My family structure seems ideal from the outside, 2 biological married parents, heterosexual. Initially struggling to conceive. Back in the early 80’s there was no IVF on demand, but they tried all the medical options. They tried this for 6 years until they were successful. I am not sure if IVF was involved in the process (was never told) but my mother always told me she struggled with fertility issues (and I was 8 when she told me this). They made sure to bring two more siblings (women now struggling with drug use and mental health).

As soon as I came into the world I was wearing the nicest outfits and had a lot of “perfect family pictures.” But behind closed doors my parents hated each other and made it clear that they just hung out because it was convenient for their status. Unfortunately, narcissists don’t have children in order to love or care for them, they just need an audience. Drama was always there, but only behind closed doors. Outwardly, we had to pretend to be perfect. That was until I became an adult.

My father had multiple affairs and was not hiding it at all. He had a son outside marriage and didn’t bother to say anything until we found this out ourselves. My father was not interested in being a dad. He was a good provider and that was it. He only expected good academic outcomes and wasn’t bothered to invest any emotions in me.

My mother was a covert narcissist playing the victim role. As a child I had to listen about their marital problems and become a listener of adult issues. 

My parents never divorced, and they are still together in their play as a “couple.” I had to leave the family as they never were real parents. They were just providing material resources and were expecting perfection and obedience and never guided us to become self-sufficient adults.  I always saw them as divorced as they barely talked to each other at home, they were living separate lives and that just made me lonely. 

Now that I am an adult and outside the “family” and see how big the surrogacy and IVF trend is, it comes to my mind that I wished my mother would have never succeeded with her treatments. Why? Because I was never considered an independent human being, just a price, a utility. This is scarring.

I have been reading the stories from this website and all the words from children of divorced parents resonate with me: “I feel inadequate, anxious, unable to attach to people, fearful of being abandoned.” Yes, I had a mother and a father, but they were there for themselves. I was just an accessory that needed to look good.

Sometimes I think: God was not allowing them to have children for some reason, but they persisted and were successful, but now I have to live with the sadness that I had to be what they wanted to be loved. Everything was conditional. The moment I tripped they would not be there for me.

I write this mostly as a cautionary tale for women who think that surrogacy is a good thing and a noble cause, putting aside the monetary aspect of it, in which selling a body is just a matter of having food on the table.

So, if you are considering being a surrogate, please think about this possible scenario. Sometimes people need children for inheritance purposes, social competition, and as a box that needs to be checked on a list. Love and sacrifice are not contemplated. If that was the case, then adoption would be one of the main options on their radar, and even some unlucky adopted kids have to be raised by these types of people.

Now that I have my own kids, I have to pay with love. I have to become what I didn’t get. Having self-absorbed parents is being an emotional orphan. You can see and name your parents, but you don’t know them. I would never deliver a kid into that environment under any circumstances. Sometimes people who fall for the surrogacy argument of “doing it for love” don’t even consider if the couple really love each other: you will never know that.

Then you would ask: why would God allow for children to be born in dysfunctional families with clearly unfit parents? We might never understand this, but that doesn’t mean that we should use our free will for potentially harming another child.