Do I need a surrogate?


by Kelly
(Hamilton )
I have a weak cervix an I deliver my baby boy at 22 weeks on 03/10/08…So I decided to wait 6 months to try again and I got pregnant on 10/08 and on 12/12/08 the doctor told me My baby had a Neutral Birth defect.. so I had to terminate the pregnancy do you think I need a Surrogate mom or I might be able to carry my babies.

Reply by Rayven

To be quite honest with you, that is not something I am able to determine. You will need to speak with your doctor about this. If your doctor is not giving you the answers that you need, you may need to be referred to a specialist.

Best wishes!

How to Tell Your Child They Were Born By a Surrogate

If you watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills you probably know that one regular cast member, Adrienne Maloof, has decided that she has severed ties with the reality show and would not make an appearance once the 3rd season had concluded. Speculations circulated about why she had elected to leave the show and it has been revealed that surrogacy is at the root of that decision.

To be more specific, the fact that she partnered with a surrogate mother to bring her six year old twins, Christian and Colin, into the world. This fact was one that was not known to many outside of the family. In fact, the children had no clue of the circumstances surrounding their birth. However, on the show, another cast member, Brandi Glanville revealed that Maloof had indeed used a surrogate. Maloof is reportedly highly upset about this being revealed was destructive to her family.

Although the comments referring to the surrogacy were edited out, Maloof believed the damage was done and says that she wanted to be able to tell her sons about their origins when she felt the time was right.

This situation brings to mind two questions that I am hoping to discuss with you guys: when and how do you think parents should reveal to their children that they were born by surrogate?
Surrogacy continues to be a popular choice for those couples struggling to become pregnant. In these families, the reality of letting their children know will eventually come upon them. Especially if they already have children when they pursue surrogacy to expand their family. Experts such as social worker, Judith Kottick would recommend that you expose your children to the truth early, so that it is not a complete shock to them when they find out later.

There are even children’s books that were written expressly to help parents to do this. One such book, written by Irene Celcer, is called “Hope & Will Have a Baby: The Gift of Surrogacy”. This book is part of a series of children’s books that highlight the different reproductive options that are available to people. Other titles discuss egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation, and adoption. Each book follows a curious little boy (Hope and Will’s son) as he discovers the story of how he came into this world. Written in a way that is understandable by children, the books talk about how his met and fell in love. It discusses how they longed for a child but struggled to have one. It then discusses, in a straightforward yet gentle way just how they were finally able to do so. The series illustrates for children the fact that they are gifts and that they are loved and cherished. It does a great job of illustrating the fact that not every family is created the same way but that that is perfectly ok.

What do you think? What is a good time and way to let children know about their birth origins? If you have already gone through this process, how did you do it? Do you wish you had done something different?

Am I eligible to become a surrogate mother?


by Tiffany Ludeman
(Warren, MI)
I already have 2 little boys and I’m pregnant with my last child (a little girl). What is a safe waiting period before becoming a surrogate mother after pregnancy?

I also have had C-Sections with my children and will with the new baby… will that be a problem? Because as I understand it, it actually is less risk to the baby if I have a C-Section.

I also am not sure if having so many children of my own will pose a problem. I’m able to handle it, but I’m not sure if it will make a potential family worry since my children are all under the age of three & they keep me so busy.

This is all new to me. I’m not completely sure if this is something that I want to do, but there’s no sense in becoming attached to the idea if I won’t qualify anyways.

The other issue I’m having is that I love being a mother. It’s the most rewarding aspect of my life. My children are perfect in every way (to me, of course). I DO want to see other couples who are unable to have children of their own have an opportunity to feel the happiness and joy that comes with being a parent. Everyone should have that opportunity. However, the first and main reason I’m considering this is because my family could really use the money and I don’t mind being pregnant. I’m not heartless, but I cannot honestly say that the satisfaction of helping someone is the main reason I’m interested in this. I don’t want to have to lie about the process because I feel that it would ruin the journey, but are there people out there that would understand that? Or is everyone who becomes a surrogate supposed to be in it out of the goodness of their heart? I just don’t want to get into this and then feel like a phony or ruin someone else’s special time to bond with their child during pregnancy.

Reply by Rayven

Hi Tiffany,

There is no hard set rule about the distance between pregnancies. You simply wait until your OB/GYN clears you. Mine did at my 6 weeks checkup following the birth of my surrogate twins, so it’s pretty common to be able to go back-to-back with them.

