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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. Kelly says:

    I have never been so outraged about a show before. How can Shelly sit there and say she’s Christian and still do something so morally wrong? What makes her Amy’s and Scott’s judge, jury and executioner? How can she hide behind the law? Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s moral.
    They keep talking about disclosure and their names are on the birth certificate and they want what’s best for these babies. As for disclosure, right now that seems irrelevant she knew before the babies were born home studies were done before the babies were born and she’s still refusing to give them back. the birth certificate should have had the biological parents’ names on it. If they did want what’s best they would have taken Dr Phil up on his offer to get professionals involved to start the reunification process and determine what’s best for these children. I think Shelly wants what’s best for her and her family and not for these babies. She doesn’t have a PhD after her name so what makes her qualified to judge who’s fit to be a parent and who’s not.
    Mental illness is not a reason to declare someone unfit, if so half of Canada would be declared unfit. I had bouts of depression when both my kids were born should I have had my children taken away from me? To the commenter who said that what if she decided to stop talking her meds well what about the epeletpic who forgets or decides to not medicate and they have a seizure, should they be declared unfit? Somehow implying anyone on meds, who could potentially decide to stop taking them, should be unfit to raise children – again declaring a huge portion of the population unfit.
    I think if Shelly wanted what’s best for these children she would defer to the professionals judgements and follow their recommendations which I’m sure will be to return these children to their rightful parents. These parents have already gone through leaps and bounds to prove that they are fit and it’s still not enough for her because she doesn’t want to give them back. It’s almost like she wanted something to go wrong so she could keep the babies because as soon as something went wrong she kept them and is refusing, even with offers of professional’s opinions, to give them back.
    Please Shelly do the right thing and give these children back. It may be difficult however it’s the moral thing to do, you weren’t supposed to raise these babies you were just supposed to give these parents a chance to be parents. Let them do that. Monitor from afar if you still aren’t convinced, use that same legal system you seem to be hiding behind now if you suspect things are happening but don’t refuse to give these parents their chance – that’s what all four of you signed on for!!

  2. karen gallagher says:

    I am outraged. I am a Registered Nurse on a Maternity floor in a well known teaching hospital in San Diego, Ca. I have witnessed many surrogate births. Most surrogate births are to parents from Europe who never ever meet the gestational carrier. My last two gestational carriers that I personally took care of had MENTAL ILLNESS. YES,THE CARRIERS ARE THE ONES WITH MENTAL ILLNESS. This is not known to the European couple at all which saddens my heart. Many of the couples adopting are same sex male couples from Europe who use the gestational carrier eggs. (as couples are males) No one does a psychiatric eval on the carriers which is a crime. It is not required and most anyone who has had a baby before may become a surrogate. Most recently had a woman who had preterm labor for both her biological births that required her infants a lengthy stay in the NICU. This is supposed to be a contraindication for a carrier, yet the same sex couple were able to hire her and she spent a majority of her pregnancy in the hospital for pre term labor and psychiatric illness. She also had other complications of pregnancy but was still allowed to be a suurogate. So, my point is….how can a surrogate with mental illness, not on meds be a surrogate? Those poor parents who have well controlled mental illness are being robbed by two selfish people who couldnt give up the babies to a stranger. Their christian guilt must have got the best of them. This show angered me as I am basically the only RN on my floor who doesnt mind taking care of mothers with mental illness. Most nurses are afraid of mental illness as well as the general public. What this is is UNAWARENESS AND UNEDUCATED people on mental ilness. Michelle needs her babies and Amy needs to educate herself and give her her babies back. What would Judge Judy say about this verbal contract?

  3. Mandy says:

    Dr. Phil, first I want to say I watch your show everyday and need to comment more. Today’s show had a puzzling outcome to me. I don’t know you, but I can tell you were not satisfied as well in my opinion. throughout watching the show I was thinking the same thing, like the only way this could prove of a chance that will turn the tables meaning both families (with two baby’s) can renew themselves with total honesty with understanding if this changed the difference in the surrogate mother’s decision, considering the best interest of the children as well of course. Considering that there was misleading communication between the both of them.
    As far as surrogate mother’s go, it takes a special person to be able mentally, an physically to carry another couples baby, but that’s the deal, should I say, already to me. There are no if, ans, or buts about it. It’s the biological parents baby. If there are strings attached, they need to be no longer surrogate’s, and the strings need to be cut and healed professionally. To me this proves that it’s not in the best interest in the children, but of herself. In the best interest of the children, is yes of course being a fit parent and the biological parents who apparently wanted to have children, they obviously were not accidents, can not even have that, and not even justified as proven wrong. That’s all for now Dr. Phil, thanks for listening! Sincerely, Mandy

