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    Gifting Birth: A Woman Helps Build Other Families

    Make moneySurrogates Build Other Families: Helping Give Someone Something They Can’t Have

    For most mothers, there is no event in life bigger than giving birth to a child. Charity Lovas has given birth to eight children, yet only three of those children are her own.

    It all began in 2002 when she and her family were living in Indianapolis. She says she was reading the Sunday newspaper and spotted an ad for ovum donors. She had never heard about it. She was curious.

    She called the number in the ad. A woman at the other end of the line explained the egg donor program and said they had a surrogate program, too.

    “I couldn’t wrap my own brain around the idea,” she says. “I remember hanging up and telling my husband, you’re never going to believe this: There are people who carry babies for other people!”

    The stay-at-home mother, then 26, started poking around, and the more she discovered, “the more fascinating surrogacy became,” she says. She loved being pregnant, but her husband, Tom, like many others, was worried that Lovas would bond with a baby she carried.

    Lovas and her husband planned to have more children of their own, but the timing wasn’t yet right. She convinced her husband, and the two of them agreed that Lovas would be a gestational surrogate, someone who carries a child conceived outside the uterus, often using the intended parents’ eggs and sperm — with absolutely no biological link to the surrogate.

    Fully aware of the pull to bond, some surrogates develop a plan to avoid attachment to the baby in their womb. For instance, some create an emotional bond with the intended mother or deliberately think about the baby as someone else’s.

    But Lovas didn’t. She says she knew that it wasn’t going to be an issue.

    “You know these aren’t your kids. They were not conceived for your family,” she says.

    In 2006, Lovas signed her third su