surrogacy

But it is surrogacy in which language has most successfully divorced women from their children and acknowledgment of their labour. Couples can ‘buy the services of a woman’s womb’ or use a woman as a ‘suitcase really, an incubator’. It is reproductive technology which has encouraged the development of surrogacy because it has represented woman as womb and capsule space. It has made the social context more conducive to using women as incubators (as in surrogate embryo transfer) or as breeding machines (as in surrogacy). Twomey writes of a reproductive technology and surrogate agency in the United States: ‘Harriet Blankfield’s company has five babies on the assembly line and a further twelve women on insemination standby’. And finally, the word surrogacy is a misnomer. The woman is in fact the birth mother. She is called a surrogate, or in one case an ‘illegitimate mother’ so that she can easily be torn from her child. So mothers lose their fragile status as such while technodocs become ‘fathers’.
—  Dr. Robyn Rowland, Crumbling Motherhood: Reproductive technology creating women’s procreative alienation (1987) [PDF]

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‘Hold Up and Freeze’

Collage collaboration: started by Annalynn Hammond and finished by Pascal Verzijl

So-called surrogacy provides a perfect example of the mind-body distinction which is a creation of  patriarchal philosophical discourse. It is not only a child who is “bought” - whether with money, gifts, or through emotional and psychological gratification. It is not only a uterus that is “bought” as a receptacle to house the pregnancy until the commissioned child is born. The woman’s bloodstream, her oxygen system, her nutrient system, her whole physical self becomes part of the transaction.

A woman may be persuaded, just as women who “sell” other parts of their bodies are persuaded, that her mind remains her own: she defines her mind as the centre of her autonomy, which is not for sale - or exploitation.

If she succeeds at distancing herself (her mind), thusly, from herself (her body), she engages in a centrally destructive feat: mind and body cannot be separated, are not separable. I am my body. I am myself. Myself is my body. In the very process of attempting to evade the inevitable: that one’s self is being “used” by others for their own ends, the woman divides herself from herself, her mind from her body. Thus the autonomous self is dictated to by the exigencies of the moment. The autonomous self is occupied by others.

If she does not succeed in dichotomising herself in this way, the woman recognises herself as occupied territory: the commissioning parents have first call (whether by legal contract or moral understanding) not only upon the developing child, but upon the woman herself.

—  Whose Surrogacy? Surrogacy, Ethics and the Law by Jocelynne A. Scutt.
Rant about Stupid People Hating On Elton for the Surrogacy.

I was on a new website. And there were people talking about how Elton should have adopted and how cruel it is for him to have used a surrogate to make a family when there are thousands of orphaned children in the world.

And I’m like, “You have got to be fucking kidding me.”

Have you seen this kid?

External image

His name is Levon.

And he is the child that Elton and David tried to adopt.

But they were denied.

Because they are gay.

And do you know what Elton did?

He made sure that Levon is taken care of, even though he wasn’t allowed to have him as a son.

He tried to adopt. And he was denied. And that is went they went through the surrogacy route.

So I don’t want to hear your shit.

Because you probably didn’t want him to adopt either.

So SHUT THE FUCK UP.

/rant.

FAQs of Surrogacy

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about surrogacy:

1) Q: What is a Gestational Surrogate?

    A: A gestational surrogate is a woman who agrees to carry a pregnancy for another person or couple, called the intended parent(s) in which the surrogate is implanted with an embryo created from either sperm and/or egg from the intended couple or a donor. The baby has no genetic relationship to the carrier, who is only responsible for gestating the baby until birth.

2) Q: Why would someone choose surrogacy over adoption?      

    A: Adoption is a great choice for some people. However, surrogacy has a number of practical and medical advantages. When egg and/or sperm from the intended parents are used, there can be an actual genetic relationship to the child. In gestational surrogacy, embryos are created outside the womb through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Also, unlike in most adoptions, intended parents closely monitor the health and progress of the pregnancy and birth. The gestational surrogate’s obligations and compensation are governed by contract, which provides a distinct measure of security to all who are involved. In contrast with adoption, the gestational surrogate in a surrogacy has no parental rights once the baby is born. 

3) Q: How are surrogacies arranged?      

    A: As a surrogate, I had the option to go with a surrogacy agency or go at it independently. Of course I chose to go indie. :) I went with a surrogacy matching network, The American Surrogacy Center inc.,  which allows IP’s (intended parents) and GS’s (gestation surrogate’s) to find each other and avoid the costly fees that come with using an agency. I figure, the less people involved, the better. Already, a number of professionals work with the intended parents and surrogate to create a successful outcome, so why include more? physicians manage pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and postpartum. Lawyers go over (and sometimes create) the contract between IP’s and GS. Counseling is provided throughout the process if needed. Medical specialists are required for obtaining the eggs and sperm, implanting the embryo(s) in the GS, monitoring the health of the pregnancy and delivering the baby. Even though we didn’t use a surrogacy agency to find each other, we are using a service that creates and arranges our treatment program for us. They handle all the ins and outs of the IVF process and make sure we don’t have to worry about any of it! They correspond with all of the doctors for us, create a treatment plan and a medication protocol for both the egg donor and the surrogate (me), help us with travel arrangements, etc. So far, I am thoroughly impressed and would recommend this company to anyone that is in need of assistance during this process.

