Terri, 31, college student studying accounting, two-time egg donor, one-time surrogate, Northern California
Truthfully, I first became intrigued with surrogacy because I am a huge Days of Our Lives fan and followed actress Deidre Hall’s surrogacy journey. I knew I could bring someone that happiness.
I’ve never had trouble getting pregnant. My husband and I had our son, then two miscarriages, and then our daughter. After she was born, I was set on helping other people create a family. I offered to be my sister’s surrogate, because she had a back injury and surgeries, but she eventually was able to carry her own child.
It still amazes me how difficult it is for some women to get pregnant. I’ve always taken my own fertility for granted, and being a surrogate and egg donor has been very humbling. I try to teach my kids to give what they have if someone else needs it, and that’s what I’m able to do.
So far, each donor and surrogate experience has been different. The first time I was an egg donor, the intended parents knew who I was, but I knew them only online and they used a pseudonym. The second time I donated, both sides were anonymous. I don’t prefer one way or the other. It’s such an intimate thing, and when a woman is told that her own eggs won’t conceive, that’s a big blow. Whether or not she knows who I am or I know who she is just doesn’t matter to me; I just want her to get what she wants.
With the egg donations, I do know in the back of my head that they are biologically mine. But are they really mine? No. And with my surrogacy I felt the same way—the twins that were born are not my children. I would have liked a better relationship with the intended parents, but they chose after the delivery to cut ties. The only thing I ever got was a photo that said, “Per our contractual agreement.” On the one hand, I delivered their twins, and everybody was happy. On the other hand, I felt like I gave them what they couldn’t have, and I thought the mother would be a little more appreciative. But that’s her life and her family, and that’s a woman dealing with the fact that she couldn’t have her own children, so I understand.
There is an ethical thing that I have about donations. I don’t want to call it a “moral” thing, but an ethical limit. One of the things I require of my intended parents is the date and general geographic region the children were born, and the gender. I don’t need a name, but if my son brought a girl home born in January of 2005, I’d be curious.
Come back to read a surrogacy/egg donation story from Barbara!
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If you would like more information about surrogacy or are interested in becoming a surrogate mother, please contact Surrogates Across America.