  4. karen says:

    OOPS…I misatkaenly put the wrong names in my reply

  5. Erik says:

    I just have a few things to say…WHO has qualified Shelly to be mentally fit or fit at all to be the mother to those two babies? THE FINAL question Dr. Phil asked Shelly and her husband proves that they only took they babies because they wanted them…I would like to see a mental evaluation and home study conducted on shelly, her family, and her household.

  6. Marion Badger says:

    Did Shelly and her husband make restitution to Amy and her husband for the entire cost to them for this pregnacy? If not, why not?
    I really hope that Amy and her husband get the legal help that will get their babies back where they belong!!!!!

  7. April says:

    I watch of dr phil’s shows religiously and never till this day have i felt the need to blast my comments on his website until now. i too am a psyc major but that aside common sense shows us that this is a special situation that shouldnt be written off as a sad story with no hope. why on earth does this woman have any power in deciding the biological parents rights to these babies?? Shelly does not have the right to steal these children. its down right theft. why does she get to decide the best placement for these children? there wasnt any mention of whether or not shelly got a psyc evalution herself? or if she had to re pay amy and scott the money they forked over. surrogacy is a business transaction. why hasnt anyone mentioned this. this woman gets paid to carry other people’s children THEREFORE she doesnt have the right to change her mind. Now if amy and scott failed to pay them this would be a different circumstance. amy and scott needs to hire another lawyer. law or no law… nothing is black and white they should challenge and win. i wish more questions were raised on this show. phil you gotta start digging a little deeper. Maybe start a panel of everyday people that best represent your target audience to come up with some questions for you to ask. This website is a start. But I feel it’s just moms/woman bickering back and forth. It needs to go a little further. I hope amy and scott dont give up.

  8. shelley says:

    People have children ever day including teenagers without a mental evaluation . Who gives Shelly the right to make that choice for these to children . Maybe Shelly should have asked more guestions when interviewing this couple . In my mind if she wasn’t willing to do what Dr.Phil asked at the end of the show she had ever intention of keeping these children .

  9. C Legg says:

    I am absolutely horrified with what I heard on todays show. How dare we as a society think for one moment that we have the right to pass judgement on any person because they have a label, “mental illness” or otherwise. We are all human beings first.

  10. Marilyn says:

    I think if Shelly was so upset that the Kehoes withheld information, why wasn’t she proactive in investigating their backgrounds before she agreed to be a surrogate? Has she (Shelly) offered to pay back all the money she received from the Kehoes? What about that part of the contract? My heart goes out to the Kehoes, especially Amy, and I hope they will be able to have another opportunity to be parents.

  11. Jose Lugo says:

    Dr. Phil I’ve read most of the comments and it seems that the majority of the ppl agree that the babies should be returned to Amy n Scott.I’m not an expert on how peoples features give them away, when you ask certain questions to Shelly and Her husband. You should show them these clips so they can see how defensive they are and how facial expressions say it all. Plus they had their answer before you finish asking the ? If they would return the babies if you had neutral Drs. check them out.It is also true that she entered an agreement to be a surrogate mother,what happen to that agreement. Her answers and the excuse of deception seem to lay on her extremely heavy, considering she is the one who is not sincere. Her and husband look like they rehearsed their answers,and did not come through as the christians they say they are. I hope something can be done about this injustice,and return the babies to Amy and Scott. My prayers are with you.

