Part Two of my interview with Sharon LaMothe below. For Part One, click here.
Surrogacy has been all over the news lately, what with Baby Mama and the recent Newsweek cover story. Why do you think people are suddenly so interested in surrogacy?
SL: People are putting off children later and later in life. I don’t see Mademoiselle or Redbook saying, you know after 32, your egg production is really falling. I don’t see any warnings about how your fertility starts to go downhill in your early 30s. I think that people think as long as they feel healthy, they won’t have a problem. In reality, it doesn’t matter how healthy you are on the outside.
When you can’t get pregnant and want to have a baby, surrogacy seems to be the way to go. There are people who go the adoption route. But with adoption, the mother can change her mind, if the father isn’t on board with it that can be a battle, you don’t know what you are going to ‘get.’ With surrogacy, you’re pretty much guaranteed nobody can change their minds.
Have you seen Baby Mama? What did you think?
SL: I have not, but I’m boycotting it. I saw several previews and read the articles. There’s so much wrong with it: an ignorant, money-grubbing woman from the sticks just out to get what she can from some poor desperate woman who can’t have a baby on her own. Maybe I’ll get it from Netflix, but I’m not going to the movies to see it.
What do you think about the globalization of surrogacy?
SL: What really bothers me about that is they’re not even meeting their intended parents. Why is that woman a surrogate? She’s a commodity, an incubator. All she knows is she’s getting a paycheck. That sounds like baby-selling to me.
Western women have very different expectations. Here you meet each other and see if you have a connection. And if you have no connection, what makes you [intended parents] think these women are going to watch their diet and their exercise? If you are taking care of something for someone else—anything, even if it’s just a car—you are a little more careful when you know those people.
What do you hope to achieve with Infertility Answers?
SL: Infertility Answers is a website that an attorney, Robert Terenzio, and I are putting together because there are so many questions out there from the novice. The blog, Surrogacy 101, is answering and being really forthright about what I think intended parents need and what surrogates need.
What would you say to a woman considering surrogacy?
SL: Do your research. Talk to people. Make sure you’re ready to make that time and commitment. You do end up sacrificing your family time. You being pregnant for yourself and your husband is a whole different experience than being pregnant for somebody else. You have all these people on your shoulder that you are accountable to, and that can cause a lot of stress.