By Lisa Regula Meyer
This past Friday was my birthday. My mom had come up to visit and was staying with us for a few days, and that night she and Kenny had quality “Grandma-time” while Dwight and I went out. Just us, together. It’s not something that happens often, and this was special because we were going out to see a friend of his from high school as the featured poet celebrating her new chapbook. It was a real live adults’ night out!
Alexis’ poetry was great, and it was amazing meeting her and her boyfriend. The open mic poetry and slam poetry were also quite interesting, and the venue, Karma Café, served a mean chai. One poem especially spoke to me, a poem about Alexis’ children that she doesn’t and won’t have. I can’t say I understand how it feels to know you’ll never be a mom, because I don’t know that feeling, but I do understand the feeling of loss knowing you can’t have something you want.
And I kind of understand wanting to be pregnant. Maybe it was the birthday blues. Maybe it was the talk with my doc about “as we age” crap. Maybe it’s the fact that all my friends seem to be doing baby stuff. Whatever it is, there’s a part of me that has delusions of pregnancy. It’s kind of odd, I’m not sure why I feel like this, and I’m not sure how this plays out.
The one thing I do know for sure is that I still do not want another kid. So I did what any reasonable person would do- I went and shopped for some of my baby-laden friends simply to look at cute clothes and accessories. I watched cute baby animal videos on Teh Interwebz. I looked through my son’s baby books and photos of our early months as a family. I signed up to sponsor a child on Plan USA a la “About Schmidt.” I talked baby-talk to the cat. I met a new-mama friend for coffee and tried playing with her baby, only for it to look at me as if I were a complete and utter moron (and my friend claimed I had a similar expression on my own face). That experience, followed quickly by a stench of a dirty diaper and tears, reassured me that my heart most certainly was not melting, and I was still my usual curmudgeonly self.
I don’t want another baby. I just want to be pregnant again. Or at least a little part of me does. I want to feel the joy of creating a family again. I want to feel that creative energy again. And the little internal kicks. Of course, an excuse for the extra slice of birthday cake wouldn’t hurt, either.
I’ve heard stories of similar feelings from other surrogates before, and I went through something like this during my second surrogacy. I’m off to think on the topic, do lots of soul searching, and figure out where to go from here.
By John Jericiau
It’s just before the 39-week mark, and as we make our way to the now weekly OB appointment, our friend/surrogate tells us that she has hardly felt the baby move at all during her day at work. This is concerning because a) the baby has been really thrashing around in there up until now, and b) I’ve read too much on the internet about how late-pregnancy stillbirths DO happen. The OB had warned us to “get in here as soon as possible” after noticing the reduced movements, so we were happy that we had a previously scheduled appointment. He quickly rushed us off to a non-stress test; happily, baby and surrogate were fine. There was plenty of amniotic fluid for our son to swim around in for a couple more weeks, and he was perfectly posed high in the uterus in a head down attitude. It was only a matter of time.
It was our friend/surrogate’s last day of work, and we felt relieved that she would no longer have to endure the bus ride to and from work, as well as the standing and lifting and walking that her particular job demands. Alen and I decided to make the weekend a double feature at the movie theater (one on Friday night and one on our usual Saturday night), because it was quite possible we would not make it another weekend before our boy arrived.
Saturday rolls around, and our friend/surrogate tags along as we go through the activities of the day – mainly the boys’ activities at an indoor gym and the YMCA pool. Late in the day our friend mentions how little our son was moving again. I did not want to throw caution to the wind. As much as I didn’t want to drive back to the hospital, I wanted to enjoy date night (possibly our last one for a while) without worrying about a distressed baby.
We arrived to Labor & Delivery ready to hear the same song and dance and that everything was just fine, but were surprised when the exam showed that we were in labor and already dilated to 4 centimeters! They moved us to a room, gave our friend a bag of IV fluids and then an epidural.
Alen was with the boys finishing up their swim when he got the news. Things shifted into high gear as to the disposition of our two boys. Where will they sleep? How will they get there? Family stepped up and arrangements were made.
I had two issues. One was returning our reserved tickets for date night watching the brand new James Bond movie. I drove over to the box office and they happily refunded the tickets to the sold out show. The other issue was a dying iPhone earlier in the day. Out of the blue there was no power. Nada. Zilch. So I did what anyone in my position would do. I drove to the Apple store and bought the newest generation iPhone 5. A new daddy just has to have a phone!
