‘Women are not microwaves’ – A surrogate mother and a midwife speak of the havoc that surrogacy causes

These testimonies were sent in through our Share your surrogacy or eggsploitation story page. This provides a space for women to share their experiences anonymously and in their own words.

Anonymous surrogate mother

I was an altruistic surrogate a few years ago and was abandoned by the intended parents (IPs). We were really close before and I allowed them to get close to my children. My UK surrogacy agency instilled in me that I had to be close friends with the IPs to reduce the risk of the arrangement breaking down. I regret this now, I only hope my children aren’t feeling too much of a loss from being used by the IPs.

Anonymous midwife

During my 13-year career as a midwife I witnessed many negative consequences of surrogacy for women.

The first time I encountered a surrogate mother was when I was caring for her when she was unwell in the high dependency unit. She had been commissioned by two gay men to carry a baby for them. It was her egg. There was a vast age gap between the two men and one of them died during the pregnancy. The younger one no longer wanted the baby. This young mother was then left to bring up the baby by herself. She was vulnerable, poor, and had previously been a victim of domestic abuse.

I have also been involved in the care of a young woman who was carrying a baby for a heterosexual couple who divorced. It was their egg and sperm. They no longer wanted the child. She was bullied into a termination at 22 weeks gestation.

Another horrifying story was of a mother of three children in her 30s who discovered she had a terminal condition and had to terminate the pregnancy at 20 weeks. She later died leaving three children. The surrogacy did not cause the condition but it hastened her death.

There are many other stories of trauma which I cannot share due to them being identifiable.

In my experience it is only poor and vulnerable women who choose to become surrogates. Wealthy, educated women never choose to become surrogates. If it’s only poor women, how can it truly be a choice? It is exploitation.

In the UK we are not meant to have commercial surrogacy but it is evident that we do. Women are given vast sums of money as “expenses”. When they are using their own eggs, it can only be described as human trafficking.

I have also cared for women after “successful” surrogacies. These women feel immense loss and sadness after giving birth and handing over the child. Even if it’s not their genetics the mother-foetal dyad is still powerful. Women are not microwaves. We tell pregnant women to bond with their babies in utero and to talk to them to help brain development. The babies bond with the mother as they grow. Then they are ripped away at birth. Some never see them again after the first day. It is barbaric.

Share your story

We believe that there are many women who are suffering in silence after having an unhappy, damaging or traumatic experience of ‘donating’ their eggs or being a ‘surrogate’ mother for the benefit of others. If this has happened to you and you’d like to share your story anonymously, please see our Share your surrogacy or eggsploitation story page.

Further reading

3 thoughts on “‘Women are not microwaves’ – A surrogate mother and a midwife speak of the havoc that surrogacy causes

  1. Surrogacy is a crime against motherhood, against women, and against the children involved. Historic adoption practices also tore infants from the arms of young unmarried mothers, with no thought of the consequences for mother or child.
    When will motherhood and infants be protected from commodification?

  2. When I was younger I viewed surrogacy as a great gift for parents who couldn’t conceive. Now I see it for what it is, the baby has no choice in the whole arrangement, the callousness of those paying who treat it for the most as a transaction, like buying a Chanel Bag. “it is only poor and vulnerable women who choose to become surrogates” So many turn to surrogacy for the vainest of reasons, particularly those in the public eye who see pregnancy as an inconvenience, they want to keep their bodies svelte, to sacrifice nothing. They will never put these children before their own needs. It is a tragedy there are so many children in care.

  3. A friend of mine had a baby via surrogacy, in which the surrogate mother used her own egg. The child (now 11 years old) is one of five surrogate children borne by the same surrogate mother. She was a young woman still in her 20’s. All of the children belong to older wealthy parents, and all of them stand to become wealthy heirs in their later lives. She (the surrogate) retains contact with them all, and certainly in the case of my friend she will ask regularly for financial help. My concern here, aside from the apparent exploitation of this woman (who is herself now in a domestic violence situation), is the fact of the children being targeted for financial exploitation in their future lives. It appears to me that having these children know that she is the biological mother in seeming constant need of funding, is tantamount to her treating them as her future pension fund.

Leave a Reply