4) Q: Why would a woman choose to be a carrier? 

     A: If you asked 100 surrogates what made them want to do this, I’m sure most of the answers would be the same; They loved their previous pregnancies and enjoyed giving birth. Also, most of these women are “done” having their own children (although not always), and they have a strong desire to help others. I realize surrogacy isn’t for everyone, but I am 100% at peace with  my decision and so stinkin’ excited to do this for my IP’s!

5) Q: How many embryos will be transferred?

    A: Generally, two or three embryos will be transferred, but we have decided to only transfer one embryo. I’m happy about this. Not sure how I would do with a multiples pregnancy and birth. So, if the first attempt doesn’t result in a pregnant me, than we will try again. But, fingers and toes and ovaries crossed… I’m going to return from the Czech Republic a pregnant woman!  

6) Q: What kind of medication will you have to take?

    A: I have started a monophasic birth control pill (yaz) that I take once a day for a little less than a month. This is used to regulate my cycle and to make sure that I have my period on time and exactly when *they* want me to have it. I will stop taking this on the 19th of Jan.

On the 14th of January, I will administer Lupron intro muscularly (into my rump) as a one time dose. This is used to deplete my body of all female hormones so we can “start from scratch” with synthetic hormones. They do this so they can closely monitor hormone levels in my body and create the perfect environment needed for the embryo to attach to my uterine lining and stay there. As of last month, my endometrial stripe was very thin, so they’re trying to beef that up with Estrogen. The thicker the better! Lupron will most likely make me feel like a menopausal woman… just FYI. *Seriously* looking forward to that.

The Estrace (estrogen) will start on the 24th. It is a pill taken orally once (or twice depending on the time of the process) a day. Pretty simple. THIS WILL MAKE ME FEEL NORMAL AGAIN! So from the 14th to the 24th I will be a crazy bitch from the Luron, but on the 24th I will feel some what normal again. Yay!

Once I get pregnant I will have to start taking progesterone in (sesame seed) oil. This will be given intro muscularly, just like the Lupron. But unlike the Lupron, this will be given daily for the first 6-8 weeks of pregnancy.

7) Q: Why are you going to the Czech Republic to get the IVF procedure done?

    A: The IP’s I’m working with chose the clinic in The Czech Republic because IVF fertility treatments cost many thousands of dollars more in the U.S. than in the Czech Republic. It is well reported in the news that the increasingly high cost of medical treatment is forcing Americans to consider going abroad for treatment, such as In vitro fertilization. My IVF Alternative (the IVF agency we are using) enables us to have the IVF treatment, and have a mini-vacation, for less money than an IVF treatment in the U.S. The clinic is very professional and has a great team of doctors on their staff. They also have an unbelievably high success rate for transfers!

8) Q: Will anyone be going with you?

    A: Yes! The IF (intended father) will be going as well as my 17 year old niece. I will have a great support system, not only here in the U.S., but also there with me. I know I am in good hands.

9) Q: Is the IVF procedure painful and will you have to be on bed rest after?

    A: IVF typically causes little to no pain. It feels much like a pap smear and is a quick procedure. The transfer process involves a speculum which is inserted into the vagina to expose the cervix. The embryo is suspended in fluid and gently placed through a catheter into the womb. This process is often guided by ultrasound. I won’t have to be on bed rest but will be asked to not lift anything over 25 lbs and to generally take it easy for a few days.

10) Q: Where will you give birth?

      A: The IP’s have allowed me to chose my doctor and place of birth… yipeeeee!!! I am so thankful that they trust me with this decision. It means the world to me! As of now, the plan is to give birth at Andaluz Waterbirth Center with one of their midwives. They also are allowing (and paying for) me to have a birth doula attend the birth. Ahhhhhhhh, huge sigh of relief. I know they (the IP’s) are “on my team” and want the best for me. It’s all too often that I hear stories of IP’s that want to micromanage the pregnancy and birth, not allowing the surrogate to make any decisions for herself, which (in my opinion) has got to be so hard. It is a very intimate thing to give birth and even though it’s not your child, it IS your body. It is important to have a sense of control over the pregnancy and birth, and thank God, I do!

I sure hope this has helped answer some of your questions/concerns. I really don’t mind answering questions, so please email me with any that you have, just try to do it before the 14th when I start my Lupron, otherwise you might get a less than nice response. ;)


With love,

LADY STORK.