Surrogacy Story: Chapter 5, Discovering the Path

on December 4, 2012

Surrrogacy BabyIt’s 7:00 am in Barcelona, and one of my sons, Owen, is awake and teething.  His brother, Noah, is still in a fragile sleep upstairs.  I’m praying that Owen’s cries do not fully awaken his brother, and that I can avoid spending the morning with two screaming babies.

After all, this short hour is normally the only time I have to call my own, and to recount our experiences over the past year….

I remember after we heard our friends’ horror story about their surrogacy process in California, I felt a renewed interest in starting our new family.  Adoption was no longer on the table – I had given up on that option.  But Surrogacy seemed like a mine field of legal and medical problems. So I did what any would-be parent does when faced with uncertainty… I looked it up online.

To be fair, California was not the only option in the United States.  We had other friends with positive surrogacy experiences in New York, who had their children in surrogacy clinics in New Jersey or Connecticut.

New York prohibits surrogacy contracts, but it’s a short drive over the border to neighboring states where the practice is either officially permitted or at least unregulated. New Jersey law permits uncompensated gestational surrogacy contracts. In Massachusetts several cases have upheld surrogacy contracts. There is no provision on surrogacy in Connecticut state law, but it appears to be permitted.

But these friends were American, and they didn’t face the same immigration issues that my children would contend with.

Online I quickly found options – all of which seemed complex and un-stylish.  Surrogacy was prohibited throughout all of Europe – sometimes draconically.  France and Germany strictly forbade the procedure under any circumstances (although I read of some possible future liberalization of French surrogacy).  The UK allowed surrogacy only if the surrogate was uncompensated, a volunteer – likewise in Canada.

The Web was filled with ads for agencies.  Almost all of them targeted at American (sometimes British) families.  The overall impression I received was that surrogacy was a real option – which I had never considered before.  The sheer volume of ads and news online about the topic gave me the sense that the practice was not only available, but had become commonplace without my noticing.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m in my 40’s now – and I remember the first “test tube baby” being conceived in the late 70s’.  I remember because of a joke on Saturday Night Live, because the baby was conceived in a clinic in Norfolk…  get it: “No Fok”?

Anyway, that was the last I heard of the process. So in my mind it had remained the topic of crass jokes from the 70’s.  Now it was the 21st century, and here I was, wanting to make a baby without a viable womb – and while my back was turned the process had been perfected and added to the local menu of outpatient procedures at the typical Connecticut OBGYN ward.

Connecticut is where you go to buy station wagons – not test tube babies.  But the world changes.  My world view needed to change also.

It was around this time that a colleague at my office – a young and pretty girl who I call Sarah, heard me talking about wanting a baby and offered to make one for me.

To be continued….


2 responses to “Surrogacy Story: Chapter 5, Discovering the Path

  1. […] had heard of our interest in having children.  And she offered her […]

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