Nigerian ladies have devised another survival strategy by getting pregnant for childless couples for a fee.
These ladies, called surrogate mothers, have even taken to the internet to advertise themselves to couples who are desperately in need of children. Surrogacy is a process whereby willing ladies are contacted by either couples or fertility clinics to help carry pregnancies on behalf of childless couples. It often happens where married women find it difficult getting pregnant or where they have issues with their wombs.
Through medical science, a couple’s sperm and egg are collected and fertilised and then implanted into the surrogate mother who in-turn carries the pregnancy till it is due for delivery. The surrogate mother may then be flown out of the country or kept away from prying eyes and monitored till she is delivered of the baby.
Most of these Nigerian women who registered on http://www.surrogatefinder.com, have their photographs on the website with assurances to their prospective customers that they would offer effective service. The website, which listed the surrogate mothers according to their states of residence, also has a breakdown of their data. It also has registered sperm and egg donors with their details. Lagos state has 103 registered surrogate mothers on the list and this is the highest. The state is followed by Edo with 14.
While Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city has seven of such registered surrogate mothers, Enugu, Rivers, and Ogun have five each. The list further shows that Delta has four surrogate mothers. Other states on the website include Anambra, Kaduna, Ondo and Cross River with two each and Imo, Akwa-Ibom, Benue, Ekiti, Kwara and Oyo with one each. In Lagos, Ipaja has the highest number at 13. This is closely followed by Ikeja, 12, Lagos Island, 11, Surulere, eight, Bariga, and Eko with five each, Ikoyi, Isolo, Ikotun, Oshodi, and Alimosho with four each. Igando and Badagry areas of the state have three, Agege, Apapa, Isheri, and Ebute Metta have two each while Abule Ijesha, Ejigbo, Amuwo, Idi Oro, Oworonshoki, Maryland, Jibowu, Ifako, and Egbe have one each. Ruth, one of the registered surrogate mothers, who resides in Asaba and aged 23, said she would not mind becoming a surrogate mother for couples. She described herself as having brown hair and brown eyes. She said she is an honest person interested in making families happy. “I know what’s like not having a child of your own. I want to give you that gift and hope to bring joy and blessing to your home,” she stated in her message to prospective customers. Temitayo, a 28-year old lady resident in Abuja, said she was willing to travel to any part of the world to have the baby for her customer.
She said: “Since the death of my parents I’ve been working myself to death to take care of my kid sister. If I can be paid to put a smile on the face of a couple who can’t have children and also with the money to take care of myself and my sister, what more can I ask for?”
Another surrogate mother, 28 year-old Joy, said she had seen a lot of couples in churches in search of babies and “I feel bad that some of us don’t want so much but have the ability to bring life when wanted while others do not.” The lady, who said she is only interested in rendering assistance in that regard, added: “with me and your promise to take care of the baby, your desires are only nine months away.”
Loveth, a 32-year old mother of three and resident of Ipaja, said she believes God could use her to answer people’s prayers since it is painful to live without children. “Just put your trust in God, He will surely do it. Also, I pray in the journey of putting smiles on people’s faces, I will not regret because l am ready to help you,” she said. Chinyere Maryann, resident in Benin, simply said: “I don’t know what to say but I can assure you that if you choose me as your surrogate mother to your unborn, I will not disappoint you.” Oke, 27 and resident of Ipaja, said she has black hair and brown eyes. “You won’t regret having your baby with me. I am perfectly healthy…my results show that,” she said.
Faith, a 30-year old resident of Abuja, in her message to couples who need her service, said she was in the business to contribute to producing children for very desperate couples. “Children bring happiness to homes and since I am not married and can’t afford raising a child, I will be very happy to have that experience of carrying a child that will bring joy to a family,” she said. Though none of them stated how much she was willing to collect for such service, it was learnt that the couples cough out huge amounts to get their babies through surrogacy.
A fertility clinic staff in Lagos told that there were several other women who were into it but who are not known to the people in the streets. “First, there is an agreement between the surrogate mother and the fertility clinic and the couples may or may not know who the surrogate mother is, but I can tell you that couples spend millions on this process of having babies,” she said.