The Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy
 




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P.O. Box 611
Gurnee, IL 60031
Telephone:
(847)782-0224

Email: bzager@msn.com

  

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A Somewhat Different Path To Parenthood 

 


A few years ago we were told that due to my DES exposure pregnancy would not be an option for us. At the time it seemed as though the pain was insurmountable. At that moment all of our hopes and dreams were crushed. We had lived our lives and developed careers always thinking that if we worked hard enough we could accomplish what we wanted in this world... then, infertility entered our vocabulary.....

Initially I couldn't consider surrogacy as an option. The news of my infertility was too new and too painful. After a year and a half of unsuccessful attempts at private adoption we once again began looking at surrogacy. By this time we had thought about and dreamed of what our biological child would be like. We said goodbye to that child and mourned the loss. We were then able to move forward with surrogacy and view it as a way to become a family rather than pursue it as an infertility treatment. We felt that building a family through surrogacy could give us back some feeling of control over our destiny. Perhaps, more importantly, we felt that this option would allow us to develop a relationship with our child's birthmother and eventually have a well-rounded history to share with our child.

I believe that the time and energy that we spent saying goodbye to our biological child allowed us to later fully bond with our surrogate and view her pregnancy with joy and anticipation rather than jealousy or distance.

Our journey began. First we read everything we could find related to surrogacy. We then began researching state laws to determine which states would make the eventual step-parent adoption process easier. We visited several agencies and in March 1992 we decided to work with an agency in the mid-west. After our initial meeting with the agency we began reviewing applications from prospective surrogates. It was exciting to finally be doing something concrete toward building our family. Trying to decide who might be a "perfect match" for us was a somewhat overwhelming task. Once our selection was complete we exchanged a letter and photo with the surrogate. We then made an appointment to meet each other. My husband and I slept little the night before our meeting. Our minds were running a mile a minute. The next day we met the surrogate, her three year old daughter and the agency representative. Over breakfast ( I couldn't eat a thing) we began to get to know each other. The next day we met again and continued our conversation. We then proceeded to sign contracts. After many months of unsuccessful AI attempts it became clear that the surrogate had an infertility problem of her own. We regrouped emotionally and began to look at applications again. After several months we selected another surrogate. We again exchanged letters. Our meeting with the surrogate and her husband went so smoothly that we were all surprised to find that we had talked from breakfast straight through lunch! We all felt so comfortable that we signed contracts and made our first AI attempt that weekend.

We traveled home excited and relieved... we were finally on our way to becoming parents. Somehow this time the relationship with the surrogate felt "right". It was as though the previous months had merely been a warm up phase. We felt that there was a reason for it not working before- that this woman was meant to help us build our family-- and our baby was "out there" just waiting for the right circumstances to come together. Each month my husband and I flew to the mid-west and spent several days with the surrogate and her family. For us the time we spent in the mid-west became quite special because the relationship we had with the surrogate and her husband became that of being friends.

Four months later on December 9, 1993 our surrogate called and said, "congratulations mommy"... I'm afraid that the rest of the phone call is a bit of a blur... after eight years of wanting a family we could hardly believe it.

Over the months we exchanged phone calls and letters- sometimes several times a week. We had contact after each doctor's appointment and often in between. Her letters and pictures of herself as the pregnancy progressed really helped us feel connected and reinforced the idea that we were really going to have a baby. We flew the surrogate and her husband to the east coast to have the sonogram. Seeing ten tiny fingers and toes and watching the baby suck it's thumb in utero really made it real for us.

Initially time passed very slowly. Toward the end of the pregnancy we had all the usual expectant parent jitters. On August 15,1994 our son arrived safe and sound. My husband and I and the surrogate's husband were all there to welcome him into the world.

Parental relinquishment papers were signed the following evening. We flew home with our son when he was a day and a half old. Leaving the surrogate and her husband was very difficult for us as we now considered them to be part of our family.

We are now the parents of a very active little boy who loves to cuddle, collect rocks in his pockets and go non-stop from morning to night. We remain in close contact with our friends in the mid-west through phone calls, letters,photos and videos. When we are able to,we visit in person.

Words cannot possibly express the depth of feeling that we have for our surrogate and her husband. The four of us came together,with love, to bring our little boy into the world. That's not such a bad legacy for a child. I cannot think of a more precious gift.

My child? I may not have nestled him within me for nine months, but I loved him within my heart for much longer.



 

2007 OPTS - The Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy