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Womb – For – Rent

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photo_for_womb-for-rent_articleI did not want to disappoint him again, he had been trying to have lunch with me for about a week. We ate, gossiped about our respective co-workers and rambled through several topics. Then it came up.  “I am not getting any younger, uhm, and I would like to have a child down the road….” At this point my usual playful grin disappeared. He continued “…I would like you to carry my child…., you know…. be a surrogate mother for me.” My silence was clearly unanticipated because he quickly added, “….I’ll pay you. I have really had this in mind for a long time now. And you know I think very highly of you.”

I mentally replayed the first part of his last statement. How long is this “long time”? Since we met or since what?  

Our conversation lasted about forty minutes. He wants (us) to use my eggs and, as though to calm my nerves, emphasized on artificial insemination. Eventually I said, “When you are actually ready, let me know”. “Is that a no?” he asked looking bemused. My ‘shmuck’ish grin returned, “It’s a maybe.”

That is the beginning of what might just become my surrogacy story.

For the benefit of all, a surrogate mother is a woman who offers to conceive an embryo and carry the pregnancy to term on behalf of the biological parent(s) or mother, who may be unable to fulfill this role due to some form of infertility or by choice. Typically during the pregnancy, the surrogate mother is nurtured and cared for by the biological parent(s). Her parental relationship with the child typically ends at delivery. There are all sorts of surrogacy arrangements but it is most common where e.g. the wife can’t carry a baby in her womb due to health complications, or in gay marriages.

You see I have no issues with being a surrogate mother. Infact I have had constant premonitions of being one, but to a couple, a man and wife unable to have kids on their own, not to a single (and I must add, darnnnn good looking) man who has simply chosen to not settle into a relationship. Relax, he is exclusively straight. Let’s stick to the topic. My only hesitation: Those premonitions were not envisioned using my eggs.

Surrogacy has become increasingly common in developing countries like India, though almost all of the cases I read about were done in secrecy, just between the (usually financially-strapped) woman, and the couple in need (mostly people living in the diasporas). In some cases the surrogate’s husband is in on the process so they would cook up some hyped story to their kids and extended family on why she has to be away from home for a while. Even China has a growing ‘womb-outsourcing’ market, but its open practice is seriously hampered by the country strict civil laws that label surrogacy as illegal. But let’s bring this topic closer home now.

Do you think there is anything ethically, religiously or morally wrong with surrogacy? Have you ever considered being one, maybe for your sibling, relative, close friend or a complete stranger? What if they approached you to be one?

Most of us know at least one couple, married for so long, looking and praying for ‘the fruit of the womb’ and claiming it by fire (I kid you not, I just felt some modified MFM vibes zoom through my body…amen and amen…). Do you think they should consider a surrogate? Not that it’s your call, but what do you think?

If you are open to surrogacy, then the price is right at $_______ (N________).

Or are you thinking, “enkay biko what’s this talk about price??? It is not our culture!” Reallyyyy? So what are your concerns? On a related yet random note, I guess it’s also safe to say that an African man will almost never agree to use a sperm donor if his sperm count is low. As far as he is concerned that child is not his. Period. I can already picture him chasing his wife down Alimosho Road accusing her of sleeping around even after it was a consensual decision to use a sperm donor.

There’s always the good old proudly-African perspective to such unspoken topics. Call me the taboo queen. I’m talking about it.

To my potential client ……it’s still a maybe.

Photo credit: pregnancy pictures

34 Comments

  1. Tess

    February 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Its really not our culture and the couple might never learn to treat the baby as theirs.
    But come to think of it, what’s the difference between this and adoption?
    If we now accept adoption (i do) then surrogacy, y not?

  2. Mae

    February 22, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Madam, is this story for real? The proposal is strange. Spooky. What’s that Beyonce’s song about put a ring on it? If you are good enough to be a surrogate, you should be good enough for a ring. Stop making excuses and tell him to “put a ring on it”. Whether you choose to incorporate a surrogacy business of to carrying babies for others, you will always remain part of a child’s life and have you considered what the child will think of you down the line – perhaps, a mercinary.

  3. mj

    February 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    the difference is…with this , they’re using ur egg. they may be hiring you…but the child is still your flesh and blood

  4. tbn

    February 22, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    The reason why adoption is different is because in most surrogacy the sperm of the man can be implanted in the surrogate mother and the child would have the dna of the father if not of the mother (at least one of the parents). I dont think there’s anything wrong in surrogacy as long as the intended parents sign a contract with the surrogate mother stating all the terms, we have seen cases where the surrogate mother refuses to relinquish the child after birth because she’s attached to him/her, so your best bet is to have a contract. I dont know if people do it in Naija but if you want a child and dont want to adopt and you have someone who is willing to have your sperm fertilise her eggs and to carry your baby to term, why not? Jessica Simpson got a surrogate mum for her baby, though I dont know whose sperm it was. Good luck, however, I cant put a price on how much you’ll charge for doing it that’s left for you to decide, remember your life wont be normal for the 9months, you’re carrying the baby, so that may help you in deciding how much to charge…

  5. Myne Whitman

    February 22, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    I will consider being a surrogate for money if I were strapped but not with my eggs. For a close friend or relative, I will do it with them and for free knowing I will still be a little part of the child’s life. However, I will only do it for couples so your potential client can not apply.