I drove back home and folded some laundry, put the infant car seat in the car, packed some extra clothes for Alen and me, grabbed some food and my laptop and headed back to the hospital. I stopped and mailed some bills and got some gasoline on the way.
Our friend was fairly comfortable at this point, epidural medication coursing through her veins. Alen was very comfortable, stretched out on the only sofa in the room, camped out until morning or until dilation or pain or something woke us up. I took my place on a wicker chair I found hidden in the corner of the room.
After sleeping on the floor for a while I switched with Alen and got a really good two-hour power nap. Renewed and refreshed, I woke up to the sound of the doctor saying that he was going to break the water and see if things progressed faster. At this point Alen decided he would drive the 10 minutes home and try to grab a few quality hours of sleep in our own bed, but to call him if things changed.
Boy, did they change! It was only 9 minutes later that our friend/surrogate was screaming in agony, complaining of severe left shoulder, arm, and elbow pain, while starting to shiver as if the air in the room had become like the Arctic Circle. Before I knew it 7 or 8 physicians and nurses were scanning over her and the monitors, scratching their heads as to the cause of this sudden emergency. Left arm pain brings out the fear of heart attack in almost any healthcare worker. Our baby was hanging in there but starting to show signs of stress, so our MD put up the white flag and called it a day. Time for a C section. And quick!
I dressed in my battle gear (scrubs) and watched in the OR as my son entered the world at 8 lb 8 oz and 20 ½ inches on 11-11-12. The date is significant since his Daddy and Papa and two brothers were all born on the 22nd of a month. Our new son still got the 22 done! He just did it his own way. And I’m just so glad he did.
Welcome to the world, our beautiful son, Dustin John Jericiau. We’ve been waiting for you.
For the first time this entire pregnancy, Alen – Papa of Baby Boy #3 – was able to attend a doctor’s appointment, albeit in his doctor’s scrubs. It’s a crucial time, so I was happy about it. Happily we have not had any spotting or bleeding lately, but just one day before the appointment, our friend/surrogate felt the baby squirming and pushing and stretching, but not nearly as vigorously as usual. On top of that she was having some unusual back pain. Since we already had an appointment set for the next day, we decided that the baby would be fine for 24 hours. Bad decision! It’s important to get in to the doctor as soon as you notice a reduction in movement – things can go downhill extremely fast if there is something wrong. The doctor insisted that for the rest of the pregnancy, we should call for an appointment ASAP if we notice any change in movement or intense back pain. Here I was thinking that our youngest son was just having an off day!
So after being urgently transferred from his office to Labor & Delivery for a non-stress test (a misnomer since I for one definitely felt stress), we found out that all was well. The baby’s heart rate was strong and steady, he had plenty of fluid to swim around in, and the ultrasound showed a healthy happy boy. He even waved at us, and Alen remarked that he thought our son had my nose (which arguably is not my best feature). The appearance of “my” nose may or may not be true, but the fact is that, just as with our son Dylan, we will probably never know whose nose it really is since we allowed randomness of natural selection to pick our sons’ paternal DNA – as natural as it could be considering the petri dish.
After the stress test we were given the okay to go back to the doctor’s office so that we could have further consultation with him. Our two boys, Papa, our very pregnant friend/surrogate, and I all squeezed into the exam room with a Kaiser doctor that has seen (most) of us only once before. Since we were 33 weeks pregnant, he advised “Mom” to take it easy so as not to break her water prematurely. (Her water broke at 35 weeks while carrying Dylan.) She was cleared to continue working her day job, and she should continue her ½ hour per day of walking. However, and this he was adamant about as illustrated by the fact that he repeated this three times, there should be NO SEX. The doctor’s eyes darted quickly from me to my friend and back to me and then to Papa as he said this, completely unsure of who in the exam room was having sex with whom, and therefore making him unsure as to whom to direct his statement. I give him a butch “Awww, shucks!” while my friend meekly says “Okay” and Alen says “We got the message”, further adding to his confusion.
Our son is now over the four-pound mark, about the size of a pineapple. I briefly considered naming him Dole to go along with our other “D” sons Devin and Dylan, but just as quickly scrapped the idea. More than likely he’ll end up with a “D” name that ends in the letter “n” (since the rest of the family members’ names end in “n”), and we will do whatever we can possibly do to make his birthday October 22nd (which is the 36 week mark) or November 22nd (which is 6 days past due) since all of his family members’ birthdays fall on the 22nd. To outsiders these things might appear frivolous and downright silly to care about, but for a family like ours it is just another way to help us feel connected as a family in a world that tries to constantly disconnect us.
