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Attorney admits guilt in baby-selling ring

August 10th, 2011

By TERI FIGUEROA

An internationally known Poway attorney who specialized in reproductive law pleaded guilty Tuesday to a key role in what federal authorities said was a baby-selling ring.

Theresa Erickson, 43, admitted that she and her co-conspirators used women to create an inventory of unborn babies that they would sell for over $100,000 each, according to the San Diego offices of the U.S. attorney.

Federal prosecutors said three women —- Erickson, along with Hilary Neiman, an attorney from Maryland, and Carla Chambers, a surrogate mother —- admitted guilt in the scheme. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Merriman said that Erickson agreed to pay restitution of $120,000 —- $10,000 each to 12 couples victimized in the scheme, which started as far back as 2005.

The parents in the scheme did receive children, however, they are considered victims and “we are certainly not taking steps” that would see the parents lose custody of the children, Merriman said.

Under the conspiracy, women would go to overseas clinics and have embryos implanted, becoming pregnant.

Once the pregnancy entered the second trimester, Erickson and co-conspirators would solicit prospective parents willing to pay the high fees to buy the parental rights for an unborn baby, the charges state.

The timing of when a deal is struck matters. Before conception, a woman can agree to become pregnant for profit, under California law. After conception, however, the woman cannot profit from being pregnant and supplying a child to prospective parents. The first instance is considered surrogacy, the second instance is adoption.

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  1. Leo
    August 10th, 2011 at 21:09 | #1

    Sean has argued that law should not be based on morality, and I have argued that morality is the basis of just law. This conduct is immoral and is rightly illegal.

  2. Daughter of Eve
    August 11th, 2011 at 00:10 | #2

    All law is based on some kind of morality. Some citizens simply choose a higher standard of morality than others. It’s all about desires–some are noble, and some are base.

  3. Deb
    August 11th, 2011 at 11:23 | #3

    One often sees from commenters on this site that family is not about biology or mother and father, but just the people that love you. Well, now we see what that thinking leads to – the creation and selling of human beings for profit.

  4. John Noe
    August 15th, 2011 at 17:36 | #4

    With homosexual same sex marriage the problem is even worse. Erickson’s partner in crime heads up “Rainbow babies” and tries to do this for same sex couples. Erickson herself admitted if same sex marriage became law the homosexual market was going to be huge and demands for her services would go up.

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