Surrogacy – FAQ
As we have shared the news of our surrogacy with friends and family, we have run across some questions that tend to be on everyone’s mind. While this is, by no means, an exhaustive list, I thought I could address some inquiries here – for those burning with curiosity – which pertain to our own personal journey. I will note, however, that I am not qualified to answer anything on behalf of the parents of this precious little one. They have their own story – it’s not mine to share.
Do you know the parents?
Before being asked to consider carrying their child, no we had never met or been acquainted with the parents of this child. However, in the months since our first e-mail, we have had many opportunities to get to know one another, on a deeper level than many, considering my body is now housing their child. We have had doctors’ appointments, phone conversations, e-mails and they’ve even visited our home and met our children. We think they are amazing, wonderful people and we are so honored they have entrusted us with their most valuable treasure.
Is the embryo from your own egg?
No. The embryo is 100% their DNA. In fact, the technical term for myself is a “Gestational Carrier” – as I am only carrying their child. “Surrogate” we have learned usually actually refers to a woman carrying a child to whom she has also donated her egg. Yes, I’m aware we’ve been using the wrong term – but as it’s the one we’re all most aware of, we just stick with what we everyone recognizes.
Where will you deliver the baby?
The parents do live about three hours away, in another state, so that is a common question. Until this point we have been visiting their doctor, but we have now been transferred back to the care of our own doctor here in town (who, we were happy to discover, has worked with other surrogate mothers in the past). The baby will most likely be delivered in our own hospital (not at home – another question I’ve received, as our youngest two were, indeed, homebirths).
Do you have a contract in place?
Yes. We are so grateful for the attention to detail the “intended parents” (contract language – also, IP’s) have given to this process and we were also grateful that we all seemed to be on the same page about every aspect of this arrangement. Even so, just for legality and for the assurance of all parties, we do have a contract addressing all possible scenarios.
What do your kids think?
Our kids are kids. Honestly, they have so little life experience at this point that they don’t exactly realize this isn’t a normal thing moms do. I half expect someday they’ll meet a pregnant woman and ask her, “Is that your baby?” or “Do you get to keep that one?” Once the pregnancy was confirmed, we did sit them down and explain what we were doing. They have met the parents, so we were able to give them a mental picture of who the Mommy and Daddy of this baby are going to be and how precious it is that we get to help them have a little baby of their own. Their response? “Ok. . . . We’re hungry.” (Note: That’s pretty much their response to everything.)
What does your husband think?
We would never have moved forward with this process if we were not both in 100% agreement. It is often that my husband acts as my spiritual barometer, of sorts. There are times I have interesting ideas of what I think we should do. And then he gets a wary look in his eye, sighs, and tells me why it’s probably not the best idea. The times when he gets a thoughtful look in his eye, nods, and tells me it’s something we should consider are the times when I realize maybe this idea isn’t so crazy. God has an amazing why of molding hearts into agreement. There was never any indication from my husband that we should not do this. His first response was something along the lines of, “Well, we have a lot of questions we’d have to consider . . .” – which was a very pleasant surprise. He is very protective of me, and of my stress level, and this opportunity came at a time when my stress level was HIGH with all the other obligations I had on my plate. Yet, instead of telling me this would probably push me over the edge, he recognized it for what I did – God calling us to do what He’d put on our hearts years before. As such, we also knew He would protect my mind and my heart.
How will you be able to give up a child you’ve carried in your own body for nine months?
First of all, I don’t really see it as “giving up” a child – as I’m merely giving this little one back to his/her parents. I’m fairly confident I will be able to keep the mental separation between this child and my own. In the same way we have had a little guy in our home nearly every school day for the past two years, who then goes home to his Momma and Daddy at the end of the day, we’ll take care of this little one – nourish and care for it and give it a healthy place to grow – and then we’ll send it home. That said, I already have plans to get myself a kitten after this process – just in case I still have the urge to care for and cuddle something tiny 😉
That is so self-less – I could never do that!
Not exactly a question, but a common response, nonetheless. While I appreciate the compliment, it makes me uncomfortable knowing the many areas of my life in which I am incredibly selfish. I also feel this journey is no more self-less than many others who make sacrifices to follow God’s plan for their lives – those who walk away from what they know to share the love of Christ in another country, those who give up years of time with their families to serve and protect our country, those who sacrifice daily to care for loved ones unable to care for themselves, those who open their homes to adoption and foster care. And I especially feel for those women who, like me, are carrying a child that will grow up in another home, be raised by other parents, yet are their own flesh and blood – those women who don’t choose pregnancy, as we did, yet choose life. Those, to me, are much more self-less actions than choosing to carry someone else’s child for a mere nine months and then returning to life, somewhat, as usual. I can understand why some apply the title to us, but I do not feel deserving.
Overall, I appreciate the overwhelmingly positive reaction to this next step of our lives. We are so honored to be a part of this and we are so grateful for the prayers offered up for all of us. Our friends and family are such a treasure to us.