Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Pissed Off Prostitute. In Response to Rebecca Hamilton

I posted a controversial blog on my Facebook timeline this morning. In the blog, the author accuses surrogates of being prostitutes. She really doesn't think we're money hungry; just low income and uneducated victims. She really feels quite sorry for us thoughtless followers being led absent minded into a terrible, terrible decision.

Here's a link to the blog in question: 
By Rebecca Hamilton. 

First up; look lady... 

I've been called a lot of things in my day. Oddly enough, prostitute or some synonym may have been one of them (college...yeesh...) But one thing I have never, EVER been accused of being is a follower. Much less an unintelligent follower failing to possess the wits to make my own decisions. I dare say many of my surrogate counterparts fall into the same category.

What Ms. Hamilton fails to understand, in my opinion, is that surrogacy is such a selfless choice. Yes, it is so rewarding and enriching. I am proud to be able to give my children a first hand experience in compassion and love. I am proud that my husband supports my choice. I am proud of myself. BUT.... this decision comes with many a cost. These include:


  • Missing holidays with family (since I cant travel for a large part of the journey)
  • Unexpected overnight trips away from my kids (Because who knows when my uterine lining will be just right)
  • Weight gain. A lot of weight gain. 
  • Stretch marks
  • Saggy boobs
  • Emotional distress- though emotional rewards come as well. 
  • Injections... self given... into my ass... daily... 
  • Limiting my travel plans
  • No new tattoos
  • No smoking or alcohol consumption (for those who do that outside of surrogacy)
  • Possible family dissent
  • Possible public scrutiny (reference mentioned blog) 



The list really goes on and on. Talk to any surrogate about her "compensation" package and you're likely to get momma bear really fired up. Most of us won't even tell you what the package includes.
This lack of sharing isn't because we're ashamed; 
it's because we're offended
Not a one of us chooses to walk this journey for financial gain. To suggest as much is infuriating and offensive. It makes you look ignorant, just so you know.

So why DO we do this? It differs for every surrogate. Readers of this blog know I felt a pull from God to do this. To help His kingdom.

Despite the blogger's infuriating words, I must continue to maintain my Journalistic oath (self imposed) from French Philosopher Voltaire, "I may not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Which brings me to my next point; censorship.

Ms. Hamilton will only post criticism and response to her article once she reads and approves of the comments. You won't find said limitations here folks. Flame away; I can take it.  I believe in and respect strong willed and worded people. I lose all respect when you exhibit your ability to dish out freedom of speech, but duck and cover when it comes to receiving freedom of speech in response.

Perhaps what has me most worked up over her post is not that she is calling me a prostitute, M&T "Johns" and Growing Generations my "pimp" as much as it is her flagrant disregard for educating herself before preaching about the missing virtues of myself, my IF's and my agency. To suggest we poor unfortunate surrogate souls haven't the faintest idea of what we're getting ourselves into...Wrong again, Ms. Hamilton.

Most surrogates are incredibly self informed. Those who are not well informed at the onset of surrogacy sure are informed by the time we sign legal contracts and begin medications. In fact for some of us, myself included, the journey TO surrogacy is long and research intense. I waited THREE YEARS just to be able to apply for the chance to become a surrogate. Don't pity my misinformation, Ma'am.

To suggest intended parents arrive at surrogacy as an easy way out of pregnancy and into parenthood is heartbreakingly cruel. I've not encountered a set of Intended Parents (heterosexual or homosexual) who don't wish they could be the ones carrying their own child. This is a difficult decision for them. A painful one. They want a baby. Not to victimize a surrogate. They'd have the baby themselves if they could. Your words are uninformed and hurtful.

Surrogates are not ill witted, under educated, poverty stricken victims, ma'am. (Most agencies have catches to weed out those types of applicants anyway, which you'd know had you done your research...) What we are is strong willed, independent, whole hearted compassionate women willing to sacrifice our time, our bodies and at times our families to help others grow their families.


You keep hiding behind your keyboard.

I'll keep helping 
DESERVING 
couples make families. 

24 comments:

  1. I couldn't have said it any better, you well versed prostitute, you... ;)
    But really, thank you for writing this for us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, even we prostitutes can claim some amount of intelligence, now can't we?

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. eloquently stated.
      She is missing out on unconditional love.
      Living in a state of hate and misconceptions is something I choose not to be in. She may want to reevaluate her life and her prejudices.

      Delete
    2. Thank you both. Pep (Deb) you know I hold your judgement and consideration in highest esteem. I'm glad to have done you proud. I wish my IF's could meet you.

      Delete
  3. Beautifully said...I am damn proud to be a Surrogate...1 of the best CHOICES I have ever made!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow... chills up my spine! Very well said and a great reference to keep on file for any future dissenters :)

    As IPs, the SINGLE most important question when starting this journey was whether the people whom we are entering this partnership - yes, partnership - with, were doing it for the right reasons; whether they were well-informed, had the support of their family and friends, and motivated by generosity and love. This has entirely been our experience of the surrogacy community, from you to GG to the IPs we know both in Australia and abroad - and we're not even pregnant yet!

    The beautiful thing is that even at this early stage, not only are we excited about our future child/ren. We're now also excited about becoming part of this amazing community of generous, intelligent, positive people. Ms Hamilton's spurious analogy is nothing less than ill-informed scaremongering.

    -T x

    PS you may have been called a prostitute before, but I've never been called a 'John'! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My dear T- (And M),
      I thought of you both when writing this. Of running the rough by you first before publicly going on a rampage. The end result is knowing that we are well matched. Knowing that you'd support ME- even if you didn't support my stance.
      That's what Ms. Hamilton DOESN'T get. Surrogacy is more than money and babies.
      It's love.
      It's new bonds
      It's us.

