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Surrogacy for dummies
32

wombatsandadoor · 17/10/2021 09:23

Title based purely on those books you get.

Can anyone help me. I’m basically considering surrogacy, not for 3 years or so but I want to get all the information beforehand, I like to be prepared. I’m undecided between pregnancy or surrogacy, I’m not sure I want to be pregnant and my mental health difficulties might force my hand, it depends on how I go over the next few years.

I would like to be an Intended parent. Whether or not I have a partner, I have a great family support system.

Can anyone give me the basics and overall view of surrogacy.

Thank you.

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pannikin · 17/10/2021 09:26

Do you feel comfortable with the idea of basically renting another woman's body so you can have a baby? I say this kindly, and as someone who is medicated for mental illness, but if your mental health issues are such that you wouldn't be able to cope with pregnancy, are you sure you'd be able to cope with being a parent?

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wombatsandadoor · 17/10/2021 15:34

@pannikin you haven’t answered my question at all. I’m only looking for information, I haven’t decided on anything.

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25yearsnhsworker · 17/10/2021 15:41

Have a look on surrogacy UK website

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wombatsandadoor · 17/10/2021 15:51

@25yearsnhsworker thank you

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turnedthewatersintoblood · 22/10/2021 03:53

If your heads not there, surrogacy won’t help. If you are ready, pregnancy and everything that goes with it helps prepare. It’s an important part of parenthood.

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TheDuchessOfBeddington · 22/10/2021 04:00

Well assuming you are in the UK, surrogacy has to be altruistic.

So what are the reasons for you not wanting to be pregnant?

Because those reasons will have to persuade another woman to take a big risk for you both physically and emotionally.

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ISpyCobraKai · 22/10/2021 04:50

Nothing should force your hand in this context.
In fact that's quite horrifying

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SinoohXaenaHide · 22/10/2021 04:50

How old are you op? And are you close to any families with children who you know well?

I ask because when I was in my 20s I saw no ethical issues with surrogacy at all and thought of it as a valid option towards parenthood. But parenthood and children were very theoretical concepts for me, there was no one in my immediate circle of acquaintances or my generation of family who had any kids at all' ezcept for one cousin who got pregnant as a teen but I hardly really knew her so no interaction.

A few decades on and with a lot more experience both from myself and second-hand from knowing what various friends and family members have been throigh, i have realised how sickeningly abusive and exploitative the vast majority of surrogacy arrangements are. I would make an exception for a truely altruistic and voluntary decision by a surrogate mother who has had at least one child of her own before and so knows what she is doing, and in which there is no financial motive whatsoever - so no bending of the compensation/expenses rules to make it an attractive financial decision for a vulnerable woman. There is no amount of money that is reasonable to pay a woman to risk her physical and mental wellbeing on your behalf in this way.

Pregnancy can be wonderful but can be dangerous and leave life-changing physical damage which most mothers risk willingly as part and parcel of creating their own child but it's a very different matter to pay someone to do it. Consider why is it that we don't think it ethical to be allowed to buy a kidney or other 'spare part' organ that most people have two of, from a poor person who might be willing to take the money and accept the limitations of living a less healthy life in exchange for relief from their immediate financial issues. It is generally accepted that this would be wrong and exploitative, and the same should be true of surrogacy.

The psychological and mental harms of surrogacy are a whole extra layer of complexity. There is no amount of money that is reasonable compensation for breaking a bond between a woman and the child who has spent 9 months growing in her womb, and there is no way whatsoever to predict, before a pregnancy is even conceived, whether a specific woman will start feeling that bond while still pregnant or when the baby is born. A woman who needs the money might like to think she could be dispassionate and not get emotionally connected but she can't predict that this is what will actually happen. If the bond exists then it exists and no amount of money, contractual obligation or emotional pressure is reasonable to influence a woman to undergo the psychological trauma of sundering that bond. A woman can be determined to go through with the arrangement, sign the forms and hand over the child and then months or years later the facade of emotional control she tried to exert on herself cracks and the regret and pain pours through. No one can predict whether that would happen in any specific instance.

The psychological harm to the child when they realise they were bought as a purchase is yet another layer.

The cognative dissonance that an intentional parent in a surrogacy arrangement has to subject herself to, to suppress her consciousness of the above harms in order to prioritise her yearning for a child, is also psychologically deeply harmful to her in a way that might not emerge until years later but will resonate through the whole family.

I wish you only the best OP and I am not trying to make you feel bad. I hope that you find a path through life, whether or not that ends up including parenthood, which brings you joy.

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Onyernelly · 22/10/2021 05:00

Women’s bodies are not for sale.

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wombatsandadoor · 22/10/2021 09:25

I’m 26. I am on medication for a mental health condition and I am unsure whether I can come off this medication. Ideally I would carry the baby myself but I’m unsure if that’s even going to be possible. And I’d love to have a child or two. I just don’t know if I can come off this medication in 3-5 years time and be stable. At the moment there is no way I could come off. I’m very well when I’m on medication and I take my meds religiously.

I’m really just exploring all options. So at least I have some education on all my options going forward.

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Tessa2014 · 22/10/2021 09:38

Are you sure you can’t take the medicine in pregnancy?

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wombatsandadoor · 22/10/2021 09:59

I’m not totally sure, I need to talk to my psychiatrist, but according to a study done it’s been linked to various things and defects in animals so probably not recommended in humans.

I think my psychosis is from depression so I’m hoping I can get my anti depressant up enough that it helps, so I can reduce the dose of my antipsychotic. If I was just on anti depressants, It’s unlikely I’d consider surrogacy. Im just concerned about the health of the baby.

