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The Childless Parent

When someone confides in me that they are having trouble conceiving, my first response is a deep and heart-wrenching sigh. But I keep it internal. They don’t want my pity; it’s been tough enough already. They have trusted me with a secret, and a cross they’ve had to bear for some time now. They are looking for support and advice, not more wallowing in sorrow. Whether they are straight, gay, married, or single, the common bond is that they can’t have children of their own. In their heart, or hearts, they are already parents. So achieving that status on a physical level is the most important life goal to them. A parent doesn’t give up on a child, even if the child isn’t born yet.
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By the time they get up the courage to talk to me, most have been trying to become parents for quite a while. They have or are looking into IVF because conceiving a child naturally hasn’t worked. They have already talked to friends and family for viable options for egg donation or even surrogacy but for personal, emotional or medical reasons they have all been zero ‘d out. Stopping isn’t an option for them. It’s time for them to make a decision on what to do next. Now they’re starting to consider a surrogate agency as an option. They timidly approach me because they know I have some experience in this area and are looking for straightforward answers.
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I initially feel overwhelming guilt when I speak to these couples. I feel so guilty because it’s been so easy for me. I’m so sorry I can’t make it happen for every single one of them. I have these thoughts but I know better than to voice them aloud. I know they’ve already seen me, their family and other friends through envious eyes. They have already asked “Why?” over and over again. What they need now is a plan of action. “What’s next? How do I move forward?”  It’s not an “I’m sorry for your loss” kind of situation it’s a beacon of hope that is needed. They’re looking for that light at the end of the dark tunnel they have been traveling alone.

So what do I tell them? Well it’s different for each case. Some women are freezing their eggs. Some are going to keep trying and trying through IVF, and some are going back to the old fashioned way and trying not to “try”. For those who are done with these options, or can’t even attempt them I suggest surrogacy. I answer any and all questions for them as best I can and I refer them to Surrogate Alternatives for more in-depth answers. They are the professionals and can help give them the hope they need to continue. I personally went through this agency because I researched and found them the most compatible to my needs: friendly, knowledgeable and attentive. And that is what I tell my friends. I know it’s easier talking to a friend then to some agency they’ve never had contact with, but I can only tell them so much and I really do not want to get my facts wrong in such important matters.
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Having you’re own baby is not a want; it is a need. I want to say that I understand fully and comprehend their struggle, because I don’t. I do see where I can come help though. I haven’t felt all of their pain, but I’ve been there to help alleviate some of it. I want to thank the people who have trusted me with these stories and encourage all because it does and can happen for them. Never lose hope in that. I’ve seen first-hand the end result for some and am waiting patiently for others.
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Trusted Doctor Uses Forged Surrogacy Documents to Sell Babies In India

Have you heard about this? A gynecologist in India has been charged with human trafficking and forgery after selling a baby using fake surrogacy papers. He and his “clients” have been making the international headlines for the past couple of months and it looks as if this has been going on for some time now. Dr. Bharat Atit, along with three of his staff, were arrested and booked after it was discovered that a newborn baby had been illegally sold via the Doctor by a woman and her boyfriend. Now they are investigating previous claims and more cases are coming to light.

The woman involved, claimed rape towards her boyfriend when she was 5 months pregnant. It was discovered that she had done this because they were arguing over the price of the child and she is to use this claim to cut the boyfriend’s percentage. Once this was found out she dropped the charges, however, this opened the investigation to that of the Doctor.

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This newest scandal involving surrogacy in India raises the issue of legality when it comes to these delicate waters. India has had issues before dealing with the health and treatment of their surrogates during prenatal care and the backgrounds of the women that were being used.

India was a place that was considered to be “a great deal” to go to for people looking to start an “inexpensive” family which made it easy for some, to turn a blind eye to the murkiness involved. However, with these new legal issues piled on top of the old health ones, they may be losing their drawing power for even those with lesser morals.

First, it is used as a method of human trafficking.  Second, the surrogates are treated like cattle. Yes, it is cheaper, but at what cost? This is a child we are discussing.  A child carried by a person no less important or critical to the process than the intended parent. Having a child when you physical aren’t able to is tricky enough, without weighing on your conscience as well.  People are now coming to realize it’s not worth the gamble of saving money. This is a child we are talking about and ensuring that child has the best start in life starts at conception.

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Overall, India doesn’t seem to present a viable option for surrogacy now to those who were able to justify their means to an end before.

As I am doing research for this blog I have also just learned that India has now implemented new guidelines this year which no longer allow foreigners of same-sex couples, single individuals, unmarried couples or couples who have been married less than two years to commission a surrogate there. Also, if you did qualify to utilize their surrogacy programs, you would still be required to provide a letter from your countries government expressly giving you permission to bring your child home from India and that your country would agree to recognize this child as a product of a surrogacy pregnancy and birth.

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I think the chapter on surrogacy in India is closing, and very quickly. After everything, it is my opinion this is for the best.

Building that bond….how Intended Parents act with surrogates

Speaking with IP’s (Intended Parents) and surrogates alike–as well as taking from my own personal experiences–there are two types of relationships that IPs tend to cultivate with their surrogates: familial and business.

The familial is how it sounds. The IPs welcome the surrogate into their lives with open arms, believing that this woman is giving them the greatest gift of all. The hope is for a continued relationship with her after the child is born. Often, this is displayed as going out to dinner together, bringing her and her family gifts and showing other signs of their appreciation. After delivery, they tend to send pictures and email updates to their surrogate mother. Throughout the years they may even visit, forming a continuous bond made for life.

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In the second situation, the IPs believe they are reimbursing the surrogate for services rendered concluding with the birth of their child. The road to becoming parents has been so difficult for them that they do not wish to have anything possibly hinder them in their endeavor. The surrogate is a necessity, but not necessarily an extended part of their family or someone they wish to stay in contact with. Some may not even wish to tell their children how they were conceived, due to personal reasons.

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Both of these views are completely understandable and should be acceptable to anyone choosing to become a surrogate. However, both types of IP’s have been known to switch sides during or right after their journey. For most, the journey is uncharted territory and it is very difficult to know what your emotions will be like during each stage. Incredibly supportive IP’s have cut ties abruptly with surrogates once the baby is born and somewhat apprehensive ones have opened up and taken to their surrogate more than they expected.

What is really needed for the whole process to work is a calm understanding.  A surrogate needs to understand that the IPs have gone through more than they could imagine to get to this point; it’s only natural for them to be scared when they perceive that they are so close and yet still so far from their dreams. The IPs need to understand that the surrogate has chosen her role to help a family in need, knowing full well that the child is not hers.  She will go through many changes she’s experienced before, but this time there is a mix of altruism and the unknown that are present. Both sides need to be able to trust one another.

No company knows this better than Surrogate Alternatives.  Not only is this their trade, this is their passion. Filled with past and present surrogates and egg donors they understand the entire process from both sides. Their goal is to tailor each surrogacy to each person’s expectations. They know how to match IP’s with the right kind of surrogate so that trust and understanding can thrive.  No matter the family dynamic, they strive to give 100% of their time, effort and experience into each arrangement so that a healthy, happy baby (or two) may be born into a loving family. Every one of them fits a heart shape.

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