  12. nicole says:

    I’m both shocked and saddened by the outcome of this show. I feel like Shelly and her husband are completely in the wrong. If I was Amy I would feel like my children were kidnapped, because in my opinion thats exactly what Shelly has done. I am so Dissappointed by the legal system in MI. Justice has not even been close to accomplished here. I work in the legal field and feel this is a complete miscarriage of Justice. Amy and her husband are the parents here. THIS STOPPED BEING ABOUT THE BABIES LONG AGO. This became about the bond Shelly and her husband feel for children that are not theirs. How dare Shelly call herself a Christian. People need to stop throwing that term around. It completely stains the term for people who morally uphold what it truelly means to be one who follows Christ. But that aside just as a human being this just reeks of selfishness. I could tell that you were not a fan of the outcome as well. I wish something could be done to change this. It was like watching a trainwreck and not being able to do a thing about it.
    Nicole

  13. Carolyn says:

    Shelly is a despicable person and it blows my mind that the law is on her side. Amy and Scott should have been able to fight this from day 1 so that these children never went to this morally corrupt couple. She stole from Amy and Scott. She and her husband put their names on the birth certificate…they intended to keep the twins before the hearing when they learned Amy had a past. In the clip where Shelly was talking to someone and said “no we don’t have to adopt…no their not biologically ours…isn’t that crazy” It was like she was bragging about the scam she pulled.

    It’s clear that they won’t surrender the children, and honestly, now that she has bonded with them, perhaps it’s not in the best interest of the twins. At the least, she must pay Amy and Scott back for the money spent on the IVF, surrogacy, bills, etc. Every dime Amy and Scott spent needs to be reimbursed so that they can pursue this again with a decent person.

    If Shelly was so concerned about Amy’s past, she could have called child welfare after the surrender of the twins, and allowed them to investigate Amy and Scott. The fact that Amy has held the same job for 21 years, passed a home study, and has never been institutionalized makes me think it is likely that child welfare would not find any reason that Amy would be an unfit mother.

    I’ve no doubt that all surrogates bond with the children they are carrying and that surrendering them is a heartbreaking thing to do. But Shelly had to have know what she was agreeing to – perhaps this was her scam from the beginning to take this children. It’s just disgusting.

  14. Janet says:

    This was seriously one of the most disturbing shows I have ever watched! As I watched in disbelief, I kept asking “Who picked the donors?” (sperm and egg)? yes, generally, someone would have chosen the donors to be specific to resemble them,.. even at the fertility clinic, even if if was Shelly and Paul ‘pretending” to be using donor eggs and donor sperm (with Amy and Scotts money). Im sure the donors were more likely to resemble Amy and Scott… if not, then my thoughts would be that would show that they intended to rip them off in the first place. Also, maybe the 3rd time Shelly was pregnant, she bonded while carrying the babies, and of course she knew by Michigan law, she was holding the winning hand.

    I have undergone fertility treatments also, and it seems to me that the IVF laws and the Michigan State laws don’t mesh…

    It was mentioned that both donor eggs and donor sperm were used…it was never mentioned WHO paid for the IVF DONOR EGGS AND DONOR SPERM treatments to the fertility Center?? Was it the same center that Amy used for her treatments? Im sure it was Amy and Scott’s money that paid for it… and Im sure that even though Michigan law prevents it…. I am sure (along with 99% of the rest of the veiwers) Shelly was compenstated for her surrogacy! She’s outright lying about recieving compensation. NO ONE just decides to surrogate 3 times with NO compensation. well, ,maybe, for a sister or best, best friend!) Surrogacy is BIG business (and a generous gift as well) in the the rest of the US… why not Michigan!? What about egg donors? are they legally compensated (as they should be) in Michigan like the rest of the US? id like to know the ‘reasoning’ for this law in Michigan that bans surrogacy. WHY?

    I am very saddened by this story, and I think there is no happy ending for all.

    I think that Shelly and her husband, Paul, should be honest and re-imburse Amy and Scott for every dime they paid out, (surrogate fee, usually close to 50K, donor egg and sperm IVF cycle (about 35K) plus court costs, etc. or give them thier children!!!!!

    The twins are not biologically connected to either set of parents, but Shelly was ONLY a surrogate, NOT an intended parent. Its not her job to say that Amy is unfit. If she was being honest, she would have gone along with Dr Phils offer…but she won’t because she knows she’ll LOSE. She should be ashamed, I agree that Shelly and Paul most likely decided BEFORE the delivery… otherwise, Amy would have been in the delivery room, etc.

    May God bless those little twins, and Amy and Scott. (and Dr Phil) :)

  15. Karen K. says:

    One big question I was hoping would be asked to Shelly and her husband was:
    If you are able to continue to keep these two precious babies, when they become teens and find out that you have kept them from being raised by their biological parents(actually stoled them), & they see this Dr. Phil episode- How will you-Shelly, feel then?? How about if they are so angry at you and distrust you that they no longer want any more to do with you??
    They will no longer see you as loving parents (most likely), when they would be thanking you for helping their biological parents have them instead.
    I believe in time- these two children, will get to be with Amy and Scott. I just hope that Shelly doesn’t suffer from a psychotic break(when this occurs) and have to face her worst fear.

