Ill. ‘Surrogate’ Mom to Visit Jail for 6 Months; Insurance Fraud Among the Charges

October 26, 2004

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a McHenry County woman has been sentenced to 180 days in the Sangamon County Jail after pleading guilty to charges related to an agreement she made to be a surrogate mother for a Springfield couple.

Madigan’s office secured a sentence for Debra A. Hemauer, 32, of Harvard in McHenry County, of 180 days in the Sangamon County Jail and 48 months probation after Hemauer pleaded guilty to one count of Theft – $10,000, a Class 2 felony. Sangamon County Judge Leo Zappa also ordered Hemauer to pay $17,818 in restitution to the couple.

According to the August 2004 indictment handed down by a Sangamon County grand jury, a Springfield couple arranged for Hemauer to carry and bear a child for them and agreed to pay legal costs, medical bills, a surrogacy fee and other expenses in connection with the pregnancy.

Between Oct. 1, 2002, and Jan. 31, 2003, Hemauer reportedly lied to the couple about being pregnant with their child, forged insurance and medical documents, including a positive pregnancy test result, and accepted more than $17,000 from the couple as payment for these expenses.

“I am pleased that we have received a jail sentence for this deceitful woman,” Madigan said. “Debra Hemauer preyed on one couple’s desire to have children and stole not only their money, but also their dreams,” Madigan said.

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