LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Southern California woman who delivered twins for another family says she never got paid for her services and that she's emotionally distressed by the experience.
Darlene Arreola says she became a surrogate to help another couple have children.
"Because they have been trying for so many years, I knew that I was doing the right thing," Arreola told Eyewitness News.
She says she signed up with Elite Women Surrogacy, or EWS, and worked with owner Kenia German.
She says under the contract she signed online, the money for her service was to be placed in a trust account. But she claims she never got the money. Arreola says it was sent to the owner of EWS instead.
"Apparently they gave her a check, or they gave her the money, and I didn't even know that," Arreola claims. "I wasn't even aware that they had paid her directly until the last appointment that I had where I talked to them and I told them I haven't been paid."
Arreola gave birth to twins a few months ago in what turned out to be an emergency cesarean section.
She says she has been going back and forth with EWS and the owner trying to find out what is going on.
"She kept saying that the money was being withheld by the bank, that the bank wasn't releasing the funds," she says.
She added that she was sent screenshots of money that was supposed to be transferred to an account that didn't belong to her. She says she never received the funds.
Eyewitness News went to the listed address for the EWS office, but it's gone. The people there say they took over the space because they were told that the previous tenant stopped paying rent.
Owner Kenia German told Eyewitness News that the situation is complicated, but she wouldn't provide specifics. She said she can't do an interview at this time.
After German was contacted by Eyewitness News, Arreola says she received an email which says in part: "While Channel 7 has reached out to us, we are unable to comment or disclose Darlene's private information... we are working diligently to complete her case and process any delayed payments by or before 12/31/23. We apologize for these delays as they were caused by circumstances beyond our control which we are unable to disclose at this time."
Arreola says she's in emotional and financial distress.
"Never did I imagine that I would be going through all of this and putting my family now through it, and us struggling because of my choices, and I feel really guilty," Arreola says.
Arreola adds this has taken a toll on her family, but she is staying strong for her own children.