  16. Karen K. says:

    I will be praying for both couples and that God may shine a new light on this matter that can heal all who are suffering.

  17. Ellen says:

    Was this an act of deceit from the beginning? Can Shelly’s husband provide her with children of their own or is he unable to father a child? Was this brought up at all? It seems to me Shelly and her husband conned Amy and Scott from the beginning. I think they knew all along what their original plans were. They wanted children of their own, knew that couldn’t have them so checked out websites for people they could con into their scheme, get everything paid for by someone else, and then keep the children.

    I think Shelly’s husband should be court ordered to have a sperm test done. They have had no other children of their own before this…isn’t that odd? What’s the reason for that and why now did they choose to keep these children? I don’t believe it has anything to do with Amy’s psychotic state. I think Shelly is grasping at straws and this was a ditch effort for her so she could keep these babies. She knew the Michigan laws before this all started. She knew what she could and couldn’t prove in a court of law. I have no doubt Amy and Scott were set up. What other reason could there be. It’s quite the scheme…everything paid for right from prenatal care, maternity clothes, and then the birth…sounds quite logical to me.

  18. I think the birth mother has mental health issues. I also think the adoptive parents have issues, The children need a better home that either of these can offer, I dont feel mental health should factor in unless the childs life is at stake or thier way of being carred for is a danger to their heath. As far as thier needs being ment, Medical. emotional, clothing and food. Mental health is treatable and I dont feel that the adoptive parents had a fair chance, The birth mom is very controlling and does not seem to be a good choice for the children.I think she wants what she wants, Not in the best interest of the children.

  19. Barbara says:

    If Shelly was so concern after the fact that Amy has a mental problem that should have been addressed before she accepted the money and term of the agreement. Has anyone thought to have Shelly examined to see if her elevator goes to the top floor? I think it was a scam! Isn’t it “KIDNAPPING” those are not their biological children. Shouldn’t they have to go through some type of legal agenda before they can just keep those baby. Can’t they bring charges against them for “STEALING” their eggs??? I feel sorry for Amy but I also feel sorry for Shelly, Something is really wrong with this woman, I hope someone is keeping an eye on these babies! (she is the one who needs to be watched)

    Barbara

  20. Sherri Bennett says:

    So many things bothered me about this show. After all was said and done, even with Dr. Phil pointedly asking the right questions, it seemed to me that Shelly was bound and determined to use the “undisclosure” as her big excuse. And that’s what it seemed like to me, nothing more. Amy and Scott did everything on the up and up, yet Shelly decided to exclude her from the delivery room and was quick to get their names on those birth certificates.
    How very sad to go through all of this, and then not only to lose your children, but to be made to look sick or bad. I know they will never forget these children, but maybe someone watching will come forward to help them try again. Hopefully, they can recover the funds that were spent. If Shelly and her husband are “taking responsibility” for these children, then they should take “responsibility” for the financial part of these babies as well. And I’m with another viewer wondering what Shelly’s evaluation might look like!

  21. annemarie says:

    todays show was an abomination. Shelly and her husband are criminals tanamount to kidnapping. Watching today’s show made me sick

  22. Leanna says:

    I am a Mom with depression. I take my meds and I am regularily monitored by my Dr. Besides the meds, I do everything in my power to stay balanced (exercise, eat well, etc.) so that I not only feel good personally, but also, so I can be the best Mom, wife, friend and productive citizen that I can be. This show saddened me, we are in the year 2010 and people are still so ignorant and scared of individuals with mental illnesses. Other illnesses, that require meds such as diabetes are not treated in this manner. If every other part of our body can get sick and require some type of medical help, why not our brain! I am so tired of this discrimination.
    I feel sorry for those poor children. I wish they had taken Dr. Phil up on his offer, it’s says alot about who they are, that they are not willing to at least explore this further with the help of other professionals and make an informed decision. I thought Dr. Phil did a great job.

