If you’re pursuing surrogacy as a family-building option, you’re probably curious about the gestational surrogate who will be carrying your baby. Who is she, really? What is she like? Why does she choose to allow other people’s babies to grow in her womb for nine months?
The answers vary for each surrogate, of course. The majority of gestational surrogates are motivated by the simple joy of helping someone else start or expand their family. Here’s a peek into the experience of being a surrogate mom.
One gestational surrogate, Rayven, who shared her story on Babble.com, views surrogacy as a way that her family can give back. Her family is middle-class, not wealthy, but they have compassion for families who want biological children and cannot have them on their own. She found the feeling of doing good to be well worth the lifestyle sacrifices that she had to make in the process; and she successfully carried four babies to term for four special couples.
How did Rayven manage the handoff of the baby to the intended parents? She explains that she isn’t the type of person to become emotionally involved with the baby. She knew it wasn’t hers, and she told herself that her pregnancy was sort of like babysitting for nine months. In the end, she was happy to share in the joy of the intended family.
Another gestational surrogate, Robin, had a slightly different experience. She was the surrogate for her friend’s sister. It took three miscarriages before a successful pregnancy, and those issues took a toll on Robin. When she finally had the baby and the intended parents took it away, she had difficulty letting go; but she kept her feelings hidden from the baby’s parents. Had she gone through an agency, with the extra level of emotional and mental evaluation and support, the experience may not have been as emotionally distressing. However, Robin still felt that the process was rewarding.
Jodi shared her surrogate journey in a U.S. News article in early 2015. For her, the surrogacy journey started with her childhood desire to be a mother. That was all she ever wanted to be, and that love of motherhood made her yearn to share the experience with other women who struggled with infertility.
Part of Jodi’s decision to be a surrogate involved money. She and her husband had some debts to pay off, and the fees for surrogacy could help with that. However, she and her husband talked about the primary reasons for going through the process— Jodi’s enjoyment of pregnancy and her desire to help intended parents. Jodi used a surrogacy agency as a safe, secure way to find the right match with intended parents. When she gave the baby girl to the couple, she didn’t feel as if she was letting her baby go, but rather that she was giving their baby back to them.
Your gestational surrogate’s story may have elements in common with these women, but her journey—and yours— will be unique. Find a lawyer whom you can trust to help you and your partner over the hurdles of the surrogacy process. With the assistance of your lawyer, your agency, and your surrogate, your family may soon be welcoming a new member.
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About Nicole K. White
As a mother via gestational surrogacy, Nicole is passionate about helping her clients experience the joy and fulfillment of starting or growing a family of their own through third party reproduction. Her knowledge and experience as an attorney and as an intended parent mean she knows firsthand what you will go through and what you will need – understanding, ongoing support, guidance and a smooth process.