How does someone decide to become a surrogate? The path to surrogacy is different for everyone who embarks on this journey. Some may have a close loved one who they have watched struggle with infertility. Some may have known someone who completed their own surrogacy journey. Some may just be curious and start researching on their own.
I’m Meriel, one of the Journey Coordinators at Collective Surrogacy, and I’ve been fortunate to help complete two beautiful families through three surrogacy journeys. Here is my story about how I came to the world of surrogacy and ultimately decided I wanted to help a family complete their dream of becoming parents.
The start of my surrogate journey was when we were stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, and I was having a conversation with a friend. She said she was considering becoming a surrogate and asked what my thoughts were. I did not really know the first thing about surrogacy, so I took a minute to think. I reflected on my own pregnancies and the joy that becoming a parent brought to me. I said I thought it was an interesting idea, and, of course, I would support her if it was something she decided to pursue.
The seed had been planted.
Over the next few weeks, I could not stop thinking about surrogacy. I talked to my friend some more. We talked about how much we loved being pregnant. We talked about what it would be like to give the gift of parenthood. I inquired about the research she had done and began looking into what a surrogacy journey would look like. This idea became pervasive, and a dream began to take hold. I knew it was time to talk to my husband. The conversation went a little something like this:
M: “Hey, so I’ve been thinking a lot about surrogacy. What are your thoughts on it?”
H: “What about it?”
M: “What if I became a surrogate and carried someone else’s baby?”
H: “So it wouldn’t be your egg? You’d just be the oven?”
M: “That would be the plan.”
H: “You’re amazing at being pregnant. If it’s something you want to do, I’m behind you all the way.”
With my husband’s support, I could see a clear pathway to making my dream a reality. I decided to put in an application with a surrogacy agency and see where this dream would take me.
When I decided to share this dream with the people closest to me, I started with my family. Their reactions varied but it usually started with me stating that I was pursuing becoming a surrogate and them stating, “I’m sorry, you’re doing what?!?”
The words were uttered with a mix of genuine curiosity and a little concern. They wanted to know what my motivations were and if I was putting myself at risk. Once I explained how I came to the idea and showed that I was working with a reputable agency and taking every precaution, I was usually met with support.
There were a deluge of questions including:
Q: “Why do you want to be pregnant again?”
A: “I loved being pregnant. I never felt sick and honestly felt the healthiest I have ever felt while pregnant.”
Q: “Won’t you feel connected to the baby and find it hard to give it up?”
A: “I’m sure I will care about the baby, but it is not my baby. Plus, I am done having my own children, our family is complete. If I can help another family feel the same, I think that will be an incredibly powerful feeling.”
Q: “What if it doesn’t work?”
A: “It might not, but I feel like I am a great candidate to give it a shot. Can you ever be 100% sure anything will work out?”
Q: “What if your kids don’t understand?”
A: “I will be very open with my children. We shouldn’t underestimate these little humans and their capacity to handle complex things, especially something rooted in love.”
I have to say, my closest family and friends were supportive, and many became rocks throughout what would turn out to be my six years being involved in surrogacy. Some people in my life still questioned my decision but, in my heart, I knew there was something greater calling me to surrogacy. It mattered more to me who did support me, rather than who didn’t.
So, there you have it, my story of what led me to this wonderful, challenging, and beautiful process.
When you are ready to begin your surrogacy story, we are here to answer your questions!