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To Intended Parents: A Surrogate's Perspective on Gestational Surrogacy

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a blog by Pamela MacPhee, November 9, 2012

Oh gosh, I am tired of people telling me how I’m supposed to feel, and I want prospective Intended Parents to know the truth. So let’s just set the record straight here.

I would like to ask the judges, the attorneys, the self-righteous bloggers and commentators who seem to somehow know how surrogates feel, to please actually ask a surrogate how she feels carrying a baby for someone else, before you choose to make an uneducated judgment. Over the last couple of months I have read others comment on how emotionally fraught it is to ask a surrogate to give up the baby she is carrying.

So I want to set the record straight. It is not. It is a privilege.

As a surrogate myself and a mentor for surrogacy arrangements, I can tell you, up front and without qualification, that a surrogate understands she is not the mother of the child she carries and therefore does not feel a sense of loss or emotional devastation that so many people, who by the way have never been surrogates themselves, seem to want to tell us we are feeling. There is no genetic connection to the babies we carry inside and no mother-child bond either.

Is it so impossible for people to understand that we simply want to help someone else who is devastated by infertility to create a family? Is it because these pundits are men who have no idea what it is like even to carry a child or women who would never be willing to consider being a surrogate? We are willing and thrilled about delivering a baby into the arms of the Intended Parents. We are not giving a baby up, in fact, we can’t wait to give the baby BACK. We look forward to that moment with great anticipation and that is the core of why we choose to become surrogates.

There is an enormous sense of contribution and fulfillment that comes with such a wonderful and joyful journey: To be able to create a meaningful relationship with another couple and to share the intimate experience of pregnancy and childbirth, in a mutual quest to help them realize their most sacred wish of creating a family. The most difficult part of surrogacy, actually, is saying goodbye to the surrogacy relationship with the Intended Parents, with whom you have shared a long, intimate journey.

And let’s be clear. It is not easy to go through surrogacy. It’s hard. That is why it is essential that surrogacy agencies do their jobs and screen surrogates thoroughly to make sure they have the right motives and emotional strength to follow through with it. It requires a lot of patience, strength and understanding to forge through legal, psychological and medical evaluations, to endure months of hormone shots, morning sickness, and exhaustion, to share a pregnancy to deliver someone else’s dream. But it so totally and completely worth it. To see that look of joy and awe on the faces of the parents the moment their baby is handed to them.

So if those judges, bloggers, and other wayward pundits don’t get it, fine. They don’t have to do it. But don’t tell me or the thousands of surrogates who have happily carried and delivered babies to devastated infertile parents, that we are suffering by doing what we find most fulfilling. And please don’t try to take away that right and opportunity from us and the hopeful parents.

I don’t need anybody to tell me how I’m feeling.

Eleven years ago I delivered a beautiful baby girl into the arms of her parents and it was the most fulfilling moment of my life. I have never, ever regretted making the decision to be a surrogate, and in reflection more than a decade later I can say it has had nothing but a hugely positive impact on my life to bring such joy to another human being.

Just ask me.

Comments (5)

I have been pregnant literally for the past 3 years. Two still births and 2 late missed miscarriages at 16 weeks. We have decided to move forward with surrogacy and are just waiting to be matched. This post has calmed me in a way I did not know possible. I have been told so many horror stories and I must admit I have let my anxieties get the best of me over the past few weeks. Thank you so much for your post!

I love this post! If all goes well, I am planning on being a gestational carrier for a friend soon. I have told very few people but everyone I have told is worried I will be too attached to give the baby to their Intended Parents. I love the line about giving the baby BACK. I am a mom of three beautiful babies and had infertility issues as well. I am simply helping another couple struggling with infertility. I will have to keep this post in my back pocket for future use!

"We are not giving a baby up, in fact, we can’t wait to give the baby BACK" many times has this been said by us surrogates..hundreds, if not thousands of times? One day I hope that people will understand. Until then I will continue to educate and inform. Great post Pamela!

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