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By Sara

After seven years of trying to have a baby on our own, my husband and I decided to use a surrogate. Today, she is a dear friend.

When I first met our surrogate (and her husband), it was as if we had known each other for years. They were open and friendly and within five minutes of meeting, we were laughing. It felt so comfortable, and we were in sync on so many issues concerning the surrogacy.

We spoke on the phone every day, sometimes for hours. She would call me with any kind of “baby news” and I attended all of the doctors’ appointments. She really brought me into the pregnancy. Our relationship grew to be so much more than just surrogate and intended parent.

One reason our relationship worked so well was because I let go and trusted her. When my husband and I first found out she was pregnant, she wanted to throw us a party. At the same time she was spotting, which an be normal. I was a nervous wreck, worried something was going to happen (seven miscarriages will do that). She assured me she was fine and would sit the whole time. I knew she would never do anything to jeopardize the pregnancy.

Today, we have two beautiful boys, and my relationship with our surrogate has not changed. We don’t talk every day, but we try to at least once a month. And when we do, it’s just like old times (we talk for hours). We also get together when we can.

This is one of the best experiences of my life. My husband and I got the family we longed for, along with new, lifelong friends.

By Robin von Halle

 

I wasn’t sure I was hearing the prospective client right, so I repeated what I thought I’d heard back to her: “You want us to find a surrogate to have your child, not because you can’t have one yourself, but because you’re too busy with your job to undertake a pregnancy yourself?”

 

Indeed, I was hearing her right and was no less astounded at the words coming out of my mouth as I was when they came from hers. This woman wanted a child created from a no muss, no fuss pregnancy. That meant someone else doing all the heavy lifting (and carrying).

 

It’s not the first such request we’ve gotten. We also recently turned down another woman who was looking at surrogacy as a happy alternative to losing her figure. And we recently read in People of former dance-pop star Taylor Dayne’s single parenthood through surrogacy (“Some women love being pregnant, but I didn’t need that.”).

 

When we turn such people down, they inevitably fail to appreciate our philosophy, which we underscore in our code of ethics. It isn’t the money issue, but that our donors and surrogates are a valuable – and valued – commodity. Our agency partners with them to help those who have no other viable options. Not to facilitate vanity pregnancies.

By Shaqeia

“What is my grandmother going to think?” That’s what went through my mind when I first decided to donate my eggs through ARR.

I was right – when she first found out, she was not happy with my decision.

She was stuck on the fact that I was going to have a child “out there” and “what would people think?” I had to sit her down and explain what egg donation was and why I was doing it. Once she learned more about it, she quickly changed her tune.

Egg donation is not something the African American community talks about. It seems to have this negative vibe, especially with the older generation. The problem is that most African Americans are just not educated enough on the topic. It’s not about having a child out there somewhere. It’s about helping people who otherwise cannot do so create a family. It’s about helping our community.

So if you’re thinking about donating your eggs, don’t just educate yourself. Educate those around you. Knowledge is power.

Submitted by Anonymous

Deciding to become an egg donor is a difficult choice. It isn’t for everyone. For awhile, I didn’t think it was right for me. At first, I had several concerns. What if I helped bring a child into the world and the parents neglected him or her? I was afraid I would be indirectly responsible for something I had no control over.

Mary Ellen at ARR helped calm my fears during my initial meeting. I’ll never forget what she said to me – that the children created through egg donation are very desired. The intended parents who come to ARR want to be parents more than anything.

And suddenly, it hit me that a woman or couple going through all of that trouble, time, expense, emotion and pain, were sacrificing so much in order to have a child. Of course they were going to be the best parents they could be. Their lives were essentially revolving around this process.

After that meeting, I was committed to beginning the process – meeting with the lawyer, psychologist, etc. I also asked to call a former donor and talk to her about her experiences. I felt really good about what I was about to do.

I had a really interesting meeting with a psychologist. He asked me some tough questions that I hadn’t thought to ask myself, such as, “If you have your own children some day, would you tell them?” And, “What if the laws change, and a child that was produced from your egg sought to meet you – would you want to meet them?” That was a really positive experience.

It also was easy to meet with the lawyers, where we discussed some of the “what ifs.” The lawyers help donors come to an agreement that protects them. We discussed every imaginable scenario, things I never would have thought of on my own. I think it is so important that the legal system is involved with egg donation.

I have donated with ARR twice and am finishing medical school in Chicago, before leaving for New York to complete my residency.

By Robin von Halle

Sorry, but I am tired of Alexis Stewart (yes, Martha’s daughter) and her wearying quest to have a baby. Anyone who has fought this battle – and we deal with many of you every day – has got to be a bit tired of her attitude. As recounted by People and bemoaned with Oprah, she considers it a “chore” to undergo the daily regimen of shots and treatments designed to reinvigorate her “crusty” eggs – at the princely sum of $28,000 a month (thanks Mom!). She also declines to go through in-vitro solutions (which would allow her to use donated eggs that haven’t acquired that same crust), wanting a child of her blood. Think about it: For the amount she’s spent in what’s so far been a fruitless effort, dozens of women less fortunate and without her financial resources could have established families.

Visit our Web site at www.arr1.com.

About Us

Conception Connections is a blog about alternative paths to family creation. It is maintained by Alternative Reproductive Resources. Contributors include intended parents, egg donors and gestational surrogates in addition to ARR staff. Our goal is to facilitate conversations about trends, issues, current events, technology and personal stories surrounding infertility, egg donation and gestational surrogacy. If you'd like to contribute, please e-mail shodge@hodgemediastrategies.com. We also welcome your comments and suggestions. Note: Comments are moderated and posted on approval.

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