'Accused' is a Fox anthology series that follows a woman named Ava who is a surrogate mother to Jenny and Max's baby, Lucie. At first, everything goes smoothly. But then things take a severe turn when it is revealed that Lucie is deaf. The story then changes so dramatically that Ava ends up kidnapping the child.
Is Ava a Real Surrogate?
The 'Accused' 'Ava' Story' isn't directly based on a true story, although it does appear to be inspired by real situations where a surrogate kidnapped a child for several reasons. Mary Beth Whitehead accepted a $10,000 surrogate fee and agreed to waive her parental rights once the baby was born.
Mary Beth experienced a heartbreak later on, telling the Sterns that she was coping with her emotions. Knowing how difficult things can be in such situations, the couple decided to let her stay with the baby for a few days. However, when the time came to return the baby to the Sterns, Mary Beth fled to Florida.
Ava's situation appears to be the same on the surface. She admits that she's been battling with giving Lucie to Jenny and Max, and she kidnaps the baby. Later, we discover that her intention was different from Mary Beth's, who allegedly threatened to harm the baby if the Sterns didn't retaliate.
Crystal was discovered as a surrogate for a couple in New York in 2011. The couple's two frozen embryos were transferred to Crystal. The couple was incredibly understanding and helpful with the surrogate. However, the child would later develop health problems, including a cleft palate and a cyst in the brain.
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 found "wonderful, fantastic people" who adopted the baby.
Ava's story seems to share a lot of similarities with Crystal's, although it isn't clear whether the writers specifically based it on her. However, they were inspired by examples like these to paint a realistic picture of people's experiences in surrogacy decisions that weren't anticipated at the time.