A mother who says being a surrogate is “addictive” is planning to give birth to her tenth child.
Laura McCarthy has four children of her own and has taken in five other parents who can’t do it on their own.
The single mum recently lost more than five stones in weight with Slimming World so that she can have more children for those who are desperate to have kids of their own.
She is now hoping to have a surrogate child for a single male with the donated eggs, Yorkshire Live reports,
Laura said: “I love being a mom, it’s the best job in the world, and I love that I can help someone fulfill their dream of being a parent.”
Laura always wanted to be a mother growing up and often felt for those who wanted to have children but were not able to become parents naturally.
She decided to become a surrogate mother after watching a TV program and having her first two children.
The former nursery nurse is mother to April, 13, Rowan, 11, Ada, six, and Ira, two.
She said: “The unconditional love I felt made me think about how lucky I am to have found it and so thought if I could help others, why not?
“I wanted others to have the unconditional love they had for their children.”
Laura had her first surrogate child, a girl, 11 years ago and eight months before she gave birth to surrogate twins for another family, a boy and a girl.
Each of those surrogate pregnancies resulted from IVF (in vitro fertilization), where the eggs and sperm of the parents were used to create an embryo that was then placed in Laura’s womb.
This means that, genetically, none of the children are his.
She knows each family firsthand and keeps in touch later. Once babies are old enough to understand they are given more information about how they were born.
“Once they’re old enough they’ll know who I am and they’ve grown in my belly.”
After losing weight, Laura is now around 11 stones.
She said: “Having nine kids, and definitely wanting more, I couldn’t risk a tenth baby while still being so overweight because of the associated risk factors.”
Laura is happy to talk about her own experiences and says that a misconception is that surrogate mothers are overly attached to their newborns.
She said: “People think I’ll be attached to the baby. Of course, I want to keep that baby safe, but you don’t have (your) feelings for your own child when you’re pregnant with someone else.”
She also says that some people wrongly believe that surrogate mothers “get a lot of money”, adding: “In the UK, surrogacy is philanthropic. Expenses are covered, such as travel and maternity clothes.”
UK law states that you cannot pay a surrogate, except for their reasonable expenses.
Laura says that what she does is not a service and is not allowed to advertise, although she is allowed to ‘raise awareness’.
Some people ask her ‘fun questions’, she says.
She said: “They ask ‘Do you know who you’re doing this for? Yes, I wouldn’t raise a child for a stranger.
“There’s a really supportive surrogacy community these days and there are groups on Facebook. The words used are ‘intended parents.’ It’s a community supporting each other.”
Now that she has given birth to nine children, some people have started asking about the ‘double figure’, she admits.
She says: “I’ll continue to help people support their families. If my body gets to a stage where it’s struggling with pregnancy, or if I have health problems or the birth isn’t going well, This is where a line will need to be drawn because my kids need a mother.
“I never rule out anything, I play everything by ear. I have always coped well with pregnancy and born straight away.”
And she says her parents and their children have been supportive.
Laura says that it is an incredible feeling to hand over the newborn to the parents.
“Once you see the baby in their arms you can immediately see that unconditional love,” she said. “It’s just worth it. This feeling can be a little addictive.”
Go here for more stories about where you live in your area.