In 2016, I was working with an international couple of intended parents, serving as an advisor in their surrogacy journey. They did not speak English and wanted to make sure they understood what to expect, so translation was key. We made flexible plans for travel and carefully prepared for their new arrival.
When the time for delivery was near, they made the 10-hour drive to Redding, California from L.A. Baby was born healthy and cleared to leave with them the following day. Many happy tears were shed.
Since the surrogate had delivered via C-section, her hospital stay would be days longer. She had chosen not to see the baby for fear of attachment but all that separated us was a long hallway.
The following morning, just before sunrise, we heard a soft knock on the door. Clearly having made her way to our room without assistance, the surrogate stood there, alone.
She had changed her mind about holding the baby, she said, and asked if she could just hold him once. Her eyes scanned his face, memorizing it, and she rocked him in her arms. Nurses came and went. After many long moments, she handed him back to the family. As she turned to leave the room, her hand rose to wipe tears from her face.
At that moment, it struck me with deep resonance that she was alone. Alone in her journey, her choices, and her recovery. Alone, walking down a hallway without a hand to hold or a reassuring voice. A day after giving the most generous gift one can offer- the gift of life.
My heart made a decision that day: that no surrogate should face her journey alone. Joy of Life was founded on the strong belief that surrogacy care should encompass both sides, and no step should be taken in solitude. Together, our team forms a supportive, compassionate village where the care of surrogates and intended parents is our top priority.