A nice heartwarming story to start the holiday weekend:
A proud Perth couple are celebrating the delivery of their healthy son, the first baby born under WA’s surrogacy laws. Mum Katie and husband Jesse were pinching themselves after their “miracle” baby, Lincoln, was born last week weighing 4.98kg. Katie’s sister Laura agreed to be the surrogate mother via in-vitro fertilisation after surrogacy was legalised in 2009.
Katie and Jesse spoke publicly for the first time yesterday about their excitement and joy at the birth of Lincoln, a brother for their sons Charlie and Beau. “He’s just perfect,” Katie said, her eyes lighting up.
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, surrogacy was Katie’s final hope of having another child. Although her prognosis was positive, she was warned another pregnancy would affect her health and her illness stymied the couple’s hopes of adopting. “I was devastated but angry at the same time because they basically said that we were good parents but we weren’t good enough to adopt,” she said.
After the law changed, Katie and Jesse decided to take up her sister Laura’s offer to carry the baby Katie could not. The arrangement had the blessing of Laura’s husband Darren. The couple, who have two daughters, agreed they wanted to help Katie and Jesse complete their family. But it would take more than two years before Katie and Jesse could welcome Lincoln into their lives.
Katie said some people called her greedy for wanting a third child. “If you’re fertile, no one says you need to stop, whereas when you’re infertile, it’s as if people think it’s OK to tell you how many children you’re allowed to have,” she said.
Jesse cannot stop smiling when asked about his newborn son. “Lincoln’s awesome, he’s a pretty mellow kid and no dramas at all,” he said. “It’s still a bit surreal because we weren’t really going through a pregnancy in our house.”
By law required the sisters and their husbands to go through rigorous medical and psychological assessment, psychometric testing, counselling and legal advice. They then had a three-month cooling-off period before they could apply to the Reproductive Technology Council to have the baby. In January last year, their application was approved and in June, Laura became pregnant after IVF using an embryo from Katie and Jesse.
The RTC has approved only 12 applications under WA’s Surrogacy Act.
Laura was modest yesterday about the gift she had given her sister and brother-in-law. She said the hard part was now over for her but just beginning for Katie and Jesse. “The science of it is amazing that you can carry someone’s else baby but I don’t think I’m amazing,” she said. “I’m just happy I could help them complete their family. He’s just beautiful.”
Katie and Jesse are amazed at Laura’s gift to their family. “I just love her even more. I’m constantly trying to think of what I can do for her,” Katie said. “What she’s done for us is just truly remarkable.”
Remarkable indeed. Congratulations to the new parents!