Surrogate Stories: Lynn

toddler walking

I see a lot of surrogates share stories of their pregnancy or of their delivery. But for me, the story didn’t end there. I, like many other surrogates I know, am lucky enough to maintain a friendship with the family I helped create. While only time will tell how close we remain over the course of our lifetimes, we remain active in one another’s lives through social media on a regular basis and through visits on a sporadic basis.

Recently I was able to take part in the huge celebration that was the first birthday of the child I gave birth to through surrogacy. Let me just say, you haven’t seen a birthday party until you’ve seen a first birthday party for a child conceived and birthed as a result of surrogacy. I mean sure, there is still cake, and presents, and bad singing, but there is something more. The air is thicker. The love and joy is so much more complex. The celebratory mood has a whole other layer than anything I’ve ever experienced. It’s like everyone in the room knows just how much work went into creating this child, and each and every one of them respects it.

As part of the party, the dads reflected on the pregnancy and birth of their daughter. They shared stories, photos, videos, and embarrassing moments. That’s a pretty common thing, I think. As I sat there in the back of the room and listened to their story, saw photos that I’d not seen in a year or more, it caused a new kind of pride to surge inside of me. If I felt good about myself the day this child was born, I felt like a super-hero on her first birthday.

The party made me realize, perhaps for the very first time, the awesome gravity of my choice to help these men become dads. It was more than nine months of pregnancy, 36 hours of labor, and one teary eyed goodbye. I made an impact on this entire family for generations to come. Perhaps even on the world, because who knows what this child will do with her life.

I have never in my life been more proud of any decision or action than I have ever made than I am of the choice to become a surrogate. Some people think you’re only a surrogate for the nine months that you’re pregnant. But at that birthday party, I learned that you’re simply pregnant for those nine months, but you’re a surrogate forever.

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.