So now we wait two more weeks for the next appointment, barring any warning signs. I continue my “mesting”, a name I use to describe my male nesting. Everything’s getting washed in Dreft to reduce the irritants in our new sons’ clothes. All previously used paraphernalia is getting pulled out of the storage shed and the garage, hosed off and evaluated for worthiness. I was surprised at all the national treasures I have found: stroller, double stroller, snap-n-go, double snap-n-go, swing, mini-bathtub, bassinette, pack-n-play, highchair, vibrating baby recliner, Boppy, and more toys than any single child could ever play with. After counting the said toys I calculated that if our D son plays with a different toy each and every day, we’ve got him stimulated until he is approximately 12 ½ years old.
It’s an extremely exciting and nerve-wracking time for all of us, but I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. For the best, please. For the best.
By: John Jericiau
It’s hard for me to believe that almost a decade has passed since I started trying to make my family. As a single gay man who nearly gave up on the hope of finding true love, focusing instead on having kids, the fact that I’m on the cusp of having a third son with my incredible husband is nothing short of a miracle to me.
Not that there hasn’t been some heartache. I’ve written before about losing my first real chance at fatherhood when the newborn I had in my home for 24 hours was unceremoniously returned to her mother because of her heartache. I can’t be mad at her – it’s got to be extremely difficult to give your child to someone else – but it was devastating nonetheless. Luckily I had supportive friends that helped me through that dark period. I also had the fortune of having my future husband enter my life at that time.
It took over a year for him to get on board about becoming parents together, and together we made it through more tough times. One year a woman changed her mind a week before our baby daughter was due, and the next year a woman from Las Vegas tested positive for meth halfway through the pregnancy. A few other near misses and we were thinking that adopting a child just wasn’t in the cards for us.
Enter an angel who I will call Elle (not her real name), because she is a very private person and I respect that. Elle and I had worked together for years, and she was one of the supportive friends I mentioned earlier, albeit in a very quiet and unassuming way. She was someone you could always count on. One day out of the blue we were at work and she proceeded to tell me how she had a dream that she had a baby for Alen and me.
Elle is not from the USA, and I’m not even sure that she knew that surrogates actually existed and could be found in a number of agencies around town. I had not even mentioned going the surrogacy route to fatherhood since I had invested so much time with the adoption. But there was Elle, describing a plan she had hatched to “get us that child we have been dreaming about for so long.”
We both decided to sleep on it. Alen and I couldn’t sleep that night. We lay awake wondering what type of person would be willing to do this for us. By 4 am we came to the conclusion that Elle was an angel, and we should go for it. When I saw Elle at work the next morning, we both yelled “YES” at the very same time. I made an appointment with the fertility clinic that day.
Elle is unmarried and has never been married. She has been through her own heartache with love, and simply has never found the right man. She also has never been interested in having children of her own. Elle speaks of Alzheimer’s and cancer in her family medical history, and for this reason insisted that we not use her eggs for the procedure. (We wouldn’t have used them anyway, for several reasons.) She was very interested in the chance to experience pregnancy however, so she saw this as a win-win situation, and so did we.
It took three tries before the IVF procedure worked, using a very young egg donor and a random mix of our DNA. Elle and I continued to work together as we made doctors’ visits, toured the hospital, and attended Lamaze class. During the workweek I could talk to my future son, feel his kicks, and watch Elle’s tummy grow. On the weekend I could check in by phone and make sure all was well. Her water prematurely broke at 35 weeks, and our big 6-½ pound healthy boy finally arrived.
I left my job to be home with my boys, and Elle left her position and relocated to another one. We invited her to come over whenever she was able, mostly because we enjoy her company, but also because we wanted the boys to get to know her better.
Over the subsequent months after our son’s birth, our relationship naturally evolved. Elle would take the bus to our home each Saturday afternoon, watch the boys during our weekly Saturday date night, stay through Sunday enjoying any and all activities that we as a family would partake in, and then I would drop her off at work on the way to my early Monday morning Master’s swim workout. She’s come with us to weddings, family get-togethers, birthday parties, and more, introduced simply as our close friend Elle. It was not as Alen and I ever imagined our family would be, but it works for us.
