Would you ever carry a stranger’s baby? The thought itself is so mind stirring. Over the last few years, surrogacy has become such a common phenomenon with stars like Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker using surrogates to complete their families.
But surrogacy remains one of the least talked about tools in the fight against infertility.
Why do surrogates do what they do?
What do they get out of it?
And how hard is it to give a child to its parents after having it in your womb for 9 months?
Here are a few stories of women from across the world who share their experience with surrogacy…
A woman who is from India shares:
Mamta Sharma, 29, from one of India’s poorest states, Uttar Pradesh, has been a surrogate mother twice, most recently last year for an Australian couple.
“Everything has changed in my life with the money I got,” said the mother of four children who invested her earnings in a new house.
We’re not rich people … but it’s one way our family can give back in a really big way.” – Rayven Perkins, 32, Austin, Texas, married, mother to a 10-year-old girl and 11-year-old boy.
I have been a surrogate mother three times (twins in February 2007 and a little boy in June 2008), and I’m about to give birth this month to my fourth surrogate baby. The best part is knowing you did this for the right reasons when you deliver the baby and the parents finally see him or her. But there are a lot of sacrifices a surrogate makes. There are hormone shots that my husband had to help me take for three months, prior to the transfer and then almost through the first trimester. With varying state laws on surrogacy, you may have to stay in state. My husband had to turn down a promotion in another state, and I missed Christmas with my in-laws during my 3rd trimester with twins because my doctor said I couldn’t travel.
[As for handing the baby off] I knew instinctually that I’m not an attached type of person. I always viewed surrogacy as a long babysitting project. I’m going to give birth any day now and I’m excited that the parents will be there. It’s not sad for me at all. I have no regrets whatsoever – I’m just glad I was able to participate. We’re not rich people. We’ll never donate a wing of a hospital, but it’s one way our family can give back to our world in a really big way. Without our assistance, there would be four less children in the world. We are showing our own children how to be generous and how to sacrifice for others.
The hardest part was when they took the baby from me.” – Robin Kaufer, 50, Seattle, Washington, divorced, 9-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy
I was a gestational carrier for a friend whose child is now three. I had gone through fertility treatments on my own as a single mom. At 40, I turned to in vitro to have my kids. [A friend and I were talking] and she said her sister couldn’t carry a pregnancy, and I said I’d do it.
It took me four tries, and I was surprised they wanted to try the fourth time. Losing three pregnancies was hard on me. But the toughest part was when they took the baby from me. I was cavalier through the whole process … until they physically left, and hormonally I went nuts for a week and a half. It really ripped me apart, which took me by surprise.
My kids seemed to understand that this was Karen and Larry’s baby, and they seemed to be fine with it. Our family was also created from different means and they understood that families come to be in many different ways. I would do it again if I weren’t so old. I think because I had had my own fertility problems, it made me feel very good to do it.
From the above experiences we can see that apart from being for financial assistance as commercial surrogacy in India generally is, surrogacy maybe out of concern for our near and dear ones or it maybe for someone who just doesn’t want to bear a child for nine months. The mental status of a woman carrying a child she knows doesn’t belong to her and will be taken from her would not be as easy as it seems to be…
The other day I was reading this article in the newspaper that read that India is becoming the hub of a lot of foreign babies being born through surrogacy. This just led me to some serious thinking and a do a little research for myself on the concept of surrogacy.
It was then I came to know about the commercial surrogacy that mostly happens in India where women who need a womb for their child find women who do the same to fulfil their financial needs. While mostly across the world it also happens out of affection when somebody you know carries your baby for you.
I just happen to make a barter system kind of an image in my mind. When mutually two people fulfil each other’s needs such that there exists no conflict.
As rightly said by Sheryl Crow-
“Little souls find their way to you, whether they are from your womb or someone else’s”
But that is what I feel about something we generally might not even think. Food for thought?
What do you think?
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.