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Can you say serial surrogacy?
According to this Time Healthland report, Jill Hawkins, a 47-year-old British woman, is pregnant with twins who are due just weeks before she turns 48.
Their birth will mark Hawkins' ninth and tenth babies. All eight of her existing babies, and the two still in utero, belong to other parents. She is merely serving as a surrogate, a vessel, in which embryos mostly spawned from her eggs and a "client's" sperm, can grow into full-term babies.
Once those babies are born, they are immediately whisked away and given to the parents who ordered them. Hawkins, allegedly, doesn't even touch them. While she is sure she doesn't want babies of her own, she does admit that not holding them, doesn't come naturally:
"I never want to keep them. I am not maternal and very selfish. Not many woman can give babies away. It’s very emotional giving birth.The one thing you are screaming to do is to hold that baby. It is an overwhelming feeling and you have to be strong to counter that."
Apparently, Hawkins wants to have two more babies, and give them away, before she turns fifty. For the first seven babies she was artificially inseminated, but after that she resorted to IVF.
The original Mail UK story questions her motivations and works hard to make Hawkins out to be mentally unstable when it reports that she refuses to take any medication for the debilitating headaches she suffers during pregnancy, and also that she has suffered from depression which was, at one time severe enough to have attempted suicide. Bonnie Rochman, who wrote the Time Healthland piece, agrees something "feels awry" with Hawkin's story.
Hawkins is reported to receive 12,000 pounds sterling for each pregnancy.
From what I read, none of her customers seem concerned about her age or her intentions. They're just happy to get their healthy babies. And she is happy to produce the healthy babies.
Surrogacy is an amazing concept for me. First of all, I'm crap at making babies. The thought of going through that kind of misery, only to give the baby away, is unbearable. But more importantly, even if you know the baby isn't going to be yours, it's hard to imagine how you can carry it to term, give birth to it, then give it away without experiencing heartbreak on some level.
I know of a woman who carried twins for her best friend from childhood. They had made a pact with one another that if either one of them couldn't have a baby for whatever reason, the other would do it for them. It's a beautiful story of going above and beyond the normal expectations and loyalties of friendship. And, as far as it sounds, it had a mutually happy ending.
I admire that woman, and any woman who sacrifices her womb for others, from afar.
image from freestockphotos.biz
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.