Surrogate Stories: Emilee

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My surrogacy journey started out much like any other. I wanted to develop a bond with my intended parents and was struggling to find a way to do it. We had awkward texts and awkward silences. But I was just so determined to help them that I knew I couldn’t give up. I decided to use humor to build a bridge from my home in Idaho to theirs in Europe.

We began joking with one another and never stopped. I sent them our first “bump day” photo from the bathroom at my work office. It became a joke, from then on, to have the toilet in each photo we took. Ultimately they would wind up posing in their own photo with our infamous toilet. I even made them a scrapbook of all of our “potty pictures.”

We even joked our way through labor and delivery. One dad was so nervous he kept finding excuses to run errands, just to stay moving. He even decided that we needed to make a run for champagne and toasting flutes for the birth! The other dad never left my side. We traded jabs and jokes- one ending with a wet washcloth being flung across the room!

I’ll say this though, all the joking stopped the moment that little baby boy was born. Because in that moment I locked eyes with one of my intended fathers and we shared a teary eyed gaze where we needed no words, which is good because there are no words to describe that moment.

After the birth we went right back to our jokes. I was their new, ‘Dairy Queen’ with my frequent breast milk deliveries. To this day we continue to joke and trade photos regularly.

When I run into people on the street now who know I’ve done this, they always ask me if I’m “OKAY.” It’s like they’re not prepared to hear how happy I am, how I’ve danced this perfect tango with the perfect beat. But I am happy, I am OKAY, and I am so incredibly proud of this life choice.

You see, my being a surrogate didn’t just make a family for someone else. My being a surrogate grew my own family. When it was all said and done I added two new brothers and a new nephew.

Dr. Kim Bergman

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 Fertility Counseling Services and 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 upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.