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Had a baby though surrogacy AMA
225

Namechange974 · 19/09/2022 11:28

Our daughter joined our family through surrogacy. That is, a surrogate mother carried her and gave birth to her. She is related to my husband but not to me and not to her surrogate mother.

It was a domestic surrogacy in Britain and the Parental Order was approved by the judge some years ago. Our daughter has always been well adjusted and happy. She was not a restless or unresponsive newborn in any way.

I cannot have children of my own due to a health condition. I do however have another child from before the onset of the condition. I won't explain the condition because it is outing. My consultant wrote a letter stating it had become too hazardous for my health to carry a baby.

We met our daughter's surrogate mother, now a good friend, through a website set up for people experiencing secondary fertility. There was a lot of traffic on it at that time but it seems to have been replaced by Facebook now. We didn't advertise for a surrogate (that's illegal) but we did connect with our friend over a shared interest in surrogacy. She was actively looking into it because she had always wanted to be a surrogate mother and had decided the time was right. Treatment was through an IVF clinic.

Our friend says the experience gave her great joy and fulfilment. Our friendship has never wavered over many years. Our daughter knows her and likes her but doesn't have a huge amount of interest in the surrogacy journey itself. No one expects her to.

Expenses wise, we compensated the surrogate mother for an amount that was agreed by the court and suggested by her. We also paid for life insurance as this is good practice.

It's hard to get across just how grateful we are. Every day. For all these years now. I am still humbled and amazed that someone could be so kind. My daughter is a joy to us and lives her life so happily. It's deeply humbling that someone would have gone through the hardship of pregnancy and labour so she could be with us. I'm still speechless with gratitude, really.

If anyone wants to know more about my perspective or experience please ask.

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Bananarama21 · 19/09/2022 11:37

Do you not feel guilty for renting a womb and effectively putting another woman in danger? Does it not affect your moral compass that its using woman as a commodity to be paid for services.

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EspressoPatronumm · 19/09/2022 11:38

How did you friend recover from just handing over a baby after birth? Did she express for you as well?

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Runningnewbie · 19/09/2022 11:40

Mumsnet doesn’t like surrogacy so be prepared 🙄

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NC12345665 · 19/09/2022 11:41

Heads up, this won't go well, op.

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PuppyMonkey · 19/09/2022 11:41

How much compensation?

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CrossStichQueen · 19/09/2022 11:43

Using the word compensation does not change the fact that you rented another womans body and bought her baby.
The fact that you paid for life insurance shows that you knew the mother could lose her life but were selfish enough not to care.

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xyzzyx · 19/09/2022 11:44

This is wonderful. Life is life. How old is your daughter and how did it come in conversation to her that she was born by surrogacy?

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Bananarama21 · 19/09/2022 11:45

Surrogacy is up there with harvesting organs your harvesting her womb to give you a child who could have had complications on her life.

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SurpriseSurprise · 19/09/2022 11:46

How did your family react when you told them

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Sparklingbrook · 19/09/2022 11:47

Runningnewbie · 19/09/2022 11:40

Mumsnet doesn’t like surrogacy so be prepared 🙄

My thoughts exactly.

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Cyw2018 · 19/09/2022 11:49

I'm shocked at your entitlement to use another women's body and endanger her life especially given that you already had a child.

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Hoppinggreen · 19/09/2022 11:50

Cyw2018 · 19/09/2022 11:49

I'm shocked at your entitlement to use another women's body and endanger her life especially given that you already had a child.

Exactly

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PinkyU · 19/09/2022 11:54

How lovely! I have a couple of questions.

How did your existing child process a new sibling suddenly appearing without the transitional period of pregnancy? I am assuming here that they were youngish.

Did your surrogate already have children, or experienced pregnancy?

Prior to having children id always thought that I’d like to be a surrogate, to be part of making a family I think is beautiful, however after having my little ones I’m not sure I’d manage mentally or emotionally. Was it discussed with your surrogate to offer counselling either before or after the pregnancy should they be struggling.

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Namechange974 · 19/09/2022 11:58

Our friend recovered well from the birth. She was not worried about that because she has had a large family with no issues.

Yes, we were nervous for her welfare. Her GP and gynecologist gave their consent beforehand but we were always aware that pregnancy carries risks. It is obvious that we discussed it and went ahead - everyone has their own right to a view on that. No, I don't think it made us selfish but I can understand that others might think it.

No, I disagree that surrogacy is tantamount to organ selling because I don't see the foetus as an organ but again, there will be a range of views and I respect that.

Our surrogate mother chose to go through one more surrogacy journey with a different family. The two experiences in her view were positive.

Our families were surprised and excited. Our daughter is really like me in personality and we often forget, as strange as it sounds, that there's no genetic link.

