Our story appeared on the front page of the Daily Mail newspaper. We saw it online to begin with when we woke up and then our family Skyped us with the actual print version as we cannot buy it in HK. It was on page 1, 2 & 3! This was neither our intention nor our expectation.
The headline was horrendous ‘Our rent a womb child from an Indian baby farm’ and on the online version it was even worse: ‘Our rent a womb child from an Indian baby farm: British couple paying £20,000 for a desperately poor single mother to have their child’.
This is NOT what we were expecting what so ever. To say we were shocked does not even begin to describe the sensation of seeing and reading information about you which is not a true representation of who or what you are.
Our names and photos were splashed all over the piece and of course we were horrified to be associated with newspaper’s spin and headline. The piece was a positive account, but we felt it was derogatory towards us, India, and surrogacy in India. I was relieved that neither Lalitha nor the clinic are named; this we had stipulated.
It was a perfect case of such goodwill and intention being completely sensationalized by the press. The final piece and headlines are chosen by the Editor of the newspaper. We came to realise that once our story had been chosen to be on the front pages, the agenda had changed from telling our story, to selling newspapers; it is also out of the journalist’s hands. The UK press is renowned to be melodramatic, but we certainly had no inclination that this would be geared towards our story.
Family and friends were rather surprised to see us in the headline, but fortunately know that the representation of us did not match and hence the representation of India and of surrogacy in India was being exaggerated too. This is in turn what the general public will think owing to the UK press being so sensationalistic.
I have had sleepless nights since the story was printed. I have felt physically sick with worry about everything to do with it; the implications on us, Lalitha, KIC and India.
However, regardless of the horrendous spin on the story the response to the article has been phenomenal. We have had messages of support from all over the world. These people are amazed by the choice women have in India to help childless couples; and admire the job they are doing to help such people. This message has come through in abundance and we are overjoyed that this is the reality of what the article has done.
We wanted to raise awareness of the surrogacy and the article certainly has. Our friends in the UK have been informing us that every day since the story was published more and more positive stories have been told about surrogacy in India.
The admiration for us telling our story to inspire people has been loud and clear. We have been described as brave telling our story; we do not agree. It is simply raising awareness on a subject that is not widely discussed. The other feedback we have had is that if people were in a similar predicament they would look to India for help.
One of the best emails I got was from a Doctor who looked up ‘Ashermans Symdrome’. She didn’t know what it was, which means that now one more Dr is aware of it and could help a patient. I am certain too that she would then recommend Indian surrogate mothers now and refer people to us, who we would refer straight to KIC.
People are responding in a manner that allows them to explore what they had never thought of or didn’t know was possible. We are very approachable about the subject and would never have spoken out about it if we were not positive about it. We are not hurt and ashamed by what anyone else thinks. We are true advocates and hold our heads up high and proudly and sing the praises of Dr Samit, Anjani , Lalitha, the whole KIC team and the opportunities in India.
Our baby will know where he or she came from. Another miracle of life, which has been looked after and grown in an amazing woman’s womb instead of my own.
In the meantime the month goes on and we are still worried about Lalitha’s placenta. We have again talked to Dr Samit to check she is doing OK and the baby is still well. These 2 people are our priority. We are also very worried about Lalitha and how she must feel – we understand she has seen the article. As mentioned earlier, the article lacked the respect we feel she deserves for what she and others are doing as surrogate mothers. We only hope that she can see and learn how real people, such as ourselves, totally admire everything she is doing. She has our total support.
We are not playing a game; we are looking to bring a new and happy life into the world and we want to do all we can to help that happen. Out intentions in life and in our surrogacy journey are good and true. We are delighted we have got this far and pray our journey is not cut short.
We are looking forward to receiving our fortnightly scans to see our little baby continue to grow and get stronger and stronger.
We will keep you posted...
Thank you for reading our story thus far.