From the moment they met, David and Nicky Beard wanted to have children together. More than one, if possible.
But as a same-sex couple in a country where commercial surrogacy is illegal, the Beards faced serious difficulty making their dream a reality.
The New Zealanders wanted their surrogate mother to have the best care available: Good hospitals, excellent doctors and safe conditions. Instead, after years of being turned down in New Zealand and Australia, the Beards were forced to find a surrogate in Mexico.
Using a business called “Surrogacy Cancun Mexico”, David and Nicky arranged two surrogate mothers using David’s semen. The plan was to have more than one child, just like they’d always hoped.
Surrogacy Cancun Mexico seemed reputable: They answered phone calls promptly and promised to give the whole payment – US $1,600 a month – to the surrogate mothers.
What happened was a different story.
On Sunday’s 60 Minutes, David and Nicky tell of the horror of nearly losing one of their babies to poor medical care, and the pain at being unable to bring their children home.
What seemed like a great deal quickly grew suspicious. David received a troubling email from an unknown source, claiming one of the surrogate mothers was in danger and wasn't receiving the money he was paying.
It turns out that Alisandra, one of the mothers, had been bleeding for two weeks, but had been denied medical attention.
Nicky and David rushed to Alisandra'a side, despite Surrogacy Cancun's rules that they were not to have any contact with the surrogate mothers. Luckily, Alisandra and the baby recovered, but she confirmed what the Beards now suspected: The package Surrogacy Cancun claimed to offer brutally ripped off surrogate mothers, many of whom were desperate for money, and routinely denied them the medical attention they needed.
When the other surrogate mother was ready to give birth, she was sent not to a hospital but to a back-street clinic.
"It just did not seem clean," David tells 60 Minutes. "There were cockroaches running around on the floor. I sat with her, holding her hand and trying to keep her calm.
"It was incredibly violent. I've never seen anything like it in my life."