This situation is a hot mess. I am wondering what your thoughts are. See the following link first: HERE

Highlights from the article:

  • Surrogate mother Crystal Kelley, 29, refused to have abortion after abnormalities spotted on ultrasound
  • Parents offered her $10k to abort - she asked for $15k, which they refused
  • Baby's parents then demanded custody, with plan to put her in foster care
  • Crystal fled to Michigan where she was legally recognized as the mother
  • Baby now lives with adoptive parents but has serious medical problems
What a mess...I'm not going to comment on my thoughts about it yet...It's almost beyond belief that this could even happen.
Any ladies out there ever considered being a surrogate? Do you think surrogacy is a "Good" thing?
What are the emotional implications of being a surrogate?
Who do you think was "right" in this scenario?

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What an AMAZING story Nina!!!! You almost brought me to tears!!! Wow...You've inspired me.
Belle,

I think every potential surrogacy situation is unique and has to be taken on a case by case basis. As a midwife I would say these things;

1. Money should NOT be involved, it must be done solely from humanitarian reasons. Money corrupts, end of. The issue of "medical expenses" in countries where you have to pay vast sums to Drs and medical big business are all too often used as a way to pass payments.

2. Honesty - brutal, forthright honesty is needed from all players concerned because everyone needs to be absolutely clear where they stand, what their motives are.

3. Understand that this is a pregnancy, it is hormonally charged. Hormones have PROFOUND effects on us mentally so keep in mind German general von Hindenburg's words "No plan, no matter how well prepared, stands contact with the enemy". Feelings, opinions, entire characters will change during a pregnancy, bet on it !

4. Genes - we think these are fixed, they are not. I spend my professional life trying to re write genes to best effect. Every time I advise a mother on diet, on exercise, meditation, positive visualisation or singing during pregnancy what I am doing is manipulating genes. The parents providing the sperm and egg might think that the baby in the surrogates womb is all theirs but by the time it is born it is most definitely not ALL theirs. The surrogate will have written much to that infant's genes in everything she did and thought during the pregnancy, during the birth and in the first few hours after the birth. There is a continuing maternal hormonal exchange going on even after the cord is cut triggered by touch, sound, smell ( we are only just beginning to understand how profoundly important these exchanges are and how delicate they are). So, no matter how much the biological parents might feel that the surrogate is just the oven they need to be disabused of this notion and accept that the surrogate will have contributed to the infant and will almost certainly carry some degree of emotional investment, it will be the responsibility of all players to manage this sensitively and with humanity.

5. Termination - we do not have the craziness around termination you guys have in the states so I say this without all that baggage. Continuation of a pregnancy or not is a matter entirely for the mother carrying the pregnancy. If your surrogate finds the child will be born with problems and decides to terminate then you have to suck it up, she is carrying, it is ultimately her decision. Conversely if she continues and the biologicals want it terminated then too bad, the biologicals have to accept it and then take on their child. They started the process, they have to accept the risk in this regard.

As for Crystal Kelley and the potential parents frankly none of them come out of this well. They all made mistakes and all showed themselves to be ugly human beings and all unfit to be parents of any sort.

A midwife is privy to much as we also act as confidants to our ladies. I see many couples and families successfully help out when it comes to having children. Sometimes its a sister being a surrogate, sometimes a close friend. In many cases where the man is the infertile one I have seen friends or relatives "make arrangements" quietly and discreetly. It has been going on since mankind formed up into families. If my sister in law had needed a surrogate I would have helped her and in her turn she always made it clear that she would carry for Judith and I if needed (we do not intend to have any more kids, rest easy). These family and close friends solutions seem to stand most chance of working. I have not seen a money situation ever work.

I would urge people to consider adoption. Until I was 20 I could never see myself being a mother, then I started having contact with a real, functioning family and started to change. Then our best friend had a baby and needed help so we looked after her daughter. just before our fiend died we adopted her daughter and I started to grow into being a mother. Then we fostered a little deaf boy at social services begging and I felt my own genes change within an hour ! For all the problems he came to us with I fell in love for the second time in my life by that point. He threw a switch in me, I felt it go over with a stab in my womb and knew even as I struggled with that blonde haired, screaming, malnourished ball of of trouble that I would go on to have my own.

Anyway I have probably gone on enough and I had better go round up the kids and go check on both the expectant ones.

regards,
Nina.

Money should NOT be involved, it must be done solely from humanitarian reasons

I totally agree!!!

 Feelings, opinions, entire characters will change during a pregnancy, bet on it !

I totally agree!!! 

Continuation of a pregnancy or not is a matter entirely for the mother carrying the pregnancy.

I TOTALLY agree!!! LOL!!

As for Crystal Kelley and the potential parents frankly none of them come out of this well. They all made mistakes and all showed themselves to be ugly human beings and all unfit to be parents of any sort.

Yes....It's very sad and a shame...I agree!

 These family and close friends solutions seem to stand most chance of working. I have not seen a money situation ever work.

This is VERY inspirational to me and has me thinking...it's been so refreshing to get your perspective an experience on this.

I would urge people to consider adoption.

Absolutely...I was adopted myself and am a huge advocate of it.

I always enjoy your posts Nina, you and Judith are both such amazing women. I wish you the best and I will be thinking about the expectant mothers. I admire your work. One of my best friends is studying to be a midwife. It is a beautiful profession. I think it's more than a profession though. It's something you just "are." It's a gift.

I feel very obsessed when I get to know any surrogate mother giving the child to the intended parents. How come they never develop attachment with the child she kept in her womb for 9 months? I think she does. But, it is just a commitment that she made to herself, she knew already that one day she has to give away the child for money. I feel very bad for them.

Regards,

Surrogacy In India

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