A Surrogate’s Story: Kelly

1476264_10152063165906183_63838949_nKelly is a mother of three, step-mom to one and a surrogate mom to five. Kelly is a college instructor who also works with Growing Generations. She notes that the first time she heard about surrogacy was in high school and she was intrigued. “Up until then I had not realized that people had issues with infertility and that surrogacy was a possible cure for some. I thought it was amazing and made a mental note that one day, after my own kids, I was going to be a surrogate.”

Initially Kelly applied to be a surrogate around the end of 2005, but decided to finish her own family and breastfeed her last baby before going ahead. She kept in touch with Growing Generations and reapplied in 2007. She notes that the application process became much more streamlined and user-friendly in the interim.

The screening process involved the application, a phone interview, and having her birth and delivery records delivered to Growing Generations. At the same time, she provided her driver’s license and Social Security number, along with that of her spouse. “Once the background check came back and they had my medical records and pay stubs, Growing Generations created a benefit package for me.”

Kelly and her spouse flew to Los Angeles to undergo medical and psychological screening. Once cleared, she began the matching phase. “After matching, it was onto the embryo transfer and then, before I knew it, I was pregnant with someone else’s baby … or rather babies.”

Overall, Kelly says, friends and family were very supportive, “although a little ignorant about what it actually entailed.” Her parents were concerned for her safety, but otherwise had faith that she was smart, responsible and educated and wouldn’t go into anything blindly. She also points out that she didn’t think any of her friends and family were very surprised at her desire to be a surrogate. “I am a very open-minded person and my love for pregnancy wasn’t a secret.”

Humorously, Kelly’s biggest concern about becoming a surrogate was “NOT being stuck with the baby. I wanted to help a couple become a family. I wasn’t looking to make mine any bigger.”

Otherwise her concerns revolved around the injections, because she hates shots and needles, but she describes the process as “tough but never not do-able. I had my eyes on the bigger picture, helping create a family, and would tell myself small pinpricks are not going to stand in the way of a loving couple finally holding their child. I needed to suck it up and make dreams happen.”

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for intended parents, surrogates and donors. She is the co-owner of Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019) as well as the children's book You Began as a Wish (Independent Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. She has two adult daughters.