Former surrogate: ‘I would never encourage another woman to do it’

surrogacy Ukraine, surrogate, surrogacy

As surrogacy and egg donation continue to remain popular methods of artificial reproductive technology, more women are speaking out about how donor technology methods like these lead to women being treated like commodities and their children experiencing trauma as a result.

Recently, in an article published by The Federalist, a woman who has twice acted as a surrogate expressed her discontent with the process as she grew to feel as though she were nothing more than a womb to be rented.

Gloria Ruiz said that while her first experience as a surrogate wasn’t a negative one, the second left her scarred. She was forced to attend medical appointments more than an hour away from her home and felt uncomfortable after having interactions with the intended parents who had hired her. After a traumatic birth experience, Ruiz recounted that the new parents refused to let her say goodbye to the baby. She experienced complications for months following the birth and then had to fight for medical compensation for her ordeal.

Ruiz admitted that though she decided to become a surrogate with good intentions, she now believes that the entire process is traumatizing and should be avoided.

“From the beginning, there’s going be trauma in those babies’ lives. I think that they are ripped apart from everything they’ve ever known from the beginning,” she said. “I do think that they have a rough road ahead of them because they are now going to be raised by strangers… And I would never, ever, ever encourage any other woman to do it.” 

In another instance, a British woman who used an egg donor to conceive shared with I News that she felt “imposter syndrome” after her child’s birth. Becky Kearns said she didn’t feel like a “real mum” when her daughter was a baby. 

READ: The media assigns value to frozen embryos only when it suits their agenda

This fear began as she started the process of finding an egg donor; she said she felt threatened by the idea that her child would someday find the donor and feel more of a connection with the donor than she would with her. This led her and her husband to use a donation clinic in Prague, where donors are guaranteed complete anonymity.

My fears that I might one day be replaced by the donor meant that, at the time, I felt comfortable with anonymity and distance,” she explained. Kearns said she now recognizes that her children now have no way of connecting with their biological past – a loss of connection that many donor-conceived children have discussed publicly

Kearns’ story underscores one of the many problems with donor technologies – namely, the children are left struggling to find their identities, as their biological parents remain unknown.

While Ruiz and Kearns tell different tales, they contain a common thread: reproductive technologies like surrogacy and egg donation always carry risks and a certain level of trauma for the child conceived, and often the women as well. 

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