Robyn was a surrogate who took part in a panel discussion about surrogacy at the fifth annual Men Having Babies seminar.
The conference is offered every year for gay men who are considering biological parenting. The event includes advice from legal and medical professionals – and personal stories from parents and surrogates. Robyn took some time to answer a few questions from us.
PP: Thank you for sharing part of your surrogacy story with our members. Are you a mother? If so, how many kids do you have?
Robyn: I have one daughter who is 7-years old.
PP: How old were you when you decided to become a surrogate?
Robyn: I decided that I wanted to be a surrogate when I was 16.
PP: How did you learn about surrogacy?
Robyn: I first found out about surrogacy in 1996, I started researching adoption laws and other options for having children. I don’t remember what or how I found the information but remember thinking how great it was to be able to have children through this process.
PP: What path did you take to learn more about it?
Robyn: It took a few years before I started learning more and it was primarily the internet that I used to gain my knowledge about surrogacy.
PP: How old were you when became a surrogate?
Robyn: I was 28 when the process began and 29 once I delivered.
PP: How many times have you been a surrogate?
Robyn: I have been a surrogate once.
PP: Did your age affect the timing of your surrogacy experience?
Robyn: My age did not play a role in the timing but making sure I was done with my family did.
PP: Did you meet any opposition from friends or family when deciding on becoming a surrogate?
Robyn: I knew from the days of researching that some people would not agree with my decision or even the concept of surrogacy, so I chose my words and people carefully while discussing and going through the surrogacy process. I did have a few people not too excited but still supported me anyway.
PP: Some women don’t want to help gay men become parents. When did you first consider helping a gay person with surrogacy?
Robyn: I never thought about helping a gay couple until the agency asked me if I was willing to work with such a couple during my screening. Once they mentioned it, I said it did not matter as long as they were a committed couple who truly wanted a child – not just the next step in life – and could care for the child in all aspects especially love.
PP: Were you a surrogate for a single person or a couple?
Robyn: I was a surrogate for a great couple in NYC who are just amazing.
PP: How did you first make contact with the parent(s)?
Robyn: The agency matches us then we had a phone interview which preceded into them meeting me in person.
PP: Did the relationship status of the parent have any influence on your decision to match?
Robyn: Very much so, seeing how they interacted with one another, with people in general and such tells you so much about how they will be together and with a child. I wanted to help a couple who truly wanted a child and desired to have a family of their own.
PP: Can you list 3 reasons you became a surrogate?
Robyn: My love for kids and I believe it’s an amazing gift to have a child so why not help? Adoption is very difficult in the USA, gay or straight – and my number one reason [since I was sixteen] was because I worked with one of the most loving ladies in the world but was unable to have children. During the six months I worked with her she had lost two babies – due to the girls changing their mind last minute about giving up their children for adoption. I knew there had to be another way to have a child in your life, so I made-up my mind once I found out about surrogacy.
PP: Do you intend to pursue surrogacy again?
Robyn: This has been the biggest question asked to me… I am not going to pursue surrogacy again except with my previous couple if they chose to have another child.
PP: Do you have any advice for women who are considering surrogacy?
Robyn: Have a support system and do it for the right reasons… Emotionally she needs to have her head in the right place so there is less problems with attachment and such.