  23. Efie says:

    I cannot believe this woman, Shelly. She is acting GOD. If this mom is unfit due to mental illnes as god Shelly and Scott claims and up to this far the mom has not gone over the egde!!!
    Shelly you are very selfish. Pray to open your heart and put in some love.

  24. Terri Fowler says:

    I love you Dr. Phil! Thank You for standing up for those of us who are mentally ill. I was diagnosed as Bipolar at 39. I have two children who are doing just fine. I think what Shelley did was a horrific thing to do. She had NO RIGHT. And also Big Thank You for your show, I watch you everyday, & so appreciate what you’re doing. I’ve been to two tapings & plan on going to another pretty soon. And Congratulations to you & Robin on lovely little Avery. I cannot wait to be a grandparent myself, although I still have quite a wait in front of me as my kids are only 20 & 16. Thank you for letting me speak my mind.

  25. I have one thing to say to Shelly and her husband. You reap what you sow. Good luck teaching the twins any moral issues. If you don’t live it, you can’t be an example. You cheated those poor people! God does not like liars, oh wait you already know that because you confess to be a Christian. Search what is left of your heart and give the babies back to the rightful owners now!!!!

  26. Jim C. says:

    In reading many of these comments, I think it’s clear to say that most people fall on the side of Amy & Scott, as I do. Shelly and Paul seem to have a very odd reaction to all of this. Their claim “for the protection of the children” seems to come at a most opportune time for them. Many things about this couple trouble me… the biggest being the video where Shelly states, “Isn’t it a hoot?” when asked about keeping children with someone else’s egg-sperm and someone else footing the bill. “Isn’t it a hoot?” is not a consistent reaction to someone looking out for the welfare of children, but rather someone who has successfully pulled off a con. My wife and I were OUTRAGED by their behavior and attitude toward the other couple. I can’t speak for others, but the ONLY solace I can gather from this moral injustice is that Shelly and Paul will one day reap a harvest of this seed that they have sown. And it will only bring them troubled days. I feel true sorrow for this young couple, they will pay for this mistake for a long time if they don’t try to make it right. If Amy and Scott have no other recourse, then they should try and put this behind them and do it right in the future, they will make terrific parents if they are not consumed by this situation.

  27. Pam says:

    I might be wrong but I thought DR. Phil said that neither couple was the biological
    parent. Amy and Scott aren’t any more related to the twins than Shelly and Paul.

  28. Barbara says:

    Dr. Phi. I happen to see your show today, due to fact I was in the waiting room at a hospital waiting for my husband to have some test run. I watched this show, in the beginning I thought that maybe Shelly had a right, because if Amy was having mental issues, then she didn’t need children to take her sickness out on, because we al know children are a big responsibility. However, after I heard the comments from Amy and Scott, I beleive Shelly had already made up her mind before these children were borned, I also beleive she allowed this couple to pay for the entire medical expense, How do we know she didn’t try this in another state, but, the laws were different protecting the innocent parties, I am a strong Christian, and I don’t beleive God is happy with this situation, because agreement was made, and if she was trying to protect the babies, then why didn’t she report her concerns to a social worker, after the children were with their rightful parents, at least she would have done the rightful thing, Actually they paid for these children, by paying all the medical expense, etc, the sad part here, is there is a lady who can’t have children for whatever reason, hopefully, they can move on with their life, and maybe one day adopt kids that are needed special loving parents. and like someone else wrote, Unfortnately, Shelly will reap the wrong doing here.

  29. Debbie says:

    I agree with Shelly. She has the right and responsibility to protect those children. Didn’t Lisa Bloom even say the state of Michigan returned the children because it was not all done legally? Even if they were puppies they would have a right to have a forever home and not be passed around like toys.

  30. Liz says:

    Wow. Shelly and Paul Baker are two of the worst people I have ever seen. Not once did they come close to justifing their position. If Amy had been mentally unstable I could have maybe seen their side. But, she clearly (according to multiple experts) is not. The only crazy person I saw was Shelly. What an insufferable, judgemental such and such (can’t say what I really think of her). They STOLE from these poor people. Either return the children or every penny of the money. My guess is they cannot afford to pay for the kids. I hope that every viewer in Michigan contacts their legislators. There is nothing that can be done to help these victims but hopefully things can change so people like the Bakers can no longer victimize children and their parents.

