We are each often not granted our every wish in life, and most of those disappointments, while painful, are taken in stride by most people. However, the issue of being able to choose to have children is one that is so personal, so culturally powerful and so public that it takes on mythic proportions for many families.
The availability of surrogacy as a potential option to consider has become a very powerful arrow in the quiver of reproductive technology. And the impact is magnified when you consider the nature of the gift the surrogate is offering the intended parent(s) as well as the possibility of becoming a biological or legal parent for a person who has been denied that biological choice. For us in the Midwest, we are blessed with a plethora of altruistic women in Wisconsin and Minnesota who are committed to offering someone else the opportunity of having a family as healthy and robust as their own via gestational surrogacy. They are eager to form a partnership with a family that has been denied the chance to have a child without great risk to themselves, or who are in a same-sex relationship where they need the support of another gender to help them achieve their dream of parentage.
In my tenure facilitating matches of generous gestational carriers (GCs) and the intended parents (IPs) who are seeking a vessel to carry their precious embryos, I have been struck by the shared dedication to completing the biological imperative of raising children by both sets of ‘parents’. The desire to give back in a big way that all GCs express is matched by the desire and focused dedication to becoming a parent that the IPs demonstrate. In combination, these two commitments create such a powerful partnership that the shared goal is cherished that much more.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of considering surrogacy to complete your family, I believe you will find this journey an incredibly powerful one – not without risk, but with the potential to make your desire to share your life with a child that you choose to nurture through this process as fulfilling as any biologically automatic family. For gay or straight, singles or couples – there is someone out there who is waiting to help you achieve your dream of having a family.
-Jeanne Ferguson, MSSW, LISW