I never quite thought baby making for me would enter this new terrain of law, morality, and intention. Who knew I would have to add lawyer to my long list of reproductive attendants. Isn't doctor, nurse, IVF coordinator, embryologist, pharmacist, blood technician, early morning cab drivers, fertility yoga instructor, acupuncturist, insurance representative, and surrogacy agency enough?
I, as an "Intended Parent," have every intention of having a baby. Is that so wrong? Did I ever think I'd have to be on the run, like some bandit outlaw? For those who haven't had the pleasure of cracking the shell of surrogacy, every state of our United States has a particular opinion on surrogacy that dictates how and whether it can be done. (Click here to see a breakdown of state surrogacy laws) Unfortunately, my state of New York may accept all sorts of characters within its borders but it does not allow for surrogacy. So the story goes that in July of 1993, the legislature passed Article 8, Section 122 of the Domestic Relations Laws of New York. This law states that surrogate parenting agreements in New York are void, unenforceable and against public policy.
So now that I've been long barred from the natural mommy club, and slowly not qualifying for the IVF-on-my-own body club, I'm not only barred from my own body, I'm now barred from reproducing in my own state. My marginalized status seems to be becoming more and more remote. I'm not sure where I will be at the end of this - Siberia? My days are filled with waiting for a surrogate match and contemplating one last IVF on myself. I've felt lonely these days as I used to be a bulletin board whore - joining every type of buddy group from immune issues, to tubal infertility, to pregnancy loss, to repeat pregnancy loss, to lining issues, to ectopic survivors, and now surrogacy. But I'm not sure where I fit in on the bulletin boards anymore. If there was a group called "outlaws" or "road less traveled" or simply "Siberia" then I might join.
But in my banishment, I realize this is where "intention" has the most profound meaning. As I feel in so many ways already labeled, I need to get used to my newest title of intended parent. Intention involves stretching, bending of the mind toward a goal, determination, purpose, and design. I'm running with my ball and chain out to sweeter and freer states that will let me put my embryos into another dear lady's uterus. Intent is pretty darn significant in a court of law. So if I face a jury of my fertile peers, they must remember that foresight and recklessness shouldn't be equated with intent. Don't condemn me if I don't have the foresight to see what pain lies ahead of me. Don't handcuff me if my choice to use a surrogate seems reckless. But if my crime is the intention to be a mother, intention to raise a child with love, intention to build a family, then I'm ready for my sentencing.