will not affect them but when they are older and have to hear about this poor story of their lives they will be devastated and are going to want to meet their REAL parents! I hope she’s ready for that!!! I would love an update of this story as I know this is an old episode. I hope that she does the right thing!

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