Flash forward to our son’s first birthday, and we’re sitting at the dining room table listening to Elle discuss the fact that she has no residual issues from the pregnancy, that she cannot even tell that she was ever pregnant, and if we were ever inclined to try for a third child, she is on board for that!
A month later we were repeating the IVF procedure with the few frozen embryos we had remaining (just in case we ever felt inclined to have a third child). When that procedure didn’t work, we shelved the idea for several years until we were ready for the procedure again with a brand new egg donor and another random mix of our DNA.
We were successful on the first try, and now we are 29 weeks pregnant and expecting our third son! And while we won’t, after son Number 3, be adding to our brood again (Elle is ageing out and Alen has reached his maximum limit), we feel so lucky to call Elle one of the family. And a family it is.
I’m not really an attention-seeker. Okay, that’s a lie; I like getting double takes just as much as the next gay. Anyway, here we are at 28 weeks pregnant. My focus should be on my surrogate – our very close friend who is doing this for the second time for us – since she is waddling and panting and grunting her way into the third and final trimester, bless her heart.
But what about me? For the last two weeks I’ve inexplicably bounced between constipation and what seems like a wide-open faucet. If you’ve ever prepped for a colonoscopy you know exactly what I’m talking about. Enough said.
I’ve had nausea so bad that I cannot sleep despite being unreasonably fatigued. Even without the nausea I’m suffering from insomnia, watching the clock tick past midnight and 1 am and 2 am most nights before I finally get taken away to sleepland. My appetite has been up and down, mostly down. Even so, my weight has reached an all-time high of 166 pounds, despite substituting a Slim Fast shake for my normal breakfast cereal while maintaining or even upping my normal excessive exercising habits.
I’m having back pain and some never-before knee joint pain. Headaches are making me grouchy. I’m over-the-top excited in one moment, and then down in the dumps the next. What’s going on?
I got right on the internet to google my ailments, and I come to find out I am not alone. I can put a name on my list of problems: Couvade syndrome, which is also known as sympathetic pregnancy, male pregnancy experience, or pregnant dad syndrome. Expectant fathers can have pregnancy symptoms too, and except for the absence of enlarging breasts, I have a mild case as is discussed in various papers and studies on the topic. In extreme cases, daddies can grow a belly similar to a 7-month pregnant woman and gain weight up to 30 pounds!
Now that I learned what, I needed to learn why. I have not heard many of my expectant father friends complaining about these issues. It turns out, as I read a few studies of this otherwise poorly understood syndrome, that a huge percentage of men (at least 92% that is) experiencing some Couvade symptoms report a deep emotional involvement with the pregnancy. Two likely suspects of my ailments are stress and empathy. Stress releases chemicals in the body, such as cortisol, that can wreak havoc. Do I have stress with a third son arriving in the next 12 weeks? What do you think?
My empathy is strong as well, after hormone injections and sperm donations and doctor’s appointments, worrying constantly about how my friend is doing throughout this entire ordeal, how my husband is holding up, and how the boys are going to adjust to the addition to our family. Fortunately, it sounds like in almost every case all symptoms seem to disappear immediately after birth.
So will my Slim Fast and sweat pants.
One sentence that I read today has eased my mind as we hit our 27th week of pregnancy: “While his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if he were to be born now.” I’ve lost sleep this week worrying about our new son, since we’ve hit a few bumps in the road on our way to his birth.
We’ve visited urgent care a couple of times recently due to bleeding (spotting, actually). We were told to go directly to urgent care with any signs of blood, so we’re doing what we have been told. Luckily there’s very little pain involved, with no signs of contractions or preterm labor. A few weeks ago we had marginal placenta previa, where the placenta appears to be migrating over the cervix and could subsequently complicate or even completely block a vaginal birth. Most recent exams show that the previa is resolving, which is good news, but some blood still leaks from the placenta, which is not good. Our surrogate/friend has some anemia to boot, which has left her feeling short on energy.
I’m a little nervous since our youngest son Dylan was 5 weeks early after our friend’s water broke while reaching for the milk in the refrigerator, so I assume that the likelihood of an early birth is greater with this pregnancy. Plus we’ve now developed a common but bothersome vaginal infection, which I found on the list of “Things That Could Cause Preterm Labor.” And all the things we’re going through one can find on the “Symptoms You Should Never Ignore” list.
