Being a surrogate
Carrying another couple’s baby has legal, practical and emotional implications. Could you do it?
When conceiving becomes more of a mission than a pleasure, there are many options like adoption or IVF (in vitro fertilization); while others choose the option of surrogacy. But do you really know what you getting yourself into by choosing a surrogate mother? Or how about what it’s like for that “other” woman, carrying your baby?
I kept wondering how a woman, who is carrying another couple’s baby, feels. How does she tell the lady in the supermarket who admires her baby bump, that she’s just the carrier not the caregiver?
Personally, even though I may not be a mom yet, I couldn’t imagine carrying a bundle of joy for nine months, only having to give it up the minute he/she is born. Speaking to Jenny Currie, founder of baby2mom Egg Donation Agency, I realize that it’s really not as easy as one imagines despite what people may say, but the rewards are.
But as Jenny puts it: ‘When you think pregnancy and having children, it is a dream and something that only happen to others; so the chance to create your own reality of having children is a miracle and provides an opportunity for hope for others.’
Saying that surrogacy is a mere contract between the carrier and the parents’ is rather aloof. Instead it could be seen as a gift bestowed onto a couple from someone who is willing to offer a childless couple the ultimate gift of love. Surrogate mothers choose to help out couples for various reasons but the most common reason is that they’ve seen a family or friend go through the hardship of trying to conceive.
Choosing to be a surrogate mother or choosing a surrogate mother isn’t as easy as buying something online. There are lots of things to consider. The cost for instance of the process of surrogacy should be covered by the parents to be. And contributions cost every month can range from around R1000 per month for a hospital plan only to R3500 for an executive plan.
The surrogate mother may never keep the child. The updated Children's Act that became effective from 1 April 2010 requires commissioning parents to obtain a high court approval of the surrogacy contract which gives the parental rights and responsibilities to them thus ensuring that the surrogate mothers cannot keep the baby.
It may be costly but the result is worth it.
Do you have any stories of surrogacy you’d like to share? Could you ever be a surrogate?
Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.