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An Interview With a Surrogate

An Interview With a SurrogateWhat is it like to spend nine-plus months carrying someone else’s baby? How can you not get attached to the baby growing inside you? How can you talk yourself through morning sickness, swollen ankles and back pain when you don’t get the ultimate payoff of holding your own precious baby when all is said and done?

I was very fortunate to speak to Alison Adams, an amazing woman who speaks very openly and honestly about her experiences as a surrogate.

1. What made you decide to be a surrogate?

Helping others has always been a deep seeded interest of mine. When I was in my later teen years, I became aware of egg donation.  When I met my boyfriend (now husband), I told him of my desires pretty early on. He thought the idea of it was great, being I waited until after we were done having our own children (I agreed).

2. How do you choose the family?

With my first surrogacy, I met the couple I chose through an agency. With my second surrogacy, I met the couple through Facebook, of all places!

3. What is it like to carry someone else’s baby?

I do the same things – watch what I eat, take my prenatal vitamins, go to my appointments as necessary, rub my belly, talk to the baby, etc. But of course, there’s no preparing for a baby, so that was a bit odd the first time around. It just seemed so strange to be so very pregnant, and not be setting up a nursery or installing a car seat. But how I felt towards my surrogate son was very different – I loved him and cared for him, yes. But I did not love him as I love my own children.

4. Who handles the financial obligation associated with the surrogate pregnancy?

In most all surrogacy journeys, the IPs (intended parents) cover the finances. This could/should include attorneys (for both the surrogate and parents!), insurance copays, etc.

5. Are you financially compensated for being a surrogate?

Most first time surrogates in the US receive around 20k for a first time surrogacy. Some surrogates receive a higher compensation for a second time journey, and some, like myself, opt to receive the same compensation that they received the first time. If you figure it out, it calculates out to under $3 per hour. But as is true for most surrogates, compensation isn’t close to one of the top reasons we choose to do this. It is a nice bonus, though.

6. Do you keep in contact with the family after the baby is born?

Yes, this is actually a requirement of mine. I ask that the family opt to keep up with me and keep me updated on them (not just the baby).

7. How important is the emotional support of your family while you are a surrogate?

Very important. My husband is my rock. He not only has to submit himself to STD testing and sign the contract, he is there with me as I go through the cycling, the pregnancy and the postpartum time. It is not easy on him, but he chooses to support me and hold me up through the hard times. I think I fell in love with him even more after the birth of my surrogate son, just knowing how awesome he was during the pregnancy – a pregnancy that wasn’t even for us, if that makes sense.

Read more about Alison’s surrogacy journeys in her blog.

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