Cindy Close, a 48-year-old office worker, had only one wish.
"I've always wanted to be a Mom," Close said. "I wanted to raise children. That's my biggest dream and it always has been."
She thought she was one step closer after meeting and eventually dating Houston businessman Marvin McMurrey III in 2005, according to a civil lawsuit. They were both in their 40s, never married, and wanted children.
"He came across as a very kind man, a very good man, and I trusted him even when we started talking," Close said.
She and McMurrey never had sex but over a seven-year period, they decided to become co-parents using in vitro fertilization. The lawsuit states McMurrey paid for the procedure, placing anonymous donor eggs he fertilized into Close's uterus.
"Earlier this year, I found out I was pregnant and I found out I was pregnant with twins," Close said. "I was absolutely thrilled. I always wanted twins."
But that joy turned into a nightmare when she learned more about the man she thought would share parenting with her. After a premature delivery at Texas Children's hospital, she received devastating and shocking news.
"The real kicker for me was the day the children were born," she said. "The social worker came to me and said we had a surrogate situation and claiming I was a surrogate for him and his domestic partner that I didn't even know he had."
In a matter of minutes, she said she learned the man she was dating was gay and her little boy and girl were being taken away. McMurrey filed a lawsuit, saying she wasn't the biological mother and had no rights, despite having the children.
"Off the charts. I'm speechless. I'm shocked at what has gone on here," Close said.
In Texas, it's not the mother's burden to prove she is the parent, Close's attorney, Grady Reiff, said. McMurrey must prove Close was a surrogate.
"We've alleged he duped Cindy into have her children on the basis on him attempting to have her declared a surrogate once they were born," Reiff said.
Adding insult to injury, Close said McMurray and his partner, Phong Nguyen, were so enraged when she attempted to breast feed the twins in the hospital, they had a restraining order issued.
"I was barred from breast feeding. Yes, breast feeding," Close said.
McMurrey has temporary custody of the twins since they left the hospital. Close said the children are living with McMurray's domestic partner. She only gets visitation.
"I'm relegated to two hours a day, Monday thru Friday," she said. "When they're generally asleep, I get to hold them. I only ever wanted to be a mom and now he's trying to take that away after giving me my dream; he's taking that away."
McMurrey's attorney, Ellen Yarrell, said they're not going to comment on the case. He and Close are scheduled to be in court on Monday.