Being a surrogate wasn’t something I had ever considered doing; it wasn’t ever on my radar at all. Jeff, my soon-to-be husband, is a lawyer with an adoption agency, and he had been working on surrogacies here and there for a decade or more. After he and I became friends, he told me about it. At first I thought it sounded great, but I didn’t think it was for me. Eventually, though, after thinking about it for a while, I realized that I was a great candidate for it, so I took the steps to get involved, and Jeff was my lawyer during the process.
Why I Chose to Be a Surrogate
Ultimately, the initial reason that I decided to become a surrogate was to set up a college fund for my daughter. As a surrogate, I received $20,000 plus an additional $5,000 per multiple (I carried twins). I received money for maternity clothes as well as for housekeeping and child care when I was placed on bed rest. I was also reimbursed for lost wages, which were a result of the bed rest.
While $20,000 may seem like a lot, for most surrogates, the money alone isn’t worth it. There’s just so much involved in the process, from medications to appointments, and of course pregnancy in general. When you consider all of the steps that have to be taken to get accepted into the process and then get through it, the $20,000 isn’t exactly a windfall for doing nothing. The money’s not bad at all—don’t get me wrong—but the real reward is in seeing the results! I wanted to be a part of something amazing, and knowing what I was helping create made me feel like I was making a difference in the lives of others.
The process of being matched for me was fairly quick. The agency that I worked with actually introduced me to another couple before I met the pair that I ended up carrying for. The first couple that I met with couldn’t even make eye contact with me, and I didn’t feel any sort of connection with them at all, which I felt was important. So I decided that I would not be interested in carrying for them. Fortunately, they felt the same way, so it worked out for all of us.
After meeting the second set of intended parents, I knew that they were the ones that I wanted to complete this journey with. Our meeting was smooth and easygoing; we were laughing and crying all at the same time. It was emotional, and it was at that time that I realized the impact that this was going to have on their lives. I was overjoyed at the idea of making their dreams become a reality. My daughter’s college fund wasn’t the most important thing anymore; making sure I did everything right to get pregnant so Ryan and Jessamyn could have a child was!
Finding Support From Others
I had a very close friend who was not completely supportive of my decision; however, that changed quickly after she met Ryan and Jessamyn. She witnessed the gratitude and the joy they were experiencing in knowing that they were going to be parents in a few short months. My friend was 100 percent on board shortly after I became pregnant, and everyone else, as far as I know, was completely supportive.
Sadly, after I was matched and pregnant, the agency I used wasn’t really there for me or the intended parents anymore. I needed some things here and there, and I couldn’t even get them to call me back! It was as if they were only concerned about getting paid their agency fee and that was it. The intended parents had the exact same experience, and it was because of that that Jeff and I decided to start our own agency.
Life Through Surrogacy was founded specifically to provide the opposite experience we had to both intended parents and their surrogates. Jeff has been providing personal services to adoption birth mothers for 20 years, and those people are considerably higher-maintenance than surrogates. I figured, correctly, that we could provide a much more fulfilling and personal experience, and so far, so good!
There are still a few people out there who think that surrogacy is the equivalent of “selling” a baby, and that’s just not true! It’s a chance to be a tremendous blessing to two people and to forge a bond that will last a lifetime. Women who like—or don’t mind—being pregnant and who like helping others should consider surrogacy. It’s not for everyone, but it deserves consideration. I never imagined that I would be a surrogate, but when the opportunity arose I got very excited about it. And now I have four wonderful new people in my life: Ryan, Jessamyn and their twins. I love all four of these people, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about them and all the milestones that they are experiencing. I get pictures and phone calls, and anytime I feel like talking to them, they’re always there.
Oh, and my 7-year-old daughter has a huge head start in funding her college education!
Would you ever be (or have you been) a surrogate mother? Why or why not? Share in the comments.