Mommy Wars: Rent-a-Uterus

Since I’m on an intelligence kick I thought I’d give you a little more food for thought. So braincells get ready! Hold hands and form a line, Elle watched Ophra yesterday.

I’m not the Ophra* watchin’ kinda gal on most days. In fact, outside of a daily addiction to one particular Soap Opera I don’t watch any daytime television who’s cast of characters aren’t animated or puppets. However, I get bored easily and when that happens I will sit down and watch TV. There are far more constructive uses of my time, like turning the dryer on to fluff the clothes for the 40th time today, but stupid programming calls to me. The trusty husband has come home to find me sitting on the couch watching “America’s Next Top Model,” “Project Runway,” or even “The Real Desperate Housewives of Orange County.” Go ahead, think less of me. I know you already do. But this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes I’ll watch something highbrow like Ophra. Mainly it’s so I can yell at the TV and tell Dr. Phil that he needs to pull his head out of his giant ass and grow his own damn spine. Gawd how I hate that guy. Oh yeah, I yell at the TV a lot.

So the guide told me that Ophra’s show was about “Wombs for Rent.” I’m always in for a good show about infertility. (Better yet it was a subject that I later found out the trusty husband knew nothing about.) I found it interesting that this was the subject matter of the program seeing as I’m currently in the middle of that where am I on the baby making spectrum identity crisis. At the very least the show would give me something to write about. I was right.

Since most of my readers are adoptive parents, potential adoptive parents, infertiles and people with at least two braincells that are also holding hands and forming lines I’m sure you’ve heard of this. Infertile couples travel to foreign countries to participate in a surrogacy program with a woman of said country. In this instance India.

I don’t want to recount the entire show here. You can read Julie’s accounts of it. She writes a great article about it. Which I’m actually surprised because although I read Julie’s site with regularity I don’t always agree with what she has to say.

My exception with the whole scenario comes from the perspective of a person not willing to undergo the expensive process of Artificial Reproductive Treatments. I know there are many of you out there who did just that. It was your choice. But for me, I don’t get it. I don’t understand why someone would travel 1/2 way around the world to essentially rent-a-uterus. Granted, in the end the lives of both families are changed for the better. That’s not such a bad thing. But I find it far too extreme.

When we made the choice to either undergo infertility testing and eventual treatment or adoption we weighed all the pros and cons. Cost being a con on both sides. But the clincher for us was the end result. We wanted a child. The how wasn’t that important. We thought about it. And here are some statistics that helped form our decision. These are (outdated) numbers of children residing in orphanages around the world. 17,000-S. Korea, 20,000-Guatemala, 50,000-China, 100,000-Ukraine, 200,000-Haiti, 800,000-Russia and in the millions in Ethiopia. Millions here people. Those are children in orphanages. Children without parents. Children without anyone to kiss them good night or read them a bedtime story. Children who know no true love. Children like these.

I’m not out to tell those undergoing fertility treatments what to do.? I’m not that asshat that says, “Oh why don’t you just adopt?”? Rather I’m trying to figure out why people do this.? I can’t imagine spending thousands of dollars on something that may or may not result in a child.? Same reason I can’t justify spending that much on an IUI or IVF.? I wanted to be a mom.? I still want more children. ? I am not like some of the people out there.? I don’t have that deep seeded biological need to procreate.??? If you can explain it to me please do.

On an end note, I did think the piece was well done and portrayed a positive tone.? I do like the fact that the end result is two changed families, but I still don’t get it.

And Alexis Stewart.? What the fuck is up with her?? Talk about a woman with the least bit of affect of any person I’ve ever seen.? And $28,000 a month?? A month??!


*not a typo. I’m just being nice and not calling her my ususal. Okra.

20 Comment

  1. Al and I discussed surrogacy in the beginning of our journey. Neither of us really wanted to do it. We can’t justify spending the equivilant of our mortgage on an experiment.
    We had many of our close family and friends offer their uterus (or is it uteri) and eggs, but in the end, I’d just rather not.
    I worried that the child would pick up too many traits or possibly dna of the surrogate mother even if it was my own egg.
    He worried that I wouldn’t be able to attach to a child my best friend had carried when he knows how weirded out I am about her current child situation.

    Who is Alexis Stewart?

  2. I’ll second that: who is Alexis Steward? Yes, we could Google this woman, but it’s so much more entertaining to hear it from you!