C-sections are no problem, just know that you will need to have one with the surrogate babies as well.

As far as your own children, again, that’s not a problem. It is common for surrogates to have given birth to many children. I’ve given birth to 5 and am able to do so again. Others have 7, 8, even 10+. Not a concern.

As far as the money concern, if money wasn’t offered to women to become surrogate mothers, surrogates would be few and far between. Most surrogates feel what you are describing (though few would admit it, mainly because of society’s stigma on surrogacy).

The motivation of money is kinda like the 600 pound gorilla in the room. Everyone tries to ignore it…

When questioned about your motives for surrogacy, be honest. Yes, you desire to help a couple start their family, but you also see surrogacy as a way that that couple can help your family. You are able to give them a child. They are able to help you with a down-payment on your home (etc). Surrogacy is a way that two families can help one another in a significant and life-changing way.

How can a surrogate be left with medical bills?

by Megan
(Great Falls, MT )
How can a surrogate end up with the medical bills from the birth of the baby or the pregnancy? Aren’t the intended parents responsible for them? I mean, the contract states that they are legally responsible, so why would a surrogate mother need to pay them? Can’t she just show the contract to the bill collectors?

Reply by Rayven

There are few reasons a surrogate may end up with medical bills:

1. It may be a simply oversight on the part of the parents. Every doctor (OB/GYN, Anesthesiologist and Pediatrician) that comes in contact with the surrogate and the baby, plus the surrogate’s doctor and the hospital sends a separate bill. One or two might get lost in the shuffle and not paid on time. Alternately, they sometimes take a while to get to the surrogate. So sometimes is unintentional.

2. The hospital/doctor made a mistake. Because the baby’s name is sometimes changed after birth, a bill could be paid under the correct name, but still exist in the previous name (this happened to me). This can make it seem as though there are more bills than there really are.

3. The parents simply do not pay. I’m not sure what the mentality is behind this. Maybe they’re upset at the surrogate, maybe they don’t have the funds, maybe they’re just inconsiderate people, but sometimes the parents simply decide not to pay the bills. They have what they were after (the baby) and they are done with the situation.

Though you may have a contract in place, it does not matter in the eyes of the doctors, hospital, or bill collectors. They simply do not care. The bill is in YOUR name, YOU are listed as the responsible party, and they will come to YOU, legally to collect the funds.

They have the ability to ruin the credit and carry out a judgment against the surrogate, regardless of what her contract states. They can garnish wages against the surrogate, legally. A court will side with the doctors, not the surrogate.

That’s simply the way the legal process works.

The only option a surrogate has is to pay the bills and take her intended parents to court (if they didn’t pay them). Of course, this will require court costs and legal fees.

It is very important that a potential surrogate mother knows that this situation is possible. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: take your time during the matching phase. Get to know one another and form a bond of trust. That is the best way to avoid these types of situations.

How to do Surrogacy for Free

As we have touched base on before, surrogacy is an expensive option. Not everyone is able to afford it. However, there are women out there who believe in altruistic surrogacy and, so are willing to do it for free.
In the minds of many (especially those who don’t really know the ins and outs of the process) surrogacy should be done purely for the sake of helping others. They do not feel that it is right to charge upwards of $18,000 just to help someone become a parent.

However, there is so much more that goes into surrogacy that people who have not done it may not be able to understand. There s the physical, invasive nature of the impregnation process – often requiring numerous injections and treatments. There is the emotional invasiveness as you share a process with strangers that would usually only be shared with your significant other. Then there are all of the physical demands, discomforts, and limitations that come along with any pregnancy, in addition to any extras that are required by the surrogacy contract. For nine or more months, the surrogate mother’s body is not just her own. It is also that of the intended parents, in a sense. When it comes down to it, surrogate mothers deserve some type of compensation.

However, the cool thing is that it is possible to find surrogate mothers who are willing to forego the compensation. Granted, they are few and far between, and they are more than likely going to be amongst your circle of friends and family – however they are out there.

I have to take a minute to point out, though, that when I say “surrogacy for free” I am referring to the compensation fee. All of the other costs associated with a surrogacy would still apply (e.g. hospital and medical bills, surrogacy agency and attorney fees, etc.). You would probably also be responsible for the surrogate’s lost wages and travel expenses. When it comes down to it, the compensation is only a portion of the costs. However, if you are able to find someone who will waive the compensation fee, you will still be saving a significant amount of money.