We’ve all heard the old adage, “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child”. Anyone with a child, no matter how old, will tell you that it is absolutely true. What makes surrogacy unique is that it truly takes a village to even bring a child into existence. With traditional pregnancy, there are usually only 2 parties involved, maybe 3 if medical assistance was needed. With a surrogate pregnancy, there are teams of people involved to help make way for one tiny life to come into this world. It is no less miraculous a process than traditional pregnancy. In fact, with all the parts and cogs working together for one perfect goal, I think it is just as miraculous.
Let’s start with the parents. These two people, or person in the case of single parenting, have a dream. The dream to care for and nurture a child. To share their life’s history and future with. To pass on a legacy to. For whatever reason, their pathway to parenthood has led them to surrogacy. This tiny miracle about to take place begins and ends with these parents and their dream.
The fertility physician, nurses and fertility practice staff are the next team of people who make it all possible. These are the specialists, the artists if you will. The people with the gift of helping to create new life, with the assistance of medical science. What a wonderful job these people have! To wake every morning knowing they are assisting in the miracle of life.
The surrogacy agency is a key player in this “baby team”. The case manager helps to guide the process from start to finish. They’re a cheerleader, a confidant, an advocate. Along with the case manager is the support staff at the agency. They all help ensure a smooth process and they’re all there, every step of the way to hold a hand and lend an ear. Along with the surrogacy agency staff, I would add insurance specialists and escrow officers to this part of the team since they work hand in hand to make certain the financial aspect of the process is handled seamlessly. I can almost guarantee that these members of the surrogacy village will have photos of surrogate babies on their computer screen savers.
The attorneys and their staff are a crucial piece of the puzzle. These people help to make sure that there is no question that the child they have a hand in helping to create is legally recognized as belonging 100% to its parents. They are experts and know how best to navigate, the sometimes tricky, waters of the law. They know all the legal steps involved in protecting the parents, the surrogate and the baby.
Other possible “villagers” are an egg donor or sperm donor. These people may be unknown, but they are vitally important in the creation of this baby. Parents may have spent weeks pouring over profiles and photos to determine what qualities they want to see genetically passed on in their children. The use of donors is not always a necessary component of the process, but in cases where it is necessary, these people are crucial to the process.
And let’s not forget the surrogate! This is the woman who makes it all possible! This is the person who is so compassionate that she is compelled to carry new life inside of her on behalf of parents who cannot. This is the woman who is effectively placing her own life and dreams on hold for the better part of a year to be the vessel in which a miracle is created. This woman, her family and her friends are all affected by this process and hopefully touched by it too.
All of these people and teams are essential and all their hard work comes down to one perfect moment of a long-awaited tiny cry. Nothing can replace that moment when a mother holds her surrogate’s hand in a rush of hope and joy as she sees the doctor deliver her newborn baby. Nothing can compare to a new father holding his tiny cooing child as he whispers his dreams for that child’s future into a perfectly shaped ear. This miraculous gift of life is what it truly takes a village to create. I’ve often thought that surrogate babies are the most-loved babies in the world because when you think about the number of people involved in their lives before they even draw breath, it is hard to imagine otherwise.
When it comes down to it, the creation of new life- one perfect child- is an act of love whether between just two people, or with a surrogacy village.