Surrogate Stories: Jessica

BELLY LAKE

I am a two time surrogate, meaning I’ve completed two surrogate pregnancies. For me, surrogacy did more than create three new little lives, it completely changed my own life as well.

I knew going into surrogacy that I was going to change a family’s life, but I never imagined how much that act would change mine. That realization came shortly after I delivered my first surro-babes; a set of boy/girl twins. I was reading an article online about same sex marriage and equality. There were a ton of negative comments, and I was getting extremely upset that not one person showed compassion. Normally I would avoid confrontation but this time I took a stand and shared my point of view.

In that moment I realized that surrogacy changed my life for the better. It opened my eyes to the many struggles that couples, whether gay or straight, face when growing their family. I am more compassionate & understanding now. I am a better person because of surrogacy.

In the months that followed my new found self-empowerment I realized that I could stand up for myself in other ways, too. It’s a change I notice pretty much daily. If someone says something rude, or I see someone being hateful to a person on public, I speak up. I don’t sit quietly and listen to why other people’s political opinions are the best; I debate them. Before surrogacy I was always one to avoid speaking to others on subjects that were confrontational- same sex marriage, politics, abortion, etc. After surrogacy I found my voice and was no longer afraid to speak out & it felt amazing. I am so proud of who I am now!

I also have a message to share with potential surrogates, too. If you’re considering doing this, do your research first. Don’t just jump in feet first, because there are a lot of things to learn. Make sure you’re making the right decision for you and your family. I have seen tons of amazing endings to surrogacy journeys, and it really saddens me that the horrible surrogacy stories steal the spotlight. If you research and learn more about surrogacy you can potentially prevent the negative outcome. Surrogacy is such a wonderful thing, and the world needs to know that.

As for me, I would ultimately wind up completing a second surrogacy, growing the family I helped to create by the addition of a little sister. Despite my transformation, or the compliments I receive from others for having been a surrogate, I don’t look at myself as anything amazing. I think that I’m just a woman doing what she should be doing; what I was put on this beautiful planet to do. I believe I should be making a difference, not just in others’ lives, but for the world in general. I want to leave this world a better place than what it was when I was born.

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: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari 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.