Surrogacy, as defined by the New Webster’s Dictionary, is someone acting in place of another, as a deputy; or a substitute. This definition holds true on many levels when speaking of a surrogate mother, someone who carries a child for a couple who for whatever reasons, are unable. Is it fashionable to be a surrogate mother today? Not really. For reasons unclear to me, some people have a tough time separating the truth from the non-truth, or fiction as I call it. No, not all women do it for the money. No, it’s not only low income women who answer the call. And yes, there is a special call to becoming such a person. As the mother of two wonderful children, I had no initial doubt when I first thought of the prospect of helping another couple. I only thought of the happiness my children bring to me and my husband, and thought how wonderful it would be to bring that amount of happiness to someone I hadn’t even met yet.

The first time I brought the subject up to my husband, he of course had no idea what it entailed, and set his size 11 foot to the ground in a solid stance of manhood. He wasn’t having any of it. A few months – and many research hours – later, I approached him with the subject again, this time to a much quieter grunt than before. I think all the papers in hand were the lifesaver on that one. He still had some doubts, so after explaining that I was in no way going to be genetically linked to any child I carry for said couple, he finally gave his nod of approval and we were on our way! Any surrogate – or agency who represents a surrogate -will tell you that familial support is vital in this endeavor. If you don’t have the backing of the people you love, it may become a very long, and lonely, journey.

Many people, most of whom are completely uneducated on the topic, do jump to the conclusion that we do it for the money. Well, I’m here to tell you that it is so not true. Yes, the extra income is nice, but chances are if you’re in it solely for the money, any reputable agency (if you go through one) won’t touch you. Desperation is not a nice color on anyone, and agencies see through it quickly. Between having background checks, credit checks, doctor records, hospital records, meetings with psychologists, specialists and many others, the professionals are able to weed out the bad seeds fairly quickly. There is a lot of time involved with surrogacy, and that’s not always time that some women have. After becoming accepted by the agency, there are the telephone interviews with potential parents. Some interviews pass by smoothly, complete with brilliant smiles and tears of joy. Some sadly, are not so pretty. I have only had the happy kind so far, but have heard some horror stories of the ones that weren’t so satiny smooth. It’s up to the couples involved to make the final decision on whether they move forward or not, and if you don’t feel that connection, then the moment may not be right. Making the decision to move forward with a couple is the first step to changing not only the life of the family she’s helping, but it’s also a changing moment for the surrogate, herself.

Before passing judgment on something that you may not know much about, please do the research on the subject. You may be surprised to find that it’s not quite as controversial as you had originally thought. Who knows, maybe you’ll even smile at the next pregnant belly you see, and wonder silently who she may be making happy.