If you are not a stay-at-home mom like myself, I am sure you envision my daily activities like I used to before I took this job. I think it went something like this: I wake up well-rested after a blissful night's sleep, then I shower and put on my best June Cleaver dress and matching pumps and go to the bathroom mirror to carefully apply my lipstick. Then I kiss the devoted husband goodbye as he leaves for work and spend the rest of the day playing with kids while effortlessly keeping the house spotless. And let's not forget the part where the kids take long naps without protest so I can rest on the sofa for a few hours and watch Oprah while mindlessly eating a stockpile of bonbons - without gaining a single pound.
Although, sometimes I do get to watch a few segments of the Dr. Phil show on the DVR. And alas, now I can finally get to the essence of this post's title.
Dr. Phil had an episode last week about a woman in Michigan who had acted as a surrogate for a childless couple. She underwent IVF and became pregnant with a set of twins from a donor egg and sperm. After the children were born, she initally gave the babies to the intended parents, but then decided to take them back after learning about the intended mother's unspecified mental illness during a court hearing.
This whole thing is insane to me. First of all, I don't think this woman was qualified to determine if the intended mother was mentally fit to be a parent or not. Second, if you watch the show (this surrogate actually was on two times) the excuses this woman gives for keeping the children are a little weak and self-serving. However, because Michigan does not recognize surrogacy, they determind that because the surrogate birthed them, she has the right to keep them.
Here's the part that really gets me, the surrogate has said that she has no intention of paying the couple back for all the expenses they covered to provide the donor egg and sperm, the IVF treatment, and so forth. I don't know what the going rate is for donor DNA these days, but I do know that IVF alone is in the $10-$12,000 range and that's not even calculating in the medications that are required. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? I hope that the couple sues her for all that money back. It's bad enough that she is keeping these babies - but let's give her the benefit of the doubt - and say that the intended parents are horrible people who should not be raising children. You still can't expect to have a free pregnancy engineered and maintained for you on someone else's dime. Unless, maybe you're the Octomom. Ugh, don't even get me started on that one.
At least most of the surrogates out there follow through and give childless couples their dream. It's an amazing thing.
I could never be a surrogate.