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  • Writer's pictureJessica Taylor Yates

Conversations at brunch: Did you hear? They're going to meet the surrogate | Part 16

In desperation, you start to trust your heart over your head.

Jess at beach

A new personal blog series exploring the highs and lows that epitomise the conversations you have at brunch.

This is Part 16 of a series. For a recap of Part 1, click here.


One Facebook group I joined was women offering to be surrogates. I saw one post that caught my eye - a woman from Perth, who said she had now had her children, but wanted to be pregnant and give the joy of parenthood to someone, or someones, who needed it.


I got in touch. She answered.

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Even now, writing all this, I feel nuts, like what I will write sounds like one of those weird stories you read about in That's Life alongside 'My crocodile ate my husband's penis' or 'I married my father's long lost twin.' But it all happened. I supposed when you're desperate, you'll do anything.


The woman, who I will call Beth, seemed... weirdly normal. We chatted a bit on Facebook Messenger, and quickly moved to video to make sure we weren't catfishing each other. I didn't get it. Beth was... not strange and not just wanting money? She was late 30s, a teacher, who had kids young. She seemed to be a kind woman - she had many rescue animals, volunteered with kids, and had loved pregnancy. I have read that the body can make women feel this way in their late 30s, early 40s, either as a sign that in olden times, they would have grandkids now, or before menopause, when its your body's last hurrah. I don't know if any of that is true, but perhaps it was where she came from. She said she had had two great pregnancies, and wanted to do it again after reading all the stories of people who couldn't. It seemed it was going to benefit her with her work leave financially, which hey, happy if she had outside motivation.


I was still gobsmacked that someone was willing to do this for a literal stranger. We kept chatting, about the surrogacy, yes, but also just banter - TV shows, our lives, travels. We became what felt like friends, it was all very easy, she had a no-nonsense Aussie-mum kind of attitude.


Once we had all quote unquote 'committed' to each other (legit, you have to ask if they're talking to anyone else like you're dating, it's so cringe) we got in touch with a clinic here who facilitate this type of arrangement. As alluded to in my last post, it's not like, LET'S GO, which is pretty much my mantra alongside 'YES I WANT TO COME TO BALI/GO TO THAT MUSICAL WITH YOU.' (Except Cats. Never, ever Cats).


Over the next few months, all three of us - Beth, my partner and I - had to undergo psychological interviews, legal interviews, blood tests, health tests, medical questionnaires, personality questionnaires. While it was painfully irritating and slow and expensive, it felt we were moving.


In December of 2022, we decided to fly to Perth to meet her - we just had to be sure she was really there, and actually a real person! We were lucky enough to stay in a friend's place, and made a trip out of it (side note, Perth is amazing). We met up with Beth a few times - once at a lunch, which maybe was a tad awkward, but fine - and again at a restaurant with her daughter, who, at 18 or 19, was pregnant herself. Beth didn't seem overly pleased, but it was happening. They would be like Father of the Bride II, pregnant together!


We reiterated how it would work, where we would do everything (we were happy for her to stay in Perth and we would keep flying over), how we could pay for everything, how incredibly grateful we were, how we wanted her to feel comfortable with anything she needed, anything we could help with - meals, child care, transport, money. We left feeling really positive, and I came home and started the IVF medication, ready for my egg collection.


The next week, Beth bailed.


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