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Surrogacy Amongst Friends – A Cautionary Tale

Many couples and individuals will often look to friends and family when discovering that they will need a surrogate to create their family. But, is this the most prudent option? Is that money savings worth your friendship? Is the savings worth your familial relationships? One woman says no.

“Jillian” just had a birthday. Her surrogate mother, Laurie B. Miller of Bridgewater Mass., keeps track on the Facebook sidelines in secret. Nearly 19 years ago, giving birth to Jillian was a loving gesture by Miller to “Meg,” her best friend. Then things went horribly wrong. Miller offers a cautionary tale about gestational surrogacy between close friends.

It was an IVF pregnancy using Meg’s eggs and sperm from Meg’s husband, “Patrick.” The tragic rift was not caused by any attachment to the child, and Miller said, “I don’t look at Jillian as my long lost child. She was never my child. I was just her suitcase.”

Instead, expectations and disappointment ended their friendship, and the two women never saw it coming.

Many people do not want to cross over into the business relationship involved in most surrogacy relationships; however, what about outside influences, including “Meg’s husband,” who may seem to some as being a bully – but, in fact, was he just protecting his wife’s feelings? Possible? But, this arrangement clearly needed more communication, and likely the help of an interested psychologist who could have helped them navigate these issues before and after the pregnancy.

As Miller stated in her book, My Body, Their Baby, “Miller has no regrets about bearing a child for her best friend. If she could, she’d do it again, but knowing one point would have made a huge difference: People do not think alike and emotions can never be predicted, which is why Conceptual Options’ Psychological Program is so important for all of the parties involved in a surrogacy.