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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Surrogacy FAQ

Why/How did you decide to be a surrogate?
Justin and I are done having babies (our kids are CRAZY) and 3 is more than we can handle…seriously…crazy.  I looked into doing egg donation and decided that I couldn’t do it.  Then a good Christian friend of ours started the surrogacy thing and so I looked into it and Justin and I decided that it would be an amazing opportunity.  We could bless a family that has gone through some horrible issues.  We could use this blessing to be an example of Christ to this couple and show them the love of Jesus in a very unique way.  And the compensation would be a good boost for our family to get us out of where we are now (it super sucks).

How do Justin and the kids feel about it?
Justin helped me make the decision and he was involved in picking the couple as well.  I’m not a horrible pregnant person (although very tired and lazy, but let’s be honest…that’s not too much different) and my labors and recoveries have been pretty quick.  The kids are excited.  They understand that this baby belongs to another mommy and daddy that can’t have their own babies.  They understand that I am taking care of the babies for the next few months to help them grow and then we are giving the baby back to their real mommy and daddy.  EX: It’s like when we babysit Sophie.  She stays with us for a little bit, but then we have to give her back to Mrs. Kim and Mr. Matt.

How exactly do you get pregnant (translated who’s baby is it really??)?
The Intended Mother had her eggs extracted and the Intended Father gave his “sample”.   Then that “sample” was introduced to those eggs and some of those eggs became fertilized.  All the fertilized eggs (in my opinion babies) were frozen for future use.  Once the IP (intended parents) found me and we met and we all agreed we wanted to work with each other 2 of those babies were unfrozen and carefully implanted in my uterus.  In the most recent surrogacy the IP only have 1 embryo so only 1 will be transfered.

Who are the parents?
First Parents: Because of my contract I am unable to provide you with the details (for their privacy obviously).  I can tell you that they are a married heterosexual couple that has tried to have their own babies.  They have lost several babies because of a medical condition of somebody involved.  They are a Chinese couple and are actually not here currently.  They are not Christian but desperately wanted a Christian surrogate and because they have chosen me they have begun praying “to my God” for me and the baby (babies) which I think is a great step in the right direction.

Second Parents: They are a married heterosexual couple that has 2 kids of their own.  There were problems with the last pregnancy so they cannot have any more of their own.  They are a Chinese family and do not live in the US.  They are not Christian but desire a very large family.

Third Parents: They are a married heterosexual couple with no kids of their own.  They have tried to conceive and been unsuccessful (they think it is due to stress/health).  They are a Chinese family and do not live in the US, but travel here frequently.  They are not Christian but have such an amazing passion to grow their family.

How can you give the babies up after carrying them and giving birth to them?
I have no doubt in my mind it will be emotional.  I have no doubt in my mind it will be rough.  But I do know these babies are not mine.  They are biologically 100% my IP’s babies.  All I do for them is give them the vitamins they need to grow and the womb to do the growing.  I remind myself of this reality daily.  And although I am excited as I hear news about the pregnancy it is different.  I’m excited for my IP.  Everything in me wants to scream and dance and tell the IP the good news.  THEIR dream is coming true.  THEIR babies are growing.  THEIR family is expanding.  And that is a joy that is very unique and so much different than the joy of carrying my own babies.  It is that joy that drives me to do this again (and now again).

How much are you getting paid?
How rude?! :) But really it’s not all about the money so that is really not that relevant.  I can tell you it’s enough and fair compensation to cover all the time, food, traveling, medications, etc that will be needed over the next few months.  I can also tell you that since it is "not about the money" the money primarily goes towards 2 things - Tithe/Donations and Saving for a Home

Wait, you are doing this for somebody you don’t even know?
Yes.  I am working with an agency.  The agency asks lots of questions to the surrogates and the IPs. 

First Parents: In my case my IP saw my answers and decided we probably weren’t a good fit.  Then they saw a picture of Jordan and her smile won them over.  They asked to meet me.  Justin and I got to see the answer to the IPs questions and decided if we wanted to meet them.  And I did (Justin couldn’t make it).  We talked and asked each other more questions to try and decided if we would work together.  We both agreed it was a good match (after a month or so of thinking, praying, asking friends, reading information, etc).  At any point until the day the babies are implanted either of us could back out of this agreement at any time for any reason whatsoever.  So although I don’t “know” them I have met them, talked to them, and asked them important questions.

Second Parents: I got their information a few days after telling the agency I was clear to do it again.  I met them late one night before they left back to their home country.  Justin couldn't be there because of how late the meeting was and we needed to get the kids in bed.  I told Justin everything we talked about.  I asked some "tough" questions and they were ok with what I wanted.  In the end we decided they were a good fit.

Third Parents: We met them at the agency office and Justin and I just loved them!  They were fun, sincere, and eager to have a baby of their own.  We both left the meeting feeling excited about the potential to work with them.  They seem to "fit" well with us and they met all of our crazy requirements for what family we wanted to work with.  Because of the complications during the last surrogacy we were a lot more restrictive this time.  We are lucky to have a family that meets the criteria AND we get along great with.

If your couple is from China what happens if you have twins? They can only have 1 baby in China, right?
I have made very clear reduction is not an option (removing 1 or more baby to reduce the number of babies in the womb).  This couple is also very opposed to reduction.  From what I understand since the babies are US citizens they do not count against the 1 child policy.

What does the Bible say about surrogacy? 
Well, that is hard to say because there is not a direct reference to surrogacy. There are stories that could be interpreted as surrogacy, but it is probably a stretch AND in those cases they aren’t really the same type of surrogacy this is. You can easily google it and find articles that are pro surrogacy and articles that are against it (make sure you are looking at reputable sources!). Since Justin and I have spent the time to talk through this with people (people we know and trust) and pray about it and landed that it is morally sound. There are decisions that can be made along the way that could make this sinful! Justin and I must ensure we are making all the right choices and basing all of our decisions off of biblical truths, laws, and principles. If at any point we learn are given sound biblical proof that this is not morally sound we would immediately stop (note: if I’m already pregnant I will have the baby then not do it again).  If you want to discuss any of this further or have a problem with what I’m saying let’s talk separately. 

You're doing this again?!
Because we have found this to be morally sound.  Because this is an amazing opportunity to minister in a very unique way to a family who does not know HIM (Christ).  Because the experience was incredible the first time.  Then, WHY NOT?  If all the same is true after this we’ll probably do it again.  I’m not using it, so why not use it to help others?
If you have any more questions you’d like answered please let me know!  I hope this answers some questions you may have already had as well.

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