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SinoohXaenaHide · 22/10/2021 18:28

Bless you this is a tough road to travel. But you are still quite young and who knows what different medications might even be available in 5 or so years' time - there might be licences for alternative options that control your condition well and don't affect a developing baby. Who knows?

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SweetBabyCheeses99 · 22/10/2021 19:22

Yes what @SinoohXaenaHide says! You can’t just rent another woman’s body because you can’t stop taking your anti-psychotic medicine. Recipe for disaster.

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sleepyhoglet · 22/10/2021 19:25

I don't think you would get many women volunteering to be a surrogate for you given the reasons behind it. Pregnancy is hard but parenting, particularly alone, is harder!

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Vampirelover · 22/10/2021 19:28

do you think you will find someone who will happily gestate and hand over a baby because your mental health will not allow you to get pregnant yourself? Surrogates aren't employees, you need to persuade one that you're someone they want to do this for.
Full disclosure; I hate surrogacy and I judge anyone who engages in it but be realistic.

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OhHolyJesus · 22/10/2021 21:44

As someone who has direct experience of depression, surely you wouldn't want to risk being the cause of someone else being depressed (and more accurately) grieving the loss of a child? (Miscarriage or having the baby removed at birth).

Post partum psychosis is rare but it could occur after any pregnancy, arranged through surrogacy or otherwise.

'Altruistic' surrogacy was explored in a BBC programme recently, the women who offer themselves up will have their own reasons for doing so, but their mental health isn't too much of a concern for agencies, they just need to be physically well as 'breeding stock'. One poor woman speaks about suicidal before surrogacy, (though admittedly she didn't go through an agency).

stopsurrogacynowuk.org/2021/05/31/surrogacy-in-the-media-a-review-of-bbc-threes-the-surrogates-long-read/

Some women who have had other women have babies for them have described feelings of jealously and if you struggle with feelings of not being in control it may cause yet another layer of stress which would not be good for your mental health.

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WishingWaiting · 25/10/2021 09:57

@wombatsandadoor Mumsnet isn't a good place to get a balanced view of surrogacy. I would recommend looking on Facebook as there are good groups on there which offer advice and support - Surrogacy UK is a good place to start (be careful, there are some less helpful groups out there too!).

Everyone else - be kind. The OP was only asking for information, not judgement. Those of us who have to consider surrogacy in order to become parents are very likely to be struggling with major issues, whether that's mental health in OP's case, or recurrent miscarriage in mine, so why not default to kindness rather than judgement? I understand that people have strong feelings about surrogacy, but dumping them on someone who just needs advice and a friendly ear doesn't feel like the right thing to do.

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OhHolyJesus · 25/10/2021 11:01

Everyone else - be kind

I agree, if only we could extend that kindness to women and newborns.

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OhHolyJesus · 25/10/2021 11:05

You won't find a balanced view on surrogacy from Surrogacy U.K OP, it's a surrogacy agency which obviously aims to increase surrogacy and benefit from it, they no longer even require a woman to have already been pregnant and has children in order to partake in surrogacy.

Imagine asking a woman to give up her first child. Such kindness knows no bounds.

I would suggest a good look into those who run it and what connections they have, as I would with any organisation that has charitable status and political relationships (as Surrogacy U.K. runs the secretariats for the APPG on surrogacy seeking to drastically reform the Surrogacy laws in the U.K.)

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WishingWaiting · 25/10/2021 12:01

@OhHolyJesus there are women who actively want to carry a child for someone who can't, as an act of immeasurable kindness and compassion. No one forces them. They know whether or not they feel able to carry a baby they will not raise, and it demeans and belittles them to suggest that they do not.

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tilder · 25/10/2021 12:45

[quote WishingWaiting]@wombatsandadoor Mumsnet isn't a good place to get a balanced view of surrogacy. I would recommend looking on Facebook as there are good groups on there which offer advice and support - Surrogacy UK is a good place to start (be careful, there are some less helpful groups out there too!).

Everyone else - be kind. The OP was only asking for information, not judgement. Those of us who have to consider surrogacy in order to become parents are very likely to be struggling with major issues, whether that's mental health in OP's case, or recurrent miscarriage in mine, so why not default to kindness rather than judgement? I understand that people have strong feelings about surrogacy, but dumping them on someone who just needs advice and a friendly ear doesn't feel like the right thing to do.[/quote]
To be honest, am not sure you will get a 'balanced view' about something as polarising as surrogacy. Although I suspect the 'be kind' approach would be affirmative which in itself is not a balanced view.

By all means OP, read other websites that are pro surrogacy. A balanced view is only likely, however, if you read perspectives from both sides and weigh them equally.

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Athomewiththehales89 · 25/10/2021 12:56

@SinoohXaenaHide such a thoughtful and considered response and this

There is no amount of money that is reasonable compensation for breaking a bond between a woman and the child who
has spent 9 months growing in her womb,

Made me cry! So very very true and cannot be understood until you have carried a baby

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gogohm · 25/10/2021 13:25

There's information on surrogacy U.K. assuming you are U.K. based which explains the legal issues. As to whether it's right for you - you are young, I would suggest working on your overall mental health and meeting the right person to raise a baby with because you are unlikely to have any offers of altruistic surrogacy in your current circumstances, trying to be kind and realistic, demand outstrips supply. A partner to support you plus working with your medical team will give you options

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MissyB1 · 25/10/2021 13:38

Sorry but if your mental health issues are as bad as that should you be planning on becoming a single parent? Let alone the huge issue of surrogacy. Let this idea go for now and concentrate on your health.

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