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Assisted Reproduction

When Eight Is Not Enough: Serial Surrogate Expecting Babies Nine And Ten

Two years ago we first reported about British surrogate, Jill Hawkins. Now we learn that Ms. Hawkins is pregnant again, this time with twins at the age of 47. Astonishingly, she is not yet ready to retire as she hopes to become pregnant two more times:

After serious complications while expecting her eighth child, Jill Hawkins vowed to stop being a surrogate mother. But her addiction to pregnancy proved too strong to resist.

Miss Hawkins is due to give birth to twins – her ninth and tenth surrogate babies – three weeks before her 48th birthday. And she is not planning to stop there. Ignoring the potentially life-threatening health risks, the legal secretary is determined to squeeze in two more pregnancies before she reaches 50.

During her previous pregnancy in 2010 Miss Hawkins, who is single and has no children of her own, spent most of the year on sick leave, confined to bed for days at a time with nausea and headaches. After the baby, a boy, was induced, Miss Hawkins promised her worried family that she would call time on her career as a surrogate mother.

But yesterday she spoke of her pride at the prospect of taking her total of babies into double figures. At the two-bedroom flat in Brighton which she shares with two cats, she said: ‘My parents were concerned during the last pregnancy because it could have been life-threatening. ‘But I have forgotten about the terrible bits. ‘I just decided to go for it again. I find being pregnant very fulfilling. ‘I’m a naturally giving person and to be able to give babies away is what I do. ‘I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out I was pregnant with twins. It was like being pregnant for the first time again.’

Miss Hawkins’s first seven babies were conceived using her own eggs and the fathers’ sperm via artificial insemination. However, she is no longer able to become pregnant naturally and uses IVF. She is 14 weeks pregnant with twins from frozen embryos produced by a 42-year-old teacher and his 40-year-old wife from the Home Counties. The couple have a nine-year-old daughter who was born naturally, but have been unable to have any more children because the woman’s body has rejected all subsequent embryos which have been conceived.

I am going to reiterate what I said two years ago in which I confessed my terrible discomfort with Ms. Hawkins’ story. While I applauded her for the incredible sacrifices she made on behalf of her couples, I was and remain 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. Two years ago I hoped that having delivered her 8th child, Ms. Hawkins would take stock of her life, looks back with tremendous pride and gratification at the extraordinary services she has provided and pursue other ways to advance the cause of the infertility community. After all she had done, she deserved a break. Now, with babies nine and ten on the way and at two more potential pregnancies ahead, it is time for someone else to intervene. Whether it is a family member or mental health professional, it is time for Ms. Hawkins to stop.


One comment for “When Eight Is Not Enough: Serial Surrogate Expecting Babies Nine And Ten”

  • The flip side of the choice not to have a baby is the choice to have one,two or ten. However, I wonder why Ms. Hawkins feels the need to “keep giving,” even at
    the risk of her own life. What reputable clinic would even work with her at this point? If she dies trying to give birth to one of these babies, a reckless surrogacy industry will be
    blamed. I agree with Andy.
    Enough is enough.
    Shirley Zager

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