'Accused,' a Fox anthology series, follows the story of a woman named Ava, who is a surrogate mother to Jenny and Max's baby, who ends up kidnapping the child. The reason for her actions is explained later, and the show depicts the challenges and responsibilities of everyone involved in a surrogate pregnancy.
Is Ava a Real Surrogate?
The 'Accused' 'Ava' Story' isn't directly based on a real story, though it does appear to be inspired by real cases where a surrogate has kidnapped a child for various reasons. Mary Beth Whitehead agreed to be their surrogate as well as an egg donor. It was agreed that she would pay $10,000 for being the surrogate and that she would not lose parental rights once the baby was born.
Mary Beth experienced a shift of heart when she told the Sterns that she was struggling with her emotions. Knowing how difficult things may be in such situations, the couple decided to let her stay with the child for a few days. However, when it came time to send the baby back to the Sterns, Mary Beth fled to Florida.
Ava's story appears to be the same: She acknowledges that she's been battling to get Lucie to Jenny and Max, and she kidnaps the baby. Later, however, we discover that Mary Beth's purpose was different: she claimed she'd kill the baby if the Sterns didn't back off. She claimed that her parents didn't want her anymore because she was born deaf. For Crystal Kelley, too, running away with the baby was the only option to keep the baby safe.
Crystal became a surrogate for a couple in New York in 2011. Crystal's two frozen embryos were handed over to the couple, who found them very helpful and compassionate. However, the child would develop health difficulties upon the 21st of her 21-week scan. There was a possibility that the child would develop Down syndrome.
Crystal agreed to pay $10,000 for aborting the baby, but she made up her mind. Soon after, the father waived his rights, and Crystal discovered "wonderful, wonderful people" who adopted the baby.
Crystal's story resembles Ava's, but it's unclear whether or not the writers based it on her. Nevertheless, it is clear that they were inspired by situations like these to paint a realistic picture of the people involved in surrogacy experiments that didn't go as planned.