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Mom Forced to Adopt Her Biological Twins ‘Almost at the Finish Line’ in Getting Surrogacy Laws Changed (Exclusive)

"For the first time in a long time, the air feels a little lighter,” says Tammy Myers, who’s been fighting to change the laws for more than three years now

<p>Tammy Myers</p> The Myers Family, left to right, son Eames, 3, mom Tammy, 42, oldest daughter Corryn, 11,  dad Jordan, 41 and daughter Ellison, 3.

Tammy Myers

The Myers Family, left to right, son Eames, 3, mom Tammy, 42, oldest daughter Corryn, 11, dad Jordan, 41 and daughter Ellison, 3.

With tears streaming down her face as each vote was read, Tammy Myers could not contain her joy and relief as the Michigan State Senate committee gave the green light for the final steps in changing Michigan's surrogacy laws.

"We're almost at the finish line," she tells PEOPLE exclusively minutes after the vote. "For the first time in a long time, the air feels a little lighter."

Tammy and Jordan Myers of Michigan made headlines when they were forced by Michigan’s surrogacy laws — some of the strictest in the nation — to adopt their own biological children in 2021. The couple has been raising their children from birth and their surrogate, who serves as the children’s godmother, fully supported their parental rights.

Three years later, Tammy’s fight to change those laws seem close to fruition. The Michigan Family Protection Act passed through the House vote on Nov. 8. The bills will now move on to the Senate and, if passed, will repeal the last criminal ban on surrogacy in the U.S.

Related: Mich. Couple Forced to Adopt Their Biological Twins Reveal They 'Wouldn't Change a Thing' About Legal Fight

On Thursday, the state Senate moved it towards a vote next week that should finally bring closure to the family and other families impacted by the outdated laws.

"It's the grit, bravery and strength of Tammy and Jordan Myers, and every family who stepped forward to share their stories, that will help us in our effort," says Congresswoman Hillary Scholten. "I cannot thank these heroes enough."

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A majority of members of the Michigan House of Representatives have voted to pass the Michigan Family Protection Act, which is sponsored by Representative Samantha Steckloff.

The legislation would update state law to ensure all children born in Michigan have access to a secure legal relationship with their parents, which is vital to their well-being. Michigan’s existing law leaves many of the children in the state born through fertility treatment without clear legal protection according to a statement by the Michigan Fertility Alliance.

"I look forward to reviewing and then signing the Michigan Family Protection Act when it reaches my desk," Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wrote in a statement on social media Thursday. "I will continue working closely with my partners in the Michigan Legislature to make our state the best place to start, raise, and grow your family."

<p>Tammy Myers</p> Twins Eames and Ellison, both 3

Tammy Myers

Twins Eames and Ellison, both 3

Tammy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. She and husband Jordan, who already had a daughter together, had planned on having more children. But her diagnosis put the brakes on the plan.

She did not imagine after she finished cancer treatment and looked forward to the birth of their twins with their gestational carrier that the worst was yet to come — and she remembers holding her twins in the hospital when she received the call from their attorney that the judge had denied a cursory request for an emergency order for rights.

“Jordan said right then that they were messing with the wrong momma bear,” Tammy says. “Truthfully, from that moment on my drive was never going to be over until we got to this point.”

Son Eames and daughter Ellison, born Jan. 11, 2021, were not legally adopted by their biological parents until December 2022.  Afterward she says they were constantly asked what it felt like to have it all behind them.

“It's never felt done because for me, the end wasn't our adoption. The end was changing and writing this wrong, that I didn't want any other family to go through this,” she tells PEOPLE. “The whirlwind of the last three years and the trauma that has ensued because of it, I was so fixated on the end goal that it was a race to get across the finish line.”

<p>Tammy Myers</p> Congresswoman Hillary Scholten with Tammy and Jordan Myers

Tammy Myers

Congresswoman Hillary Scholten with Tammy and Jordan Myers

Because of her tireless work, she says it’s been hard balancing her work as a creative director with her family time.

“There've been a lot of sleepless nights working with the team,” she says. “And I don’t think I’ve taken a moment to really reflect on what it means to have this almost finished.”

That moment came during the state Senate hearing on March 7 when she spoke to the executive director from the fertility center she used and the nurse who worked with Tammy, both attending in support of the bill.

“The director turned to me and said, ‘Do you realize how big this is and how much this is going to impact other families that won’t have to go through everything you went through,'” Tammy says. “It sent me into a visual flashback from the day I was diagnosed with cancer and had to immediately decide to harvest my eggs if I wanted to grow my family post cancer treatment.”

<p>Tammy Myers</p> FAt the Thursday hearing, from left to right, Jonathan Vermilye, Lauren Vermilye, carrier, Tammy Myers, Emily Griesa and Robin Strouse of the Fertilty Center of Grand Rapids, MI

Tammy Myers

FAt the Thursday hearing, from left to right, Jonathan Vermilye, Lauren Vermilye, carrier, Tammy Myers, Emily Griesa and Robin Strouse of the Fertilty Center of Grand Rapids, MI

Last week, it all finally came together for her: that young cancer survivors like her would not be faced with the same trauma as her family in deciding to harvest their eggs for future children. Or other people wanting to grow their families would not have to be faced with even more emotional and financial obstacles.

The proud mom adds, "Knowing that if these bills are passed into law it will help countless Michigan families who will someday walk in my shoes puts it all into perspective for me."

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