Amaechi Okobi has tried to demystify surrogacy in Nigeria by sharing his colleague’s “beautiful” experience.
The Group Head, Communications and External Affairs at Access Bank Plc took to Instagram to address the “stigma attached to adoption, IVF, and surrogacy”.
He told of one of his colleagues who recently welcomed a daughter via surrogacy and openly spoke about it, not minding the stigma.
The marketing professional blamed the stigma attached to surrogacy on religion and went on to tell individuals considering surrogacy that it is an “option”.
I love this picture that @kelechiamadiobi took. But that’s not the story. I had the most amazing conversation today.
A colleague stopped in to say hello today. It had been a while, so I asked where she’d been. Maternity leave. Seeing my puzzled look, she added, “You didn’t see me pregnant. I had a surrogate.” Wow! I was stunned. Who was this woman? Nobody just volunteers that kind of info.
There is a very real stigma attached to adoption, IVF, and most certainly, surrogacy. I had a hundred questions and finally a real person with real experience who wasn’t afraid to share. I apologized in advance and dived right in.
First things first: Surrogacy is a reproductive practice that has been widely accepted as a solution for childless couples. Of course, this extends to single individuals with the same need.
As you can imagine, there are many reasons for going the ‘Surrogate’ option. My colleague and her husband had been trying for 17 years. Imagine the emotional strain that goes with that.
After deciding, research led them to a doctor here in Lagos. Yes, you read it right; the entire process took place right here. We talked about cost; the screening process for the surrogate. Eggs and sperm. She explained how she monitored the pregnancy. The range of emotions she and her husband went through when they saw the first ultra-sound picture. The passion in her voice as she told her story and the single tear that fell down her cheek as she recalled the moment her baby was handed to her for the first time moved me beyond words. Her baby.
We talked about the support she got from @myaccessbank.
“Amaechi, I took my full 3 months mat leave. Time I needed to bond with my child.”
As I sat and listened, all I could hear was love. Surrogacy has been frowned upon for so many reasons, mostly by Evangelical Christians and their Muslim equivalent. The belief is that a couple who fails to conceive is being punished by God. I don’t know. What I do know is that I heard the most beautiful story today and if I had a megaphone, I’d shout out that surrogacy is an option. But all I have is this mobile phone and quick fingers. Ps. She had a girl. #love #newbaby #surrogacy