My Mom Was a Surrogate

Alcea Co-Founder and Executive Director Angela Richardson-Mook with her three sons and two of the children she carried as a surrogate

Picture this.

You want to bake a cake. You have all of the necessary ingredients: the sugar, the flour, the frosting… but you forgot the oven. (Bear with me, I understand the prospect of forgetting an entire oven seems laughable.) You search and search for a way to make that cake without the oven, until you remember — your neighbor has an oven, and she’s willing to share!

My family’s “normal”

When you grow up with it, surrogacy is just another part of your life. I understood from the first moment I knew my mom was pregnant, that I wasn’t going to get a sibling out of it. Children have very resilient little minds. As long as you can explain what’s happening to them in a clear and honest way, something like pregnancy without a sibling won’t make them sad. The way I saw it was my mom was a baker, and I got to meet cool people who my mom gave families to. They usually got me birthday presents, and I got a field trip to eat hospital food every 9 months. It was a win-win if there ever was one. Kids can see the brightness in any situation, as long as they have their own way of understanding it.

A lasting effect

With age, my carefree view on my mother and her baking subsided and was replaced with a much more meaningful view on surrogacy. To this day, I can name every intended parent, every surrogate child, and every hospital where my mom gave birth. Having the privilege of a surrogate mother means that I understand the birth process very intimately, especially when compared to my male peers. (P.S. if you want to make sure your child won’t have a child too young, be a surrogate. It’ll scare them out of it.)

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