For most of us, it's hard to imagine life without our parents. They play such an important and hands-on role in shaping us into who we are today. I know I wouldn't have been able to accomplish many of my goals without my parents' love and support.
To put it simply, the role of a parent can't be replaced. By growing up with these incredible super humans in our lives – who have often sacrificed so much for us – we come to learn our values, morals and beliefs. We learn right from wrong.
We learn what it feels like to be loved unconditionally. We develop into our own individual people. Then, at some stage down the line, we learn that we too would like to experience all that parenthood entails. We decide we would like to become parents ourselves someday.
It almost seems like the dream of becoming a parent is considered a given. We fall in love and decide we want to have children. So, that's that. The mentality is engrained in us.
We want a child, so we will have a child. We will be parents.
But sometimes, life has other plans. Becoming a parent is not just a given. There are a number of people who can't become parents, despite their wishes or best attempts.
For these people, the answer is often to turn to adoption. However, the process associated with adoption can make it incredibly hard for people. At the end of the day, the child doesn't share your biological makeup, and you can spend months or even years waiting to hear back from an agency.
These factors often make people want to turn to surrogacy instead. We are very fortunate to live in a world where we have the medical ability to even entertain this sort of arrangement, let alone actually implement it.
I'm not saying it's for everyone. But if it's done correctly and in an altruistic manner, it has the potential to literally create little miracles for families.
Sure, from a legal perspective, it is an incredibly risky process. As a surrogacy lawyer, I am trained to see the worst in every possible scenario. I do everything in my power to minimize the risks for my clients.
So, I can see why some get their knickers in a twist regarding surrogacy arrangements. There is no actual law that states that the surrogate should give the child to its parents. There's no legal way to enforce that the parents take the child from the surrogate.
There are potential risks with regard to any pregnancy. Obviously, all these emotions and hormones are related to these risks. No one can predict how a surrogacy is going to play out. No amount of counseling or legal advice can prepare any party for the confusing and personal process that is surrogacy.
There is so much controversy surrounding surrogacy. I've been paying particular attention to some of the comments that have been voiced.
A lot of these comments are negative, and I can't figure out why. The couples are so grateful to their surrogates. Seeing the genuine desire these people have to help other couples have their own families has left a very positive impact on me.
Since I am usually surrounded by stories of families that have fallen apart, it's nice – for a change – to see two separate families actually come together.