  3. Elle says: Reply

    Oh you guys are a bunch of idiots. I mean that in the nicest way…

    Alexis Stewart is Martha’s daughter.

  4. Nancy says: Reply

    Saw th show. I was glad that the woman from India was getting a much improved life out of the deal but I too was left shaking my head, seemed an extreme. Alexis Stewart, I won’t waste the energy saying what I really think of her, but gah, when you look up selfish you’ll see her face.

  5. Nancy says: Reply

    oh, and what the heck is Chicken country captain, explain please.

  6. Lauri says: Reply

    I did not see the show.. but wish I did. The reason we went through the process and this may seem like a silly & simplistic answer to a serious question… but I hate having regrets and before pursuing adoption (something I wanted to do even if my gimpy uterus worked), I just needed to know that I tried everything in my power… then I could move forward with no doubts, no regrets, no ” what if” wonders… and it was a terrible, painful gut wrenching process to go through to get that peace of mind….. but I am stronger for it and it was all meant to be timing wise… because I now have the most wonderful little girl.

    Good post smarty Mc smarty pants……

  7. I feel the same as Lauri. I had to do it all because I needed to know I did everything in my power to have a child. I couldn’t move on until I did a few cycles. IVF was cheaper than adoption, so we went through the motions and we even conceived on our first cycle…but because no one could come up with an answer as to why we couldn’t have our own, we felt we had to give it a shot. We chose adoption after our second IVF cycle failed because I was simply exhausted and knew adoption, somehow, someway, would help us build our family. If I could have had my own and adopt, that would have been awesome, but that’s not how it worked out. Costwise, my adoption ended up being a lot more than my 4 IUI and 2 IVF cycles combined. Now with one child home and everyone asking when #2 is coming, I wonder if we’ll go back to IVF or adoption, or just forget it.

  8. On the ART thing, I’m somewhere between you & the 2 girls above me. I wanted to give IUI a shot or two (no pun intended)…but beyond that, I wasn’t interested in IVF. Too invasive, and (for us) too much money to spend on a chance — knowing that if the chance didn’t actually work out, we wouldn’t have money to move on to adoption. To each his own – but for us, we wanted a child & decided to skip more IUI’s and completely bypass IVF so we could have one.

  9. Jenny2 says: Reply

    No kidding…. Alexis Stewart… WTF??? My sister and I were talking about this show this morning and all we could say is “she could do a lot of good out there with that kind of money.”

  10. I didn’t see the show – dislike all thing Oprah just on general principle. But I heard a bit about it. I found the thought a little creepy. Not the surrogacy part – I have beautiful twin niece and nephew from surrogacy. But the finding a cheaper avenue in another country – it just feels too much like outsourcing to me. But, to each their own and kudos to those who do it. I’m not going to judge how people become parents.

    I didn’t go the infertility route because I felt like you – I just wanted to be a mom. Biology didn’t matter much to me. My uterus wasn’t working and I didn’t want to go through the time and expense of prodding it to cooperate. Adoption was the next logical step to me. It just burns my ass with those numbers of children you quoted needing home that we are all now being made to feel bad for adopting internationally – accused of robbing other nations of their children. They would rather these children sit in orphanages? Sorry – this is your blog. Heh.

  11. Mom says: Reply

    God, it kills me to see O in those pictures! With all the children in need of loving moms and dads, it makes one wonder. But…not everyone has the same emotional needs. If one desires children…if there is any doubt that their love would not be equal to that of their own biological offspring, well considering adoption is OUT. Sadly, many people are not capable of being that loving parent of which these children need. Admitting this is not a crime or character flaw. We all have different needs. Emotional creatures that we are, being honest when it comes to fertility and how we choose to procreate is very personal. Can you love adopted children as if you bore them? It is a very personal choice and everyone faced with decisions of this nature need to do some heavy soul searching. Don’t condemn people for being honest. Support each other. I love my daughter with every ounce of my being. She is adopted. My grandson…also adopted. L and D couldn’t have made a more perfect baby… had they conceived naturally or not!

  12. Ann says: Reply

    ok, I’m one of your lurkers & I had to comment on this topic, I have NO IDEA why people go to, ok, what I deem extreme to have their bio child, we have friends who had countless MC’s & after 9 years of trying finally had a bio child & have another one the way, but I still don’t get it. I haven’t ever felt (quite honestly the world is better without a “mimi me”) the entense desire to have a bio child to go to that extreme. I didn’t see the show either but wish I could have now!

