Serial Surrogates Have Birthed More Babies for Others Than Themselves.

For some women the excitement of a pregnancy is knowing they are helping someone else become a parent.

Carole Horlock is one of those women -- a surrogate mother who has babies for other couples. She immediately hands over the babies to their parents after they are born.

"I see them hold the baby for the first time, and it's wonderful to see that," Horlock said.

She has enjoyed having babies for other couples so much that she has delivered a jaw-dropping 12 kids in 13 years, meaning the 42-year-old has given birth nearly ever year.

"I've been told that I have got a world record for having the most surrogate babies, but I don't know if this is true," she said. "I've never checked up."

VIDEO: Meet a Serial Surrogate Mother

Horlock said that she didn't set out to become an extreme surrogate. It just sort of happened.

"When I first started being a surrogate I expected to do it once," she said. "I hadn't looked past that. But I enjoyed it so much. Before I actually had given birth to the baby I wanted to do it again."

Anita Brush, another "serial surrogate," said she felt the same way. The 42-year-old Californian has given birth to 11 children, including three grown kids of her own.

She can rattle off all of their names at the drop of a hat: "Taisei, Cole, Connie, Tom, Max, Brendan, Ethan and Jason." And her own kids? "Bryant, Margaret and Rhiannon."

The former day-care worker's unlikely career as a surrogate began 12 years ago, when she was looking for a job that would allow her to spend more time at home with her three young kids.

"I was looking in the newspaper and saw an ad to be a surrogate for infertile couples," Brush said. "I was very intrigued. And I love being pregnant."

After passing a rigorous screening process, which involved psychological tests, medical exams and background checks, Brush joined an agency and quickly became pregnant for a Japanese couple. Brush's son made sure everyone, including his hairdresser, knew all the details about his mom's pregnancy.

Brush remembered her son's explanation: "'Oh, it's a boy but it's not our baby.' And she just kind of pauses as she's cutting his hair and she said, 'It's not your baby?' And he said, 'No, it's Japanese. It's going home to Japan after it's born.'"

Surrogate Mothers Give 'Incredible Gift'

Brush didn't know how she would feel about handing over her first surrogate baby, Taisei, to his parents. But when the moment came Brush said she felt it was "an incredible gift" to be able to hand the newborn over to his parents because "that's the goal. That's what we set out to do."

Surrogates like Brush receive, on average, $25,000 to $30,000 for their services. But there are downsides, including in-vitro fertilization, morning sickness, bed rest, Caesarean sections and stretch marks.

Brush said she's not in it for the money. "Somebody figured it out once, and just in a normal pregnancy like a 10-month pregnancy, it worked out to be about $1.75 an hour."

And if a woman gets all those shots and goes to all those doctor's appointments and she fails to get pregnant, Brush said, she doesn't get paid.

Family Tension

Horlock, who lives in England, has parlayed her extreme surrogate status into additional profit by selling her story to the tabloids. But sometimes the headlines have turned nasty.

"You do it once or twice and you're an angel. You do it time and time again, you're a monster," she said. "If it's a good deed the first time, why doesn't it continue being a good deed?"

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...