We've always just explained the situation to our daughter in whatever language she can understand. We look at photos, talk to our friend, meet the other little girl who was born as a result of our friend's other surrogacy journey, discuss any questions. There are elements of adoption that are helpful, like giving as much information as can be understood from as early as possible so there's no big reveal. But it's not like adoption really. We have friends who are adoptive parents and it's a whole other ball game - I don't want to pretend we're doing anything very difficult like that. It's not difficult.

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Meili04 · 19/09/2022 12:03

Do you not feel guilty putting a woman's health at risk just because you wanted a second child? Childbirth is a risk even now you can be left with nerve problems, bladder and bowel incontinence., Scar tissue. I could just about understand if someone was childless but secondary infertility is imo very selfish.

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ScrambledEggsOnToast2 · 19/09/2022 12:04

What sort of income did your surrogate have and what was your compensation for her endangering her life? Does she have children herself? I assume she's pretty well off anyway and had a family so she did just wanted to go through the ordeal of pregnancy and birth for a complete stranger because its a nice thing to do? If she didn't need the money though surely she'd have done this for free?

Do you know who your child's (biological) mother is, what about medical history and how your child might feel once she reaches an age where genetics really matter, eg starting her own family. I never thought that hard about my genetic background before children but when completing the hospital notes during pregnancy it makes you think, thankfully my parents and my husband's parents are who they say they are and are still together so it was very easy for us to ask these questions, I can't imagine wondering who half my genetic makeup has come from and whether their side has anything I should know about. Hopefully you know in great detail about this person and their family medical history.

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Bananarama21 · 19/09/2022 12:05

It's not the baby I'm on about your harvesting it's her womb which is an organ. Your renting it out effectively and harvesting it for the soul purpose of producing a child for you beyond selfish especially when you already had a child yourself!

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MissingNashville · 19/09/2022 12:05

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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Bananarama21 · 19/09/2022 12:07

You also effectively harvested her egg supply to produce a child for you aswell.

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Soontobe60 · 19/09/2022 12:08

You’re right, it’s not like adoption where a child has been born and for many reasons their mother cannot raise them. Surrogacy is a purely selfish act. “I want a baby so I’m going to pay someone to give me one”
I don’t believe any woman would carry a baby for someone else if they were not going to receive any payment, even if it’s dressed up as “expenses”.

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CatGrins · 19/09/2022 12:11

Why didn't you adopt?

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HotDogKetchup · 19/09/2022 12:12

I’m not against surrogacy - but really interested in it from an ethical POV. Not so much the surrogate (not that I don’t care but it’s not where my interest lies) but the baby. Same issues as in adoption as far as I can see. I haven’t formed a view but am interested in how the baby copes and adjusts being removed from their birth mother? As everything you read when you’re pregnant stresses the bond the baby already has from being carried by their birth mother and the “fourth trimester” where they want to feel as close to the womb as possible.

So is it possible to counteract that or is it inevitable that baby will suffer some form
of attachment issues (or issues from
the loss of that attachment). Is this something you considered?

I don’t doubt your love or commitment to your daughter in asking. Im just wondering if you can actually totally mitigate the affects of this break from the birth mother?

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Namechange974 · 19/09/2022 12:14

Our older child was four when our daughter arrived. It was easy to explain that my tummy was broken so our friend was helping and they had no problem processing it - they attended a 20 week scan and listened to the baby's heartbeat regularly. They also sorted out baby gros and picked the clothes the baby would wear to come home in. The friendship they have is really special. We've been really really lucky that their personalities are different but fit together so well. They laugh a lot together and have a secret language. This is all either of them have known so it seems quite normal. They know children with stepmothers, two fathers, step siblings, no parents at all - they see us as a normal variation like everyone else.

Our friend was warned that she might feel a range of emotions after birth. We were prepared for anything really. We didn't see it as our right to leave the hospital with the baby she'd carried. Legally and morally I felt it was her call. I can't know what she doesn't share, but at every stage she seemed genuinely thrilled that this thing she'd planned to do had come to pass. Her midwife asked if she was grieving (not in front of us) and she found it funny because that didn't come into it for her - she was looking forward to going home and being with her own children. That's not to say her experience is the same as everyone else's.

The expenses that she had came to between 15 and 20k. This was as a result of her job and matters personal to her. Cafcass investigate all surrogacies and expenses. There were no issues for us so evidently valid in their view.

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Cm078 · 19/09/2022 12:14

This may be a daft question but who's egg did she come from if she's not related to you or the surrogate mother? A donor?

I don't think it's selfish as the surrogate clearly really wanted to do it as she went on to do it again. My sister always said she'd carry a baby for me if i couldn't have children. I can though luckily. Not something I could do though. Brave thing to do.

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gamerchick · 19/09/2022 12:14

I dunno, some women love the whole pregnancy thing. I don't have many feelings about it either way tbh. But don't think its all one sided and the surrogate just wants to earn some coin in all cases. I'd imagine there are many emotions and reasons someone will give birth to a baby for someone else.

I'd quite like to see a Q&A from a surrogate tbh. It could be quite interesting.

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