A Lifelong Bond: Christine Rush, 28
When Christine Rush was still in high school, she went to visit a friend in the hospital, who had just given birth to a baby. Only, this baby wasn’t hers — she had been a gestational surrogate for a Japanese family. “I just found the whole thing so cool. She had just given birth to someone else’s kid!” Christine recalls. “It really stuck with me and I thought it would be something I would really love to do one day.”
By the time she was 22, Christine was already married with two little boys of her own. She started thinking about surrogacy again and how the financial gain — which, in the US, is often anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 — would allow her to put herself through school, keep working, and take care of her children. At first, her then-husband, Devin, was concerned about the emotional toll it might take on her to carry someone else’s baby and then have to give that child away. After a lot of discussion though, she managed to convince him that she could handle this, and that it would ultimately be a good thing for their family.
So Christine called the agency that her friend had worked with and said, “Get me matched!” The agency specialized in providing surrogates for families from Japan, where surrogacy had been banned (although recently, the country has been considering conditional approval). After a psych screening, a health screening with a fertility doctor, and lots of paperwork, she was matched with a Japanese family that already had two other children, born via gestational surrogate. She went through two embryo transfers using the couple’s eggs and sperm — the first didn’t take, but the second did and she got pregnant about a year after starting the process.
The couple came to the US several times during the pregnancy, but because of the language barrier and the distance, Christine says they didn’t form much of a relationship. In September 2008, Christine delivered a healthy baby boy, and the parents gave him the middle name, Christopher, after their surrogate. “It was so shocking that they were naming their child after me because it was such an easy thing for me to be pregnant. It was just like, ‘Here I am; I’m pregnant!’ I didn’t have to stress over having my own child to prepare for,” she says.
Come back tomorrow to read about Christine’s second surrogacy experience…
If you would like more information about becoming a surrogate mother or about surrogacy in general, please contact Surrogates Across America.