Twin brothers born to different mothers? It sounds impossible.
But thanks to the reproductive advancements of surrogacy and in vitro fertilization, twins Connor and Cameron Payne were born to different mothers 16 days apart in different hospitals.
Kathy and Ray Payne wanted children and had tried for eight years to make it happen. After numerous fertility treatments, implanted embryos and miscarriages, they were ready to pursue adoption. But then a doctor suggested they try again to have a biological child with a surrogate, using Ray's sperm and embryos from Kathy's eggs.
Kathy Payne found Angel Willis, a 29-year-old mother of three, on a surrogacy Web site. They met, went out for dinner and agreed to give surrogacy a try. Then the Paynes' doctor proposed transferring two embryos into Payne and Willis at the same time.
"My initial answer was no," Payne said. "We had tried my body seven times, and it didn't take. So I was willing to have Angel carry our baby for us. I had come to grips with that … and the doctor suggested giving my body one more shot."
Miracles 16 Days Apart
So Payne reluctantly agreed, and both she and Willis learned they were pregnant on the same day. Both women gave birth in June, a little more than two weeks apart. Kathy Payne gave birth to Connor Ray Payne on June 12; Angel Willis gave birth to Cameron Clark Payne on June 28. The boys are considered fraternal twins
Willis suggested she had mixed feelings after she gave up Cameron. But she said she never considered him her baby.
"We loved Cameron -- my husband and I loved him," Willis said. "So, yeah, for a week I was like, 'What do I do with myself now?' But he was where he needed to be, where we always wanted him to be, and he's their baby. And the greatest blessing was seeing Ray holding him and their mom."
Willis said her love for her children inspired her to become a surrogate mother.
"They were such a blessing to my husband and me, and we just thought God has blessed us so much, let's try to give back," Willis said. "I enjoy being pregnant. It's just something my husband and I both have a passion for."