  13. DebiP says: Reply


    Post….right on woman…I would love the explanation too…your mom has a point we all make decisions the way we do for different reasons…but I would like to hear the reason for traveling around the world to rent a womb.

  14. Jenny says: Reply

    Alexis stewart is a biotch…who is she to be the “expert” on infertility treatment, seriously?

    The rent a womb. Whatever….people will do what they want. My big question was how do they get the kids out of India. Like what visa? That was all I could think of….how do they take the kid home!

    I also think people have limitations on love. And if they can’t (or don’t think) they can love an adopted child like “their own (Bleck)” than DON’T adopt and do all this other shit….whatever dudes….but seriously, it was a little odd….

  15. Raissa says: Reply

    I watched it too, which I normally wouldn’t because I find extreme fertility procedures creepifying, but it was like a train wreck I couldn’t pull my eyes away from. I also was surprised at how positively it was portrayed on both sides, which is great, it made me feel a little better about the whole thing. Having bore two children in different, both difficult ways, I identify with those surrogate mothers to go through all that work for a child they can’t keep. And I have issues with all the monitoring and extra precautions I’m sure they must go through while carrying paid-for babies. Blech. But I could also do that in order to provide for my children if I had to. I wouldn’t be willing to do fertility treatments however. With adoption, you know that you will eventually have a child which is better than any IVF or surrogacy odds, and I don’t have the biology fixation that so many of these couples seem to. And there are also lots of ways to nurture children even if you aren’t rearing them. It takes a village, and you can join it with or without children of your own.

    I thought Alexis was funny.

    I thought one of the comments the mom made was revealing, that kids are taught that they can do anything the put their mind too. If pregnancy and parenthood teach you anything, it’s that you’re really not in control. I wonder if she’s really learned that lesson.

  16. Yeah I’m with you on the whole no personal desire to give birth. That’s not to say I don’t understand some women’s desires to do so. I get it. I just don’t personally feel like I have to do it. I have always wanted to adopt. And I’m also with you on the insane numbers of children in need of a home. So sad. I wish more people would adopt.

    As far as Alexis, yikes! Lack of affect is the nicest way possible of saying it. She seemed like a stone cold sociopath. Maybe there is a reason Someone does not want her to give birth out there. I’m just saying.

  17. I am so with you on that! I don’t for the life of me understand why people spend their life savings and every last shred of their sanity pursuing treatments to the nth degree. I did three IVF treatments, but fortunately my insurance covered practically all of it, so my out of pocket was minimal. If I had to pay any kind of serious money I would have done none of it.

    I also don’t get why women get so pissed about the “just adopt” thing. I “just adopted” and it was the best decision of my entire life.

  18. Esther says: Reply

    I saw Oprah. I found it fascinating. Personally I don’t have a problem with the Rent a Womb in India. I liked what the bio mom said about women helping women. They were both there to help each other, and improve the quality of life for each other. So, I proud of them both for that.

    Interestingly enough, I was trying to come up with my own view on how I felt about this. Then I had to laugh at myself because we have been thru this scenario! DUH!

    My uterus was removed in 1999. We always considered adoption to be our only way to extend and grow our family. Sure, we could have used my husband’s sperm and a donor egg and a surrogate. Or use my husband’s sperm insemited into a surrogate. We actually never even once considered that for our family. We are “adoption all the way” sort of folk. After our first two adoptions failed tragically, we still wanted to adopt and not do the surrogacy thing. Again, we have no beef with surrogacy. I think it’s really beautiful to tell you the truth. It just wasn’t for us. So, after those two failed adoptions (showing that adoption doesn’t always work), we thought we’d switch to a different agency & country to adopt. There are millions of children around the world that need a home. We are a home for them. Glad we hung in there. Our two girls now have a home and our family is complete.

    And Alexis Stewart. Geez. She has to get over herself. And what about Oprah’s comment on “in the future women will be saving their eggs…..”
    Are we really headed there? I didn’t know technology was that advanced, or close to it.

  19. Esther says: Reply

    Uh, typo. “I proud”, I meant I’m proud…..

  20. Esther says: Reply

    Good lord I have a writing problem today. INSEMINATED is what I meant to day. Sorry for my stroke I’m having over here……..

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