Podcast Episode 2: A Gay Dad and the Surrogate Expecting His Second Child

The Ultimate Gift

This excerpt from one of my Modern Family columns for the Toronto Star’s tablet edition, Star Touch, explores what motivates gestational carriers to give intended parents the ultimate gift, a chance to be a family. Be sure to click through to thestar.com to read the whole thing.

A random encounter at a sandwich shop in her hometown of Exeter, Ont., would eventually lead Angela Pickering-Peeters to help a couple of strangers become parents — twice.

“I went into a Subway where I lived, and this lady who was working there was pregnant, and she was telling me that she was a surrogate and that she had done this quite a few times already. I was fascinated by the idea and remember going home and saying to my husband, ‘That’s something I totally would want to do after I was done having my own kids.’ It was sort of one of those bucket list things; I wanted to do this just at the end of the day to say my karma bucket is full.”

After having four children of her own over three uneventful pregnancies (her middle kids are twins), Pickering-Peeters saw friends and family struggling with infertility and felt ready to make her karma-bucket goal a reality. Two years ago she helped a couple in London, Ont., become parents by bringing their son, Luca, into the world, and she’s getting ready to deliver their second child any day.

Carrying and giving birth to a child who isn’t your own is a pretty epic favour to do another family. There’s the poking and prodding involved in getting pregnant through a fertility clinic, the potential health risks posed by the pregnancy and the disruption to routine for these women, almost all of whom have kids of their own at home. So why do they take this on — especially given that it’s illegal to profit from doing so?


Therapist Erica Berman, who counsels both intended parents and gestational carriers, says that in some cases the carrier is known to the couple and does it out of compassion for their struggles to become parents. But all the women Berman’s worked with derive tremendous satisfaction from being able to bring happiness to the people they help become parents. “Nothing is more gratifying than seeing joy on the parents’ faces.”

She adds that research proves acts of altruism have a positive effect on mental health. “It’s hard to feel bad when you’re doing something good.”

Read the rest here.

Don’t Miss Podcast Episode 25: The Secret World of Infertility

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Brandie Weikle

About Brandie Weikle

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here. View all posts by