  6. MissOpinionated

    February 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    I don’t gree with surrogacy because its not natural and once human beings alter a natural process, it has negative ramifications even if the ramifications are not initially obvious. Though I don’t like it, I would advise anyone who wants to do it, to do it with a stranger in a purely business relationship where once the surrogate hands the baby over she disappears for life, because if they around so many issues will crop up later.

    As for the scenario above I would advise the lady NOT to do it. The man’s motives are questionable. Why you? Why now? Is he going to raise the child by himself? I believe he is just a mischevious man feeling out your mind with his questionable request. He has no noble motive in mind for you. Even if you do become a surrogate, be one for a married couple not a single guy who is into mind games as this man obviously is.

  7. F

    February 22, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    This is not even about culture cos culture can change with the times. This is about good values which hardly change at all. If a man wants a child so bad, why can’t he find a lovely woman to make a baby with? if he can’t be patient enough to make a child by building a stable relationship, is he really ready for the responsibilites of fatherhood? Why should a child be subjected to single parenthood(deliberate) when they benefit so much more from having two parents? A child is for LIFE and not just for the baby blues time.

  8. S

    February 22, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    The big question is, how do you feel about carrying a baby for 9 months and then giving him/her away? Also, how you feel about it now, may differ when/if you give birth.
    The fact that he’s a single man but isn’t willing to enter a committed relationship, should be alarming? How exactly is he supposed to take care of a child? If this was like some of the cases you described; long term friends that can’t conceive by themselves, e.t.c, then it’s a bit understandable. However, for someone that thinks highly of you; yet wants to rent your womb, but not interested/patient enough to build a relationship with you, sounds fishy.
    A child is the most precious gift a woman can give, is he worth it?

  9. MZ Mous

    February 22, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    jessica simpson ke?

  10. amdia

    February 22, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    It’s not our culture but also thinking it religiously, i rather have the fertile spouse go for a second wife or adopt!!!We Africans think that whatever westerns ideas are the best/ trend!?If you’re looking for inspiration, Go to the Saint Book it has all kind of examples. Let’s not have the world “start ending” with us. Let’s go back to The Source!!!

    • olamide

      November 29, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      second wife and thinking of a religious point do not go together!

  11. pinky

    February 23, 2010 at 12:18 am

    There is soooo much I disagree with in regards to your comment. Firstly, if you are looking at the issue from a religious perspective, you shouldn’t be mentioning a second wife…. Secondly, you have assumed the infertile spouse is the woman… Thirdly, the “saint book” does not account for issues of today…
    I believe the decision is entirely in the hands of all those involved… Simple…

  12. CEO

    February 23, 2010 at 12:44 am

    am not sure about the story tho…but as for surrogacy, the child can ACTUALLY have the DNA of both the couples involved, the woman can actually donate her eggs as well as the man donating his sperm., so technically the surrogate is just a carrier. people have several reasons for opting for surrogate mothers; health reasons: some women might not be able to handle pregnancy(miscarriages), also for lifestyle reasons(the lady might just not want to gain weight!..lol..quite true tho.also, the surrogate probably needs the money so much. but personally, i would rather hire a surrogate mother than to adopt(dont know whose dna am bringin into my house and life). it all depends on the couple involved! x

  13. lady

    February 23, 2010 at 1:37 am

    if u read ur bible thoroughly u would realize that there is indeed an answer to every current day issue. dont get it twisted.

  14. Sugabelly

    February 23, 2010 at 3:04 am

    The Bible is NOT YOUR CULTURE EITHER so stop using it to justify your thinking.

    Comments like this get on my nerves. Yeah, it’s not your culture, well guess what? The Bible is not your culture the Bible is HEBREW culture. i.e. JEWISH/ISRAELI culture. If you look in the mirror and see a Nigerian then please hush.

    If you want to say you don’t agree with it fine, but using the Bible to determine what is and isn’t Nigerian culture is the height of ridiculousness.

  15. pink-satin

    February 23, 2010 at 6:02 am

    I agree with Sugabelly. I find it annoying when people judge other people based on their own personal religious beliefs.The girl in the story did not say she was a christian, moslem, aethist,agnostic or Sango worshipper so i dont get the bible this and bible that.
    Culture is a way of life, it is dynamic and not static,it changes from time to time…. but if i were to go by what most of you regard as culture then Christianity is and never was our culture.Christianity was imposed on us by our colonial masters and their missionaries.Someone in this comment section was talking about altering of the natural process…so i guess it’safe to say a woman should not have a ceasarian operation, after all it is not the natural way of giving birth, or a leukemia patient should refuse a bone marrow transplant because he is altering his blood?
    While i do not agree with the guy in this story(he seems very shady) surrogacy is an option and should be considered by people who cannot give birth naturally.