      Delete
  5. Great post!

    I left a comment for her....probably won't make it up so I'm sharing it with you.

    While your article offers your opinion, as someone who has been a surrogate or as you imply a prostitute in the past I have to kindly disagree with your view. I am not uneducated, poor or pimping out my body. Nor am I being taken advantage of or violated by those who choose to pursue surrogacy in order to have a family. This was a choice I made in order to help someone who desperately wanted a child. Did I accept a compensation to do this? Yes I did. Does this mean I am evil? Hell no. I did not sell another person. The baby I had was never mine to begin with. There was no genetic link to me but I did take care of and love that baby while I was entrusted with their care. In order to help the child bond with their parents before birth I went to great lengths to make sure that their child formed that bond with them from the very beginning. I played recorded songs, stories, etc. that they made for their child in order to start their bonding at the earliest possible time.

    Your article implies that in order to do this a woman must have been taken advantage of and is being used. I think it is sadder and more of a violation that you believe that I woman is not capable of making her own decisions. You make it sound like we are a herd of cattle who blindly follow whoever leads us. To me the fact that you think women lack the ability to make decisions for themselves is a much sadder theme of this article.

    Surrogates are selfless, caring, strong women who put themselves through a lot to do what we do. I can promise you the amount of money that we receive pales in comparison to what we put ourselves through in order to ensure a healthy baby for a loving family. In all honestly if I had been a prostitute I would have made better money and at least had some time off because there is no break from pregnancy.

    In closing, thank you for your view on surrogacy. I respect that you have your view and I hope that you can give the same respect to others.

    Jaime

    ReplyDelete
  6. I too tried to comment on her blog only to have it deleted (first time a democrat representative has silenced an opinion of mine, I felt honored to wiz in her cheerios though!) I shared it on facebook because I think it's important that other views are shared instead of her one woman full fledged assault here is what I attempted to share bad grammar and all:

    I'm confused by this, and I feel like it's an internet troll being an internet troll, alas I shall feed thine trollface.

    My wife is a surrogate, and we talked about this before, she wanted to be a surrogate before she realized you could be payed and it was because she had so many friends and family who could no longer conceive or could never conceive (homosexual friends, women suffering from lupus, uterine scar tissue etc etc). We tried to go about it with independent surrogacy with zero compensation but it would have taken years for the couples we wanted to work with to be able to get eggs (the cost is quite substantial and many of the couple who need a surrogate to have partial genetic parents at least suffer from crushing medical bills from what caused them to be able to not conceive in the first place)

    The screening process to be a surrogate is rigorous, and they take care of the women that are faced with the challenge of giving someone a family. At no point do they hide the fact of what can happen to you, and at no point do they force you to agree to anything giving multiple opportunities to stop the process. Last I knew prostitutes were never given the choice once they started down that path.
    In my opinion you are criminalizing something that is a non-issue, instead of bettering the process. Maybe some surrogates are ill-informed but each surrogate has floored me with how amazing they are by how much research they put into it, these are not uneducated masses of women, more than half are stay at home moms or work financially stable jobs and a good portion of them are college graduates or attendees.

    My wife and I didn't need the money, that was never an issue, we needed to give a father or a mother the chance to have a child that shared their genes so they could pass on their family legacy, it was compassion that we wished to fill after seeing so many families lose their only chance of having children. To verbally assault these women in the name of women rights is not justified, before posting he said she said talk to these amazing people and listen to their story before passing your harsh 'prostitute' label.

    I find this disgusting on a site that is supposed to share the concerns of faith, where this is just a gross attack on something that has nothing to do with religion in any part, honestly I think because there are so many homosexual intended parents that you have found a way to morally justify throwing the practice and these women under the bus.

    Don't bother commenting to this, I wont respond, we have both stated our opinions and neither of us will budge and only time will tell on which side was correct. If you do feel the need to respond it will only fall on deaf ears and it will just be your excuses for behavior that I will not sink to. Have a nice day, also you may want to rethink about your 'no name calling' rule on the side, think calling surrogates prostitutes nullifies that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kudos, sir.
      Well informed and impassioned husbands are part of what makes surrogacy WORK.

      Thank you for being both

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Thanks, Chana. Your approval means a lot to me.

      Delete
  8. Beautifully written! As a surrogate, myself, I appreciate the time you took to address her uneducated rant. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It sits well with my soul to find a sea of support, and not a narrow of hate.

      Delete
  9. Wow. That was a very uneducated, non-researched article. Clearly, they have never spoken with surrogates or surrogacy agencies to understand the process and reasons a woman would want to lend her body to a deserving couple to have a family.

    Everything you mentioned above was well stated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      I feel like she was handed a duty from her boss "write to this" and failed as a journalist. For those who don't know; I studied journalism, and worked in th field for 10 years (most of it with CBS). Her practices here are shameful. Though, admittedly, I've never been a huge fan of the editorial.

      Delete
  10. Well said, thank-you from an IM :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scarlett-
      Thank you. Truly thank you. It means a lot to me to find support from the IP community.

      Delete
  11. I have just recently applied with an agency to become a surrogate after over THREE years of research and wanting to do this with every fiber in me. This is a very well said response to an article that reflects so poorly on women who are willing to put their life on hold for a years time, sometimes more in order to help a family have what they long so much for.

    When I first found out about surrogacy I didn't even know that there was a compensation that went along with it. I was 8 months pregnant at the time and when I spoke to a complete stranger about her experience as a surrogate for over a half hour with her not once mentioning anything about money I knew it was what I was meant to do.

    Thank you for having such a strong way with your words and standing up for surrogate and IP's in such an amazing way.

    ReplyDelete