It’s been more than two decades since the first recorded surrogate birth in the United States took place.
According to Newsweek magazine, it’s estimated that about 1,000 surrogate mothers give birth in the U.S. every year. Although the number of surrogate births keeps on growing, surrogacy is still considered a very controversial method of having a child in the United States, and other parts of the world.
A surrogate mother is used when a woman has female infertility factors that leave her physically unable to carry a child. This solution to infertility has become more popular in recent years, mainly because of the advancement in medical technology used to help women become pregnant.
In-vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques have higher success rates than ever before. This procedure allows the prospective parents a chance to create embryos using their very own eggs and sperm. These embryos can be frozen, or directly transferred into the surrogate mother’s womb.
This type of surrogacy is called gestational surrogacy, and it has also become a popular choice for same sex couples that wish to be biologically related to their children. Celebrities like Elton John, Ricky Martin and Neil Patrick Harris have all been open (and very grateful) about using gay surrogacy to have children.
Many people view surrogacy as a miracle. It gives couples the opportunity to defy nature and have the family they want.
Others, however, look at surrogacy (and especially surrogate mothers) with raised eyebrows. There have been many articles published in the past that use the phrase “womb for rent”, which speculates that some surrogate mothers are having these babies just for the paycheck.
Most surrogate mothers are paid on average $15,000 to $25,000 a year just for the pregnancy. When infertility treatments and other expenses are included, many people end up spending about $100,000 to have a child through surrogacy.
Cynics believe that surrogacy is just another growing commercial industry, with the potential for big profits for both agencies and surrogate mothers.
In contrast, Yvonne Heller’s experience paints a completely different picture.
Heller is a surrogate mother (who already has three children of her own), and she carries the title for having the most surrogate births in the United States. She’s given birth to a total of ten surrogate babies in ten years, and claims she’s not doing it for the money whatsoever; it’s her true calling in life.
In an article from the UK’s Daily Mail, she explained, “I always loved every minute of being pregnant. I never suffered from morning sickness or swollen ankles, never had any problems and I thought: This is a way I could recapture that wonderful feeling and help someone else at the same time.”
Although it might be mind-blowing for some women to imagine carrying a child for 9 months, and then giving it away to another couple (not to mention TEN different times), Heller seems to be able to this with complete and utter delight.
“It’s a blessing to know there are ten happy kids who are loved and cherished because of what I did. It’s a wonderful feeling,” she said.
Today, this miracle mom cannot give birth anymore, but she is still dedicating her life to surrogacy. Heller now works at a surrogacy clinic as an expert advisor where she matches surrogate mothers with parents-to-be.
Heller’s boss fully understands her devotion to her career; “It’s like a calling for women like Yvonne who do this. They have a strong desire to do something amazing in their lives and provide a wonderful gift for another couple.”
Surrogate mothers like Yvonne Heller provide the miraculous gift of life to thousands of childless couples every year. Surrogacy is also catching on in other parts of the world. Countries like Cyprus, Spain, Greece, Ukraine, India and more are also providing surrogacy services to help people build families.
Yvonne Heller is just one example of the rare selflessness that surrogate mothers possess. The phrase “womb for rent” couldn’t be any farther from the truth, and there are many happy, growing families around the world that can attest to this.
For more information on surrogacy, contact a surrogacy clinic in your area.
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.