|What is the
most important criterion to decide on a surrogate mom?
She already must have children of her own.
1. Medically speaking, you want to know that her system works
2. She must know what it's like to give birth because otherwise she can never judge what it may be like to give up the life she carried inside her for nine months. After years of infertility, you mustn't live in fear that she will get so attached that she won't want to give up the baby.
3. If God forbid, something were to go wrong and doctors would have to remove her uterus, she would not be able to get pregnant with her own children.
How can you trust a complete stranger to get pregnant with your children?
The most important thing is to establish that the woman in question knows what she is getting herself into.
Make sure she has a loving family of her own and a husband - or extended family who supports her decision. She will need their support both during the pregnancy and after she has given the baby to the intended parents. Even if she always knew that she would have to give up the baby, she will experience loss, both hormonally and emotionally
Make sure that the fee will go to something that will improve the life of her own family. Starting a business, paying for college for her own children..NOT gambling debts or a cruise.
Make sure she is not a complete stranger, Meet her, get a feel for her life, look in her eyes.
How did it feel to use donor eggs as well as a surrogate. Did you not feel completely detached?
No. I passed the pain of not having my biological children when we implanted embryos with my partner's sperm and donor eggs in my own body. In that moment they were mine. Perhaps with hindsight vision, we would have used a surrogate with my own eggs early on. However, the step of going with a surrogate was emotionally much easier than that of using donor eggs. It was the finances that kept us awake at night. Not the surrogate's fee, but the flights, the hotels, the hospital bills, the fear that a baby would be in an incubator for months, costing thousands of dollars.
What was your red line?
I only wanted to use a gestational surrogate. I was too afraid that if the surrogate would get pregnant with her own egg, she would change her mind as she felt the life growing within her and that we would have to deal with very nasty legal issues, instead of welcoming a baby in our life.
Are you still in touch with the surrogate mother?
Yes. She and her husband flew to be us at our wedding in Israel in June 2008. It was the first time that we met since we left them after the babies were born in 2006. It was also the first time that we met as friends, rather than "partners in crime". We hope that the relationship will continue for many years to come.