Throughout this ordeal (I mean pregnancy) our new son’s heart rate has been perfect (mine is all over the place), and his size is exactly to be expected for his age, which is about 2 pounds today! Our head of cauliflower is already 14 ½ inches long from head to toe. He is supposed to be sleeping and waking at regular intervals now, but according to my friend he spends 95% of the day swimming and doing gymnastics, probably motivated from the recent Olympics.
On the cusp of the third trimester, we’re dealing with intermittent leg cramps, some back pain, a suddenly bulging tummy, and HUNGER, along with an attempt to start house remodeling, train for an October 10K running race, and gather up all the newborn boy stuff we have accumulated in storage. Oh and introduce our oldest son to the joy of kindergarten this week!
Right now it feels like when you are refilling a soap dispenser in your bathroom. You’re pouring the soap from the big bottle under the sink, and at first it’s very very slow, but as you near the top suddenly there is a rush of soap that overflows down the sides of the dispenser and onto the counter, and you wonder how you let that happen yet again. I thought I would be more prepared by now, since this is our third boy, but time is getting away from me. Hopefully now that the boys are returning to school this week I will have more time on my hands. Or soap.
By: Lex Jacobson
We are into our second trimester and have started to announce this pregnancy. Most of our friends know, and last week I told my boss and then my colleagues.
I am amazed at how similar I’ve found the coming out experience and the announcement of a pregnancy experience: They are both secrets you’ve held for a long time (granted three months is a little different than three years) and it is the most important thing in your current life.
Ten years ago, I was terrified to come out. I was scared of not being accepted, of living a life that was frowned upon by many and of losing my nearest and dearest friends. Though with this pregnancy, the fear of losing people is much lower, there is a sense that my choice to have and raise a baby in a queer family is not a lifestyle that would be celebrated by many.
However, just as I was surprised at how people stuck by me and supported me when I came out, the reaction to the pregnancy announcement has been nothing but positive. I honestly didn’t expect people to be this happy for us and excited about the prospect of a new little heartbeat entering the world in six months.
I have also been a little bit worried about my wife Devon’s heart through all of this too. I was scared that people would put the focus on me, because I was the pregnant one, and forget to celebrate her impending motherhood, and again, have been surprised.
So far, there have only been a few questions about the “dad” in all of this. What is the dad like? Did you see a picture? How did you choose? What are you going to tell the kid about his/her dad when they grow up? I wish I could educate people to not use the word “dad,” as that is a growing pet peeve of mine. We used a donor, not a dad. He is no more a dad or father than a man who leaves a woman while she’s pregnant and who has nothing to do with the kid.
There is no dad. There is a donor. And we are extremely grateful to that nameless man from a mystery state who has given us the biggest gift of our lives, but he is “just” a donor and though one day we may get the opportunity to meet him, this baby is my wife’s and my baby. We are the parents and the baby is ours and ours only.
The biggest similarity for me between coming out and announcing the pregnancy has been the utter relief I’ve felt after the message had passed out of my mouth. In both scenarios, it was like exhaling a breath that I’d held for far too long.
So no more holding our breath. We will breathe into this new life and feel extremely blessed that we get to share this miracle with those we love, those who support us, and those who are part of this little village that will help raise a child.
By: Lex Jacobson
As I write this, tomorrow will be the 12-week mark in this pregnancy –that “safe” milestone that I’ve been looking towards since we got our positive home pregnancy test result. It feels awesome. This baby has decided to stay, and though we’re not sure at this point of any abnormalities or issues with the baby’s health, it’s nice to know that there is still a little heartbeat enveloped within my own.
I thought telling people that we are expecting would be an easy process. Set up dinners with friends, call those that I don’t often see but want to tell personally, pass the news via my mother and father to extended family that I’m not close with. But things have been so busy – we are moving, work is crazy, family is in town – that I haven’t even told the person who I consider to be my best friend. And I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to anytime in the next few weeks.
I didn’t think it would be a nerve-wracking experience, but I am quite nervous about some of the announcements. My very best friends have known that we’ve been trying, but we haven’t mentioned that part of the puzzle to that many other people. Obviously, with the exception of my 92-year-old Christian grandmother, most of our friends and family will be thrilled and extremely supportive. Maybe I don’t have much to worry about with my friends, but there is that added population of people who may not really support our same-sex family choices.