  31. Nancy says:

    Because of ignorance, and fear, the twins will be raised thinking they are damaged! by some illness that is so mis-understood! This makes me so angry, I can’t even think! Something has to be done about this! and right now! not years from now! How dare she calls herself a christian! Give those babies back to their parents and their true bloodlines. These children will grow up resenting you, and they should for your ignorance!! Your fear of something you know nothing about is shameful. SHAME ON YOU BOTH!!

  32. Keisha Elliott says:

    Dr. Phil,
    I watch your show all the time, but i can honestly say that this show has got me so outraged. I feel that Amy and her husband should have been able to keep the children. Who is to say that the children would not have been very much loved and taken care of by Amy. I also feel that Shelly and Paul should not have told Amy and Scott that they would have the children if they did not mean it. Especially if it was not true. Telling someone that can not have children that you will be there and make that nighmare go away can end up hurting them worse. If Shelly and Paul were christians then they would be able to find it in their hearts to give the children to Amy and Scott. I have some insight on some of this because i am a mother to three children. Thank you for your time. I hope that if Shelly, Paul, Amy, and Scott can come to a conclusion on this tragedy.

  33. Gina says:

    I am so angered by today’s episode!! People with mental illness are people too. These individuals are American’s, Amy and her husband are entitled to all of the same liberties and rights as all Americans. They did absolutely nothing wrong by wanting children. They made a fatal mistake in choosing such a closed minded, selfish, unaware individual as Shelly and her husband. We as Americans do not, I repeat, do not have the right to pass judgment upon others just because they are different or may have had problems in the past. If people like Shelly and her husband have the right to change their minds and keep children that they promised to another couple, then what is next? Where is their honor? What will they say to these children whose names they have even changed. They have no respect for human life because they are too busy being the judge and jury for the rest of us. NAMI is the National Organization for Mental Illness, I would recommend that they get educated before mass hysteria erupts. What if Amy, had disclosed that she is 1/4 African American, or Chinese, or perhaps experimented with bisexuality would this have affected Shelly’s rash decision to impose her reign of terror on the masses? After having given birth to these children, could Shelly quite possibly have post par-term depression? If I were Amy or her husband I would be ticked off too. My brother was a genius, he now has schizophrenia. When medicated he is stable and wonderful. He isn’t thinking about having children nor will I ever be an aunt because of his illness. It robs a family of a future. I will never have nieces or nephews. Amy and her husband were being extra careful in utilizing sperm and donated eggs, genetics plays a huge part in mental illness. Hopefully, Shelly and her husband will be blessed with all healthy children, cause I would feel really sad it what goes around comes around.

  34. Keisha Elliott says:

    I side with Amy and Scott, but i also feel that children can not be bought. I also feel that the children should not be with Shelly or Paul. On the show Shelly and Paul said that they were looking out for the babies, but i fell as though they made up their minds before the children were born. I hope that she will never be a serogate for another couple as long as she lives, because if she does then she could do this again to someone else. I also hope and pray that Amy and Scott can go on to adopt or have children some other way because the children that they would raise would be the luckiest on earth becuase from what i seen on the show they would have so much love and life experience to give to them.

  35. Mary Morgan says:

    Why does Shelly feel like she is privileged to the information of Amy’s Psych Eval? Unless a Judge, or DHS Home Evaluator would ask, even then, the diagnosis is confidential and would not be released to anyone else. Shelly is NOT Privvy to that information. If Amy were found to be unsuitable as a mother, the transaction would not have been completed, but, nobody else would necessarily have to, or be privileged to the Eval and every component included. Shelly and her husband would not have to know why. Amy never asked Shelly if she possibly had AIDES,but I guarantee you that if in fact Shellly did, nobody else would ever know due to confidentiality. Two can play that game. Dr. Phil, I sincerely hope you advise Amy and her husband to retain counsel to recover their babies. They may need help, but I am confident your production company could assist, as it was obvious by your expressions and walking on eggshell questions, that the babies belong with Amy. Your opinion was loud and clear! Please help this couple, this is a horrible injustice that Shelly may try again since she was successful. Let’s put Shelly under the microscope…

  36. Anne Archambault says:

    I think that Shelley showed her true intentions when at the end of the show, Dr. Phil offered the couple to have independent psychiatrists, health care workers, doctors, etc… to approve or disapprove Amy’s mental health. She decline rapidly at the help that was offered. The point is if those psychiatrists had declare Amy unfit then all her “nightmares or monster” calling would stop. I think her intentions was never to give up those babies. Even before going to court, Shelley put her last name on the certificates at the hospital. Anybody that is going to give up a baby doesn’t do so. She kept saying she had to think what was best for the babies but in reality it was she wanted, to keep them. I also notice in the home movies (what we saw on TV) with the babies, she always had the baby boy in her arms and never the baby girl. It seemed odd until Scott mentioned that she always wanted a baby boy.

