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Traditional Surrogate Regrets Decision

If there is any lesson to be learned from this story it is that proceeding with a surrogate arrangement without psychological screening and counseling is a recipe for potential disaster:

As Queensland’s first child born under the state’s altruistic surrogacy laws, Connor Harris’s arrival was a moment of unbridled happiness for proud parents Bentley and Matt Harris.

For his biological mother “Rosie” (not her real name), there has been nothing but heartache and regret since that historic day last May 11. “As soon as the baby was born it all changed,” the married friend of the couple said. “I was crying in hospital when he was having his first bath, I couldn’t watch, I thought what the hell have I done? “I never thought having a child and giving him away would make me feel like this. “I regret everything, I don’t regret Connor, I regret the decision very much, I just wish I’d never done it.”

Matt said things changed after Connor was born, with Rosie wanting to be called b-ma (biological mother) instead of auntie Rosie as agreed before the birth. “We went into this just wanting to be parents and not having a third parent,” he said. When Rosie and the Harrises agreed to go through with surrogacy, the laws had not been enforced and what they were doing was illegal. “It was a risky thing to do,” Rosie said. “We couldn’t get psychological counselling prior to the pregnancy because we were running the risk I could have gone to jail.”

The married mother of two underwent artificial insemination using Bentley’s sperm with the full support of her husband but as the pregnancy progressed she began to regret her decision. “If you are going to use surrogacy you should not use your own egg,” she said. “I used my own egg because it was the easiest way and there’s such a long wait for donor eggs. “If it was a donor egg I think it would have been completely different because I would have been carrying someone else’s embryo.”

Bentley admits it has been a testing time and hindsight is a great thing he probably wouldn’t go through surrogacy with a friend again. “Rosie was very convincing to us that she was going to be OK, that’s why she did it,” he said. “She convinced us she was going to be OK, she was fine to us, she didn’t say anything was wrong. “We wanted it to be fine and OK and I guess her feelings which is the biggest thing is the thing that’s affecting her right now.”

The Harris’s far-fetched dream of having a family became officially true when they were granted legal parentage of Connor last October. Bentley said he still pinches himself each day now that his dream of having a child had finally been realised. “It’s amazing, I come home from work and I look forward to seeing Connor every single day,” Bentley said. “Sometimes you’d get to a point where you think you’re not going to have kids because how can two men have kids? “It’s happened now and sometimes it’s still a bit surreal that we are actually here and we have made that journey. “I’m still amazed.”

Queensland MPs voted 45 to 36 to support surrogacy a highly controversial topic and allow the legal parentage of the child to be transferred from the birth mother to the intending parents.

The gay couple are both listed as Connor’s parents on his birth certificate after Rosie agreed to legally transfer parentage in court. Bentley, 41, continued to work full-time after Connor was born while Matt, 39, was the stay-at-home dad. Bentley said he and Matt would explain to Connor who his biological mother was when he was old enough. “The biggest thing for me is he is going to know who Rosie is because we will explain it to him about why she did it,” he said.

I hope the couple and the surrogate can reconcile these issues before the child is old enough to understand the role the surrogate played in his birth. It would be very unfortunate if Connor’s birth story is tainted as a result of the conflict between his birth mother and parents.


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