Surrogate Stories: Michelle

pregnant

Some people say I have the heart of a servant. I vehemently deny that. I say life is just better when you’re trying to help others.

I saw people in need of blood, and I became a blood donor.

I saw a young man growing up with his dialysis machine instead of with his friends. He needed a new kidney, so I gave him one of mine.

I saw a friend struggling with fertility, so I offered to be her surrogate.

She accepted my offer but by the time we were ready to get things going, wouldn’t you know it, she wound up pregnant! This was such a happy moment for her, and for me, but I also knew someone else like her would need help to grow a family, and my heart was now set on being that help for a family in need.

I matched with my intended parents easily. It was a quick and natural lock that we all felt with one another. We worked together so well that this beautiful friendship began to grow. I knew right away I’d help them have all the babies they wanted! I got lucky enough to help them first have a daughter, then later to turn her into a big sister.

The best part of the whole experience is the joy. The utter joy in their voices whenever I had good news to share, told them I felt movement, or shared my latest belly picture. Hearing their happiness and hearing that smile in their voice gave me such joy in return. It put the biggest smile on my face. I remember thinking- that’s why we do this, right? To give people a chance at the joy of parenthood? I don’t have a multitude of funds or free time to donate. But this is something that I can do. So I do.

For me, surrogacy has meant new friendships. I know we’re not supposed to say that, because there is never any guarantee that our Intended Parents will stay in touch post birth. But it’s what I received.  This “gift” that I decided to give has turned into a beautiful friendship that has spread over three years of my life. I just can’t imagine a better outcome. They received a family and I received lifelong friends.

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.