  37. Laurie says:

    Bottom line is that if Shelly was given all the information and background on the adoptive parents, this would not have happened. I’m not saying Amy wouldn’t be a great mother, I’m just saying she wouldn’t be my choice. And if I’m being a surrogate mother this should be a choice made by me knowing everying about the potential parents and knowing the babies will be safe no matter what. If I was hiring a nanny I would definitely want to know everything about the persons past especially if their taking medication for a mental illness or any illness. Like it or not I will not take a chance that this person could forget to take their meds or that their situation could harm my children in any way. The children have already formed a bond with Shelly and they should stay where they’re at.

  38. Jessica says:

    I feel that if the eggs, sperm are not the surrogate’s or their partner’s, then they have no claim to the babies. This surrogate was looking for any reason to take and keep these babies. Some mental illnesses are prevalent in some families and some are even genetic or inherited. Isn’t it better for these babies to be with their biological parents. What if these children develop the same mental illness their biological mother has? Isn’t she a better parent to help them. This surrogate has the Mary Whitehead syndrome.

  39. Genecia says:

    I hardly ever watch Dr. Phil, but the topic caught my eye. I had looked into being a surrogate and Shelly should have asked more questions at the beginning if she had that much of a problem. It disgusts me that she put Amy and Scott through all of that and then she just took “thier” babies. They provided the donors eggs and sperm along with all of Shelly’s medical care. Amy and Scott are entitled to the babies that they created. They put ot all together to create these babies. I also think that Amy and Scott’s lawyer screwed up because he should demanded that they do this in another state to prevent this whole mess. I think that Shelly was out to get the babies the whole time. She made no effort in getting to know A & S and never even checked out their house herself. Shelly signed the birth certificate with her’s and her husband’s names when she should have put A & S. She knew what she was doing. I think she got attached somewhere down the line and knew she wanted the babies. Even during the show she kept saying they are “her” babies.

  40. Ginny says:

    I think Shelly and her husband (who has not said a word the whole show, by the way)should have asked the right questions BEFORE she agreed to be a surrogate. Especially if she’s done this before than she should be well aware of what would keep her from giving the baby (babies)up and she should have been more careful about who she make this agreement with.
    I think Shelly got attached while she was pregnant and now she’s decided not to give them up.
    They are not hers to keep!!

  41. Annette says:

    Dear Dr. Phil: I just needed to say that I am all for Amy. I had trouble conceiving didn’t know I had endometriosis, and I also deal with and am on medication for anxiety. So I had a double whammy within the first years of my marriage. So because I had a natural birth control that I didn’t know about for over 20 years and to deal with that I developed my anxiety for a few different reasons. I had a laparoscopy and found 3 lumps and were removed a month later I was pregnant. Only had one child because of my anxiety, now does that make me an unfit parent? My daughter is now 9 and doing well thanks, has learning disabilities so I have had to take extra care with her. So now that I print this, does make me to become under scrutiny from Society, too? A slippery slope indeed Dr. Phil and I for one am trying to get on the up hill now.

  42. Bill Mcknight says:

    Just a short comment. I was very upset about the comment Shelly made about people with pyschiatric problems cannot be good parents. Beg to differ I am a 60yr old man and raised 3 children, and have suffered from PTSS since I was 14 years of age. Shame on this person to judge. You say are a Christian well remember this little quote from the Holy Book. Do not judge as you will be judged before God. I pray you are ready for that.

  43. Bill Mcknight says:

    Did Shelly ever have past emotional or pyschiatric problems.