    @ Amadia are you serious about the second wife option?wow…i guess that is religious abi?

  16. browncoco

    February 23, 2010 at 8:34 am

    im sure u wont be able to give up the baby

    friend or not
    and it might even strain ur friendship along the road
    i actually considered it when i was much younger for my uncle whose wife could not/cannot conceive
    am glad i didnt do it
    coz after the 9mos and delivery its freaking hard to just let go like that
    after having 2 kids of my own ,i assure u dat will be the most difficult situation you might ever go through
    think about it very very well……………

  17. Ncyluv

    February 23, 2010 at 9:38 am

    The difference between surrogacy and adoption is obvious, the child has the DNA of the parents while the surrugate mother is just a womb to carry the feotus to term.

  18. osomelly

    February 23, 2010 at 11:24 am

    the pregnant belly picture is gross. wats that stuff on d belly? is it a real picture?

  19. allen

    February 23, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    thats a baby’s foot. the baby is kicking.

  20. Chocoholic

    February 23, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    really? What is the answer to this issue?

  21. Chocoholic

    February 23, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Well said babe!

  22. Chocoholic

    February 23, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    lmaoooo…thats what i said too. Maybe she’s referring to another Jessica Simpson.

  23. Elle

    February 23, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Lol!! I just love reading these comments? What has the story got to do with a ring now? The guy asked for a surrogate not a wife (or even a gf for that matter).. so the issue of put a ring on it doesnt arise. Its a business decision not a romantic one.
    I probably wont accept cos I will like to have someone carry mine too if I could. But I see nothing wrong with it. I dont know how long this guy has been “thinking” but a baby isnt a dog that you wake up and get just because you can afford it. I wish he was in some sort of stable relationship to raise a child, may be better for the child.

  24. by

    February 23, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    na wa for you rumour monger, or you mean sarah jessica parker (sjp)?

  25. tbn

    February 24, 2010 at 12:55 am

    sorry its a mistake, i meant Sarah Jessica Parker, I was seeing the face in my head but writing someone elses name, my bad 😛 no need to lyaooooo chocoholic!

  26. WALE ADENIJI

    February 25, 2010 at 9:14 am

    @pink-satin: I want to align myself with your submission. That’s a good one from you.

  27. Purpleicious babe

    February 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Based on the comments I would like to say it is up to the adult. As to what she wants to do. If she feels it fair and think things through, then it her issue. However, referencing the bible, children are blessing to God and in Mattew Jesus said is with men things are impossible but with God all things are possible. So u can either put your trust in God like Abraham and Sarah or put your trust in man. The choice is yours, but whatever you consider your actions and cautions that comes with everything we do in life.

  28. pinky

    February 25, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Please enlighten us… Since u have read the bible thoroughly…

  29. Eme

    February 26, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    In my own opinion, there is nothing wrong with being a surrogate mother!
    If the surrogate mother were in Nigeria, I suggest she goes into hiding when her stomach starts showing because of all them ‘busy body’ people who can never mind their own business!

    There are many orphan kids out there….couples should look into adopting. The process is not very difficult in Nigeria compared to many other parts of the world where you are saddled with paperwork for years.

  30. Consolata

    April 12, 2010 at 1:05 am

    This is bullocks! Have you had kids? If not do not even give this surrogacy a second thought. The fact is that pregnancy takes a toll on you physiologically, emotionally and most especially Physically [Outside and Inside – your organs] Why would you want to jeopardize your health and your future pregnancies for a mere man – who just feels like having a kid. How is he going to care for the kid? Does he really know what it is to have a new born? Or he sees it as the next in accessory. Let him go and pick up a grown kid from an orphanage [over flowing with kids hungry for some love and care] if he is really serious and practice his non existent parenting skills on him. I don’t even know if surrogacy is christianly; but I won’t judge a couple who have tried all efforts to conceive and resort to it. You have to be in their shoes to fully understand their childlessness and baby hunger. What is the world coming to…… Shikena!

  31. Evelyn Madukwe

    September 7, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Surrogate motherhood is now becoming the norm in Nigeria.Through surrogacy many couples have the opportunity of enjoying parenthood..There is an agency in Nigeria that provides surrogate mothers for couples
    nigeriansurrogates.com/

  32. ADUNNI ORELOPE

    May 11, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    i don’t see any thing wrong in being a surrogate, cos this help couples that cant give birth naturally hope of becoming a parent, just imaging if u were to be in such shoe wont u look for solution to keep your marriage and make yourself happy. abeg me dey look for one oooo.

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