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Is It Hard to Give Up A Surrogate Baby?

May 7, 2008
I've been a surrogate mother twice, having delivered twins as well as a singleton boy to very wonderful and deserving intended parents. I am very open about my surrogacies, and encounter all kinds of different questions from family and strangers alike.

The most common question I get is this. Is it hard to give up the baby?

Though most people cannot understand it, the answer is a definite "no". For me, and most gestational surrogates like me, it is not hard to give up a surrogate baby.

There are several reasons why this is the case. First, I do not consider myself "giving up" a baby. I am "giving back" the child that the parents have entrusted into my care.

As a gestational surrogate mother, the child I am carrying is not biologically related to me. I know this. At the beginning of the pregnancy, the child, in embryo form, is implanted into me to care for.

I did not create this child. It is not mine. I simply care for him, provide a loving environment for him to grow in, and give him back to his parents when he is ready to go home. No "giving up" at all.

This is not a case of adoption, where I need to make a difficult emotional decision regarding my own child. There is no decision to be made.

To me, I view my time as a surrogate mother as sort of an extended babysitting project. Have you ever watched a niece or nephew for a week? You love your sister's children, but by the end of that week, you are glad to send them back to their mama.

That's sort of what surrogacy is like. You do love the baby in your own way, and want what is best for him, but by the time he is born, you are more than happy to give him back to his parents.

This is why it is very important that before considering surrogacy, a woman is done having children of her own. For me, our family is complete. I cannot imagine bringing home a new baby into our lives at this point in time.

Most surrogates do not get attached to the baby and want to keep him. Instead, they get attached to the parents of the baby, and the intimate friendship that develops with them.

A lot of emotion is shared between the family of the surrogate and the parents of the child. A lot of trials, triumphs, and situations that usually occur only with one's spouse.

That kind of intimate bond dissipates greatly after the birth of the child. A surrogate usually misses this bond with the family more than the child she carried.

As for me, the three babies I helped bring into the world will forever have a place in my heart. I will send them birthday cards every year, and may visit them or have them visit me occasionally, but there is no part of me that wants them for my own.

Quite the contrary. I consider the gift I gave their parents to be one of the most significant things I have ever done with my life, outside of the birth of my own children.
About the Author
Rayven Perkins is an author and two-time surrogate mother. To find out how to become a gestational surrogate mother, or more information on gestational surrogacy, please see her site What is a Gestational Surrogate Mother?
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