  44. Margaret says:

    I was saddened by today’s show and the seemingly inescapable ignorance about mental health and mental health diagnosis. I am a mental health professional who also had a mother “diagnosed” with a mental illness. I never met her although she raised, with the help of her mother, an older half sister and a younger half brother. I knew nothing but her name. No pictures, no talk of her, nothing until she died and I was contacted and asked to pay for her funeral when I was 24. In 1995/1996 I chose to devote the rest of my life advocating for mental health without using my story so I went back to graduate school. I have learned more than anything that although there is great compassion for those with mental illness the system is horribly broken. I will not ever be able to undo my mother’s interminable institutionalization but I so believe that in the right environment many of those “diagnosed” could thrive as has the mother who “lost” her twins to a woman willing to hand out scarlet letters easily and without shame.
    It is the “diagnosis” piece that I am having trouble with. Any mental health or health care professional can give a mental health diagnosis that will follow a person throughout their lifetimes and which oftentimes comes back to haunt the person who was honest enough to share symptoms that may or may not have frightened them or others.
    I was absolutely horrified that these children were denied the parents who chose to bring them into the world because of a diagnosis of psychosis NOS. For all we know it could have been a practicum student asked to make a diagnosis and put it into the chart. Patient forever condemned. You were right Dr. Phil, this show could put mental health issues decades back. What an incredible shame.

  45. della says:

    the way shelly acted rolling her eyes an just her actions this was just her way of keeping baby she should have her own an give amy back hers

  46. Dawn says:

    By the time the show was over I was so upset. How can this couple make that kind of decision who made them God? If we all were denied of children for any kind of mental reasons I think that we would be in trouble because we would lack on the population. I think that Shelley and her husband already had their minds made up prior to the twins being born and they have made it very clear they will not be giving the babies to Amy and her husband, so they should pay ALL expenses back to Amy and Scott. Shelley should be ashamed of her self to pass judgment!!! I hope that Amy and Scott can move on and get what they desire in the future obviously not in Michigan so next time they will have the law backing them up.

  47. Jane says:

    Dea Dr. Phil,
    I watched the show today and tried to look at both sides without bias. I couldn’t do it. I think Shelly intended to keep the babies from the beginning and found a legal loophole that provided her the opportunity to do just that. She was willing to have the Kehoes pay for her pregnancy expenses and then snatched the kids out from under the proper parents. If Amy is under professional care for her mental issues and she seems perfectly healthy in her ability to keep a job long term and manage her condition with her meds, who is Shelly to decide that Amy is not fit to parent the babies? I watched Shelly’s facial expressions and she was condescending and snarky in her remarks. I was extremely disappointed by her refusal to consider your offer of objective professional help. The Kehoes need a better attorney and Lisa Bloom is a wing nut!

  48. Vanessa says:

    I cannot believe this story! I am siding with Scott and Amy 100%! It seems to me that the Bakers (Shelly and Paul) are doing what they want. I think Shelly went through a postpartum period a month after the guardianship hearing took place and so she went and got the twins to cure her issue. If these babies are so important and are not to be thought of as “puppy dog adoptions” then why did Shelly go get the babies AFTER a month or more with Scott and Amy. Also, if Paul and Shelly intended to give the babies to Scott and Amy, why did they sign the birth certificate? And when Paul and Shelly were offered help on deciding if Scott and Amy were fit parents at the end of the show…why did they refuse and say that they would not give the babies to Scott and Amy (the rightful parents) if they checked out?
    Who is Shelly to decide that Amy’s “unspecified disorder” makes Amy a bad parent? A lot of people in this world have mental disorders….it is common and more people need to admit that they have one (which I think Shelly does).
    Shelly is able to have kids…I want her to think of the people in this world who cannot (Amy) and have some sympathy for those people because she is being very selfish in this situation. I hope Scott and Amy can get permanent custody of these two babies!!!!
    Also, if Scott and Amy do not get custody, Shelly and Paul, need to pay back every penny that Scott and Amy gave them plus some for all the heartache and issues they have gone through. Shelly and Paul signed on to do this…they should have followed through with it and if they had a problem, they should exept the help to get it figured out.

  49. Debbie says:

    Dr. Phil,
    This is the first time that I have ever posted a response here, and the first time that I have ever disagreed with your stance on anything. But ultimately, the woman that carries the baby/babies is THE mother, and she has to trust her gut and her intuition. If she felt, for whatever reason, that there was an inherent risk (however small) to those babies, than she did the right thing by not allowing the adoption to go through. The buck stops with her, and she could not live with herself if something went wrong down the road, no matter how small the chance. I would not have rolled the dice and taken such a gamble either. Shelly make the right decision, and I would have made the same one.

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