Surrogacy Story: Chapter 5, Discovering the Path

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.

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Taiwanese VP has Three Children via Surrogacy

Taiwan surrogacy

Taiwan considers legalizing surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy may soon be legalized in Taiwan now that one of the country’s most prominent families — namely that of Vice President Lien Chan — has publicly revealed that three new children were added through surrogate mothers.

According to the China Post, Lien’s daughter, Hui-hsin, employed two surrogate mothers in the United States. Surrogacy is still illegal in Taiwan, although the practice is now coming under review. Other countries allow surrogacy, including the United States, India, Thailand and the Ukraine.

The Taiwan Department of Health is looking to implement as soon as possible a consensus reached in September this year that infertile couples should be given the legal right to have children by surrogacy.

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Norwegian Princess Goes to India for Surrogacy Visit

Norwegian princess in Surrogacy visit

Norway’s Crown Princess Mette-Marit

Norway officially discourages its citizens from performing surrogacy procedures overseas, but that “official” policy didn’t stop a member of the Norwegian palace (and his husband) from having twins in India.  Nor did it dissuade Norway’s Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

Last month, the Princess traveled to India in order to care for infant twins when the palace employee was unable to get a travel visa.  On Monday, the palace confirmed that the princess’s trip, which was made in total secrecy.

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Indian Fertility Clinics to Come Under Government Scrutiny

In India, a new government panel has been created to rein in unscrupulous fertility clinics  that exploit women for the purposes of surrogacy.  The new panel will create guidelines to bring IVF centers under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act.

The 10-member committee will study all issues related to the surrogacy practice in India, and will have some oversight over all Indian fertility clinics that help conduct surrogacy.

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24-Year Old Stock Clerk Wants to be a Single Dad

Teen Father via SurrogacyIt’s early Saturday morning.  The sun is just coming up in Barcelona.  On the street there are still some sorry stragglers making their way home from the bars.  I can hear an occasional drunken shout, and maybe a breaking beer bottle.

My oldest boy (Noah) is up and fussing, so I am up also.  Noah was also up at 1:00 am and 4:00 am.  At four months he is supposed to be sleeping five or six hours — someone should explain that to him.

Noah woke up his brother (Owen), who is now rolling in and out of sleep.  Owen ate at 4:30 — and so I’m hoping if I keep Noah quiet, Owen will give me another hour of peace.  But the post-natal fates are rarely so generous.

I’m reading about Kyle Casson in the Daily Mail.  Kyle is a 24-year old supermarket worker who wants to be a single father because he believes he may never find love.

That is a story worth writing about…

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Chinese Crackdown on Illegal Ovum Donation Mills

The Shenzhen health inspection bureau in China raided two “fertility agencies” in late October.  The two underground clinics were located in Shenzhen province, and provided illegal egg donation and in-vitro services. The news is reported in the China Daily online addition.

One of the make-shift clinics, called Shenzhen Ande Yiyangtang, was in an abandoned nursing home in Longhua district. The officers also found drugs to promote ovulation as well as massive case-history materials.

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Surrogacy Story: Chapter 4, The Hard Way

Surrogacy-BabyOur friends (call them Robert and Daniel) had returned from California with two beautiful boys… and a horror story.

The couple had paid a small fortune for the surrogacy procedure.  Initially they spent $150,000 for the surrogacy.  But the children had been born prematurely and required time in the NICU.

That’s a harrowing experience to see your infant in an incubator, baked under sunlamps, drinking saline through a tube, and having air forced into his shriveled lungs.  I went through this with Owen, and it was heart wrenching.

There are no baby cries in the NICU, because none have the capacity to make noise.  How can a room filled with new life be so similar to a tomb?  The only noises are the electronic pings of the heart and lung monitors, and an occasional high-pitched alarm when one of the machines detects a stalled heartbeat or faltering breathing.  At that point you prey again for the silence. Read the rest of this entry »

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The World’s Most Prolific Surrogate: 13 Babies for 9 Couples

Most Prolific SurrogateUnbelievably, Carole loves being pregnant.

That’s why she’s carried 15 babies, including 13 as a surrogate for childless couples worldwide.

Carole Horlock is the world’s most prolific surrogate mother.  She has volunteered her service for childless couples in Australia since 1995, when she read about surrogacy in a local newspaper.  She never accepts compensation, beyond her out-of-pocket expenses.  Her remarkable story of charity and sacrifice is detailed on the online news site

“I’ve never had any regrets,” she says.  “The parents are all lovely people who have been through so much heartache, and I know I’ve given people who can’t conceive the most precious gift of all.”

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Surrogate or ‘Just Friends’?

A woman in Houston is claiming parental rights over the twin boys she gave birth two on behalf of a friend, using in-vitro fertilization and a donor egg.  The woman, Cindy Close, claims that she was promised by the genetic father, Marvin McMurrey, to raise the father together as “partners”, but that after the children were born, the man and his boyfriend claimed custody of the twins.

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Chinese Surrogacy Dreams: Starting a Family in the Land of Traditions

Chinese Surrogacy“Every morning when I am washing myself, my son holds on to my legs while calling me Dad. And I feel that a beautiful day has just begun…” — ‘Qin’ Chinese Father via Surrogacy

The Global Times reports on the story of a Beijing man (called Qin, although that’s not his real name) who realized his dreams of family life in 2011.  The fascinating story describes their path to surrogacy, issues nationalizing their new son, and the social stigmas attached to same-sex parents.

Surrogacy is actually forbidden in China, but it is becoming increasingly popular among gay couples, as well as heterosexual couples frustrated by infertility.

Chinese society is very family-centric, and having a family is a central component of many long-term relationships.   According to Qin, “children are the third leg of a family and vital to maintaining a relationship.”

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