My work is very corporate and quite conservative. Even though I won’t be telling them for another couple of weeks, I’m already worrying about that announcement. It’s protocol to send out a company-wide email announcing the news (after you tell the boss, of course), and I’m struggling with what to say. Though most of my level of workers know I’m gay, many at the higher level do not. I do want to make mention of the fact that my partner and I are expecting, and I guess it would be easier to get the point across if my partner’s name was not gender neutral. I’m trying to avoid the awkward hallway conversations of, “Your husband must be so excited” and “Do you think the baby will look like you or your husband?”
These are the things that straight people don’t need to think about and though it may sound trivial, I’m not one of those out, loud and proud lesbians that can deflect comments like those. But I also don’t want to spend my life explaining. I’m also struggling with how open I want to be with work colleagues about how we got pregnant. Do they really need to know that we went to the doctor’s office every month for 9 months and got a syringe inserted into me with the sperm of a man we’ve never met? If I don’t answer their questions, will they assume we did it “old school” with a male friend of ours? I’m not sure I want that either (not that there is anything wrong with that).
It should be happy news and I know I shouldn’t dwell on the questions and comments that have yet to come, but I am a sensitive being who is not necessarily 100% secure in my sexuality when it comes to people who don’t agree with my “lifestyle”. I should be, but honestly, I’m not. I know that is going to have to change by the time my child is in school and may be bullied for having two moms, but for now, that’s something that my pregnant belly and I have to work on – before the belly gets too much bigger.
By Lex Jacobson
Things are falling into place on the home front. We’ve signed a year lease to rent an apartment in a pretty cool part of town and we’ll be fully moved by the second weekend in July.
That second week of July is an important one for me. First, it feels as though all the important, stressful stuff will be over (moving, work events). But more importantly, July 10th marks our “safe” 12-week mark, which I’m hanging onto so tight. Through the entire process of trying to conceive, I found the two week waits between IUIs and pregnancy tests so hard, but these next three weeks feel like they’re going to be harder than all of my two-week-waits combined (and there were a lot of them!).
My most apparent pregnancy symptom is lack of symptoms, which people tell me I’m so lucky to have, but it’s terrifying. For the day or two that I was puking in the mornings, I finally felt like something was going right with this pregnancy, but with the lack of current symptoms, I’m left wondering why I don’t feel anything.
I’ve dealt with anxiety all of my life and I knew it wouldn’t get better during pregnancy. I’m trying to hold onto that feeling that I actually DO have that all is well and my baby is healthy. I also know the risks of mood disorders – and treating mood disorders – in pregnancy, and I’m not oblivious to the fact that my fetus may have heart issues, or low birth weight, or a cleft lip… and it’s hard to trust, but I do.
The baby WILL be healthy and I will be too. We have learned a lot about this process and have worked with some amazing doctors who are extremely knowledgeable. There is absolutely nothing I can do except breathe, breathe, breathe and remind myself that little fetuses are insanely resilient… and so am I.
By: Meika Rouda
I really wanted to write about Father’s Day, to commend the wonderful dads out there but I am obsessed with this story of the single American mom, Ellie Lavi, living in Israel who conceived twins with a donor egg and sperm and now the US won’t recognize them as citizens. Why won’t they recognize them as US citizens? Well because there is no proof the donor eggs or sperm were from US citizens. What? There are so many issues revolving around IVF these days, so many ethical questions, but this one takes the prize for me.
First of all, is it common for people to do IVF using donor eggs and sperm? Did they ever hear of adoption?- hello, it is the same thing. Yes I understand you don’t carry the child, a mother doesn’t bond with the child while in the womb or go through the joy (and pain) of pregnancy and birth but honestly, for a woman in her 40′s who is single, to put her body through the process of IVF and the risks of a pregnancy is curious to me. Did she really want to be pregnant that badly? Is there research that by being your own surrogate you decrease potential emotional issues associated with adoption like abandonment, primal wound etc.?
And then there is the question of citizenship. If you are an American citizen and you adopt a child from another country that child is granted American citizenship automatically. I agree with this 100%. So why is the Ellie Lavi situation really any different? While there is no biological connection, she is their mother and her name is on their birth certificate. Is this some precedent the US is setting to dissuade American citizens from going abroad for fertility treatments? By the way, fertility treatments are free in Israel. Which I think they should be in our country as well but that is another story.
So good luck Ellie. While I don’t understand your choice to be your own surrogate, I do think your children should be recognized as US citizens.