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Assisted Reproduction

Eight Is Enough? British Surrogate Pregnant Again

British Surrogate

Britain’s most prolific surrogate is pregnant again:

Jill Hawkins, from Brighton, has been implanted with two embryos from a professional couple in their early thirties.

Miss Hawkins said she was “absolutely ecstatic” after a home pregnancy test revealed at least one of the embryos has started to grow in her womb. It will be the first time she has carried a child not from her own eggs and she will find out later this month if she is expecting one baby or twins.

“There’s a good chance it could be a multiple pregnancy,” Miss Hawkins told the Daily Mail. “I hope it is. I have never had twins before so I’d love to have that experience.” Miss Hawkins, who has no children of her own, will hand over the baby – or babies – to the couple while still in the maternity ward.

Miss Hawkins, who will be paid around £12,000 in “expenses” for her pregnancy, had spent 18 months trying for an eighth baby, but without success. “My eggs have just packed up which is not unusual for a woman of my age,” she said. “I was worried that because my eggs aren’t as strong as they were that the rest of me might not be up to it either.

“But I’ve had scans and there’s nothing wrong with my womb so being a host should not be a problem. I love being pregnant. It’s a compulsion I suppose and I really miss it when I’m not pregnant.” All Miss Hawkins’ previous children she has given away have been conceived using her own eggs and sperm from the father which was artificially inseminated. Miss Hawkins, a legal secretary, is the most prolific surrogate mother living in Britain. Carole Horlock, from Stevenage in Hertfordshire, who has given birth to 12 surrogate babies, held the title before moving to France four years ago.

I am torn about this news story. While I applaud Ms. Hawkins for the incredible sacrifices she has made on behalf of her couples, I am troubled by the number of times she has been a surrogate. Clearly she is motivated by an intense desire to help others less fortunate then her. But in the process, has she sacrificed too much of her own life and taken too great of a risk?

It bears mentioning that in the United States, Ms. Hawkins would not be allowed to be surrogate eight times by any reputable agency or physician – or any number close to that. Moreover, Ms. Hawkins would not even be eligible with most agencies to be a surrogate as she has no children of her own. Setting that aside, I would hope after this pregnancy, Ms. Hawkins takes stock of her life, looks back with tremendous pride and gratification at the extraordinary services she has provided and considers finding other ways to advance the cause of the infertility community. After all she has done, she deserves a break.


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