Local News

Selma woman accused of bilking money from childless couples

Posted May 7

— A Selma woman is accused of bilking thousands of dollars from local couples who hired her to provide egg donation and surrogate services as they tried starting families.

Jennifer Anne Soronen, 41, of 269 Serenity Pointe Drive, was jailed Wednesday under a $150,000 bond after a grand jury indicted her Monday on an embezzlement charge.

Agents with the State Bureau of Investigation say she took approximately $170,000 from the trust fund of her Smithfield business – Baby Steps Egg Donation & Surrogacy Agency – that clients paid for doctor's visits and other needs of surrogate carriers.

The SBI launched an investigation in December after receiving complaints in multiple counties.

The Better Business Bureau began receiving complaints about Soronen's business in 2012, and several people posted complaints on the business bureau's website about the business.

One couple said after paying more than $14,000 in initial costs, they never heard back from Baby Steps about a carrier.

"I find it reprehensible that someone would prey on a couple desperate to have a child and take their money and not bother to call them back or let them know anything," the complaint stated. "Not only has our money been taken, but our trust has been broken, and we may never be able to move forward with finding a carrier now."

On a website for her business, Soronen says she became a surrogate mother herself after she "felt a great sense of injustice" because some couples could not have children.

During a first court appearance Wednesday, her attorney said Soronen is a single mom caring for four children of her own.

11 Comments

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  • awthomsen May 9, 4:58 p.m.

    A lot of babies already born needing homes. Just another option for those wanting so desperately... View More

    — Posted by SmileAndNod

    These people obviously wanted a biological child. I guarantee you that infertile people are aware that adoption is an option. It isnt the responsibility of infertile people to adopt children.

  • EricaSliver May 8, 3:09 p.m.

    "Glass Half Full" - I don't think you should criticize all hearing impaired people just because... View More

    — Posted by Gork

    tee hee

  • Gork May 8, 11:52 a.m.

    "Glass Half Full" - I don't think you should criticize all hearing impaired people just because of her actions!

  • Glass Half Full May 8, 10:44 a.m.

    What kind of horrible hearless person she must be to be able to do that to people. Shame on her. Now her children need to be placed with a responsible adult. She's creating the problem, not solving it.

  • GALNC May 8, 9:45 a.m.

    She looks like she is managing just fine with those $100 highlights in her hair so I'm not... View More

    — Posted by kbird

    I noticed the nice highlights too. I have been a single parent and it makes me mad when people use that has a excuse. What she did is horrible and she needs to be punished. Her children do not need her has a role model on how to lie, cheat and extort money.

  • tdouble232323 May 8, 9:30 a.m.

    Why is it when people are charged with crimes or other unethical behavior they immediately bring up the fact they have children? Does that absolve you of those actions?

  • Obamacare returns again May 8, 8:54 a.m.

    In related news, her website main page has changed its slogan to, "It's all about me, me , me.."

  • scubagirl2 May 8, 8:32 a.m.

    low, low, low to take advantage of these couples.

    It's all about greed regardless of what she says.....

  • kbird May 8, 8:05 a.m.

    She looks like she is managing just fine with those $100 highlights in her hair so I'm not buying the poor single mom act! I think the truth is she is just a horrible greedy person with no heart!

  • "Screen Name-8/20" May 7, 7:17 p.m.

    Wow! There is no redemption or punishment good enough for someone who would do such as this!!!

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