Surrogacy is a challenging path. Giving up your body to carry another’s child means you are doing all of the work without any of the reward of parenthood after.
Redditor amihorrible32 was worried that she’d made a mistake agreeing to surrogacy…but also that she’d made a mistake when she followed her gut and backed out.
She took to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” to figure out if she’d made a crucial error.
“AITA for backing out of being a surrogate after I already agreed to do it?”
Our original poster, or OP, described how living through her husband’s death with a young child informed her circumstances.
“I am a 32 year old mother of a seven year old boy. His father, my husband, died when he was four.”
“My son has been traumatised ever since. We slowly got back on track but money has been extremely tight ever since.”
In order to relieve some of the burden, OP considered something she may not have in less trying times: Surrogacy.
“About half a year ago I was approached by a friend of a friend. They wanted a baby but couldn’t have one. They wanted me to be their surrogate. I immediately declined because I did not feel like I could handle it emotionally.”
“When I said no they offered me more money. So much in fact that I felt like I had to say yes. The money would have made my son’s and my life a lot easier so I accepted.”
“We drew up a contract and signed it a month ago. The procedure was meant to start in early August.”
But then a less stressful opportunity came up:
“But then last week I was offered a promotion. I was offered this promotion once before but it was so close to my husband’s death that I did not feel like I was ready for the extra responsibility and the move that comes with it.”
“But now I feel ready. It and it comes with a serious pay rise too. I accepted.”
Of course, this meant her circumstances around accepting the surrogacy had changed:
“That also means that I won’t need the money that would come from being a surrogate. I decided I would no longer be willing to do it.”
“I never really wanted to in the first place. So last Saturday I met up with the couple and explained my situation.”
“I told them that I had accepted the promotion and I would be moving away in September.”
Unfortunately, the couple who approached her did not respond to the news well:
“They did not take it well. They accused me of leading them on and said I should have discussed the promotion with them first.”
“They said they will pay me even more if I agree to go through with the pregnancy. I said no my mind is made up.”
“They were very upset and said I already signed the contract. I am pretty sure that they cannot make me do anything I don’t want despite the contract.”
Though OP feels bad, she feels she made the right choice.
“I feel bad about backing out and I expected them to be upset. At the same time it’s a very big thing and I really do not want to do it especially now that I don’t need the money anymore.”
“I also, maybe selfishly, want to take this promotion. After all I went to uni for 5 years to get a Masters degree and I want to progress in my career.”
The couple will not leave her alone now:
“I’m starting to doubt my decision though because the couple keeps messaging me. They say they are willing to double the money. I don’t want it but I feel bad because they seem very desperate and I ruined their hopes.”
OP wants to know—did she do the right thing?
Redditors decided where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
People unanimously agreed that it was the couple who were stepping out of line, not OP.
“NTA. No, legally they cannot force you to go through with the contract and give birth.”
“I’d recommend cutting contact. Why don’t they go through an agency if money is not an object?”~MiskiMoon
“These people are emotionally manipulating you into signing a contract by offering you a ton of money, which is the only benefit to you.”
“They are not taking your or your son’s emotional welfare into consideration. Also, consider this, they might be preying on you because they know you’re emotionally distressed from previous experiences.”
“It sounds like you’re from the UK. In the UK, ‘altruistic’ surrogacy is allowed but not commercial surrogacy and although commercial surrogacy is illegal, the surrogate mother can be paid for ‘reasonable expenses’ which is also acceptable in overseas surrogacy arrangements.”
“It doesn’t sound like this money is for ‘reasonable expenses’, it sounds like an incentive. Furthermore, surrogacy arrangements are not legally enforceable thus all decisions must be taken through to a solicitor in order to draw up a written agreement.”
“You need to speak to legal professional as you say you signed a contract.”
“You do not have a duty to undergo childbirth just because you are female and if this couple continues harassing you, involve the law.”~Aspiring_Bog_Hag
“NTA. I’d cut all contact with them because no one is going to change their mind here. You only agreed because they kept pressuring you with more money.”
“They were totally willing to take advantage of your situation being a young widow struggling to establish financial stability for your family.”~DamnItToElle
“NTA – there’s no way this could have ended well. OP immediately said they couldn’t handle it emotionally and the parents pressured her to do it and finally agreed out of desperation, a single mom and widow.
“This is exactly the opposite of an ideal surrogacy arrangement for either party.”
“I also want to mention that given what you told us, there’s no way you’d get approved to be a surrogate from a reputable agency. There must be a reason these people want you in particular instead of going to one, and it’s probably a shady reason.”~Originalhumanbeatbox
The entire thing feels shady to most Redditors-not to mention manipulative.
“NTA The surrogacy industry is somewhat exploitive, relying a good bit on women like you who are desperate enough to take the enormous risk of carrying someone else’s baby for money.
“They were not concerned with your motives when you agreed to do it for money, and they are not concerned that if you did it now, it would only be for the money. So why should you feel guilty for backing out when you no longer need the money?”
“You were not doing this as a favor, and they were not paying you to do it as a favor.”
“You are not their only hope. And having biological children is not something anyone is guaranteed.”
“Shame on them for pressuring you. Do not let anyone tell you that you are the ah. NTA”~StarfishSabbatical
“Nta, first place they cant decide your life, if you take the promotion thats is your life, you worked for it like you sed, being pregnant and after getting back on your feet will take precious time from your job.”
“Tell them they wont be willing to pay the rest of your life for the difference in money each month.”
“Further it is a heavy decision and it is your body, even with procedures it will be heavy and can take several cycles, even with throwing money around there is no way to be sure you will get pregnant and have a healthy baby by the end in 5 years.”
“You will have to repeat and repeat every cycle again depending on procedures it can be hard and put your life on hold for all that time, you have one kid, there is no certainty.”
“I also feel they knew bout the indecision, go to legal, ask what you can do, read fine print on contract, i am sure they picked on your difficulty and preying on it, they a desperate i get that, but like see in other posts why didn’t they go through agency.”~gamemamawarlock
“NTA. You dodged one hell of a bullet here. I understand they’re struggling right now, but they basically told you that you needed their permission to take this promotion.”
“They see you as nothing but an incubator and would probably make your life miserable with all their demands and attempts to control you if you did carry their baby.”~manderifffic
“NTA. Giving up a chance at a long-term career in order to function as a surrogate for strangers seems like a bit much for anyone to ask.”
“It’s understandable that they are disappointed but the ‘contract’ you signed isn’t enforceable. You need to do what is best for YOU.”~Mirianda666
OP’s choice may have been difficult, but in the end, Reddit agrees she made the best decision for her own well-being.
We wish her luck on her new career move.