Is She A “Serial Surrogate?”
Didi Perry was already a mother-of-three when she decided that she wanted to become a surrogate mom for a number of families who were struggling to conceive. However, this lifestyle eventually took her to some truly unexpected places.
Didi Perry, 50, is a typical fun-loving woman from Dallas, Texas who loves nothing more in life than spending time with her family and friends. She also has a loving partner by her side in the form of Steve Perry. Based on their activity on social media, it appears that this is one couple whose relationship is stronger than ever. However, it was Didi’s role as a mother that ultimately put the wheels of this compelling story into motion…
She Built Her Own Family First
It has been about three decades since Didi had her first child. Since then, the mother from Dallas, Texas has had three children who she loves from the bottom of her heart. Based on her experiences of delivering her own children, Didi only has fond memories. “I had a wonderful pregnancy, very easy delivery,” she said. “I enjoyed being pregnant with my own kids.” In fact, this is ultimately what got her interested in surrogacy in the first place.
Didi’s Kids Inspired Her
16 years after the birth of her youngest child was the first time that Didi first developed an interest in becoming a surrogate mother. “I became interested in surrogacy after the delivery of my [children],” she said. After having such easy births, she wanted to help those people who weren’t so lucky. However, it wasn’t just her own kids’ births that inspired her to pursue this life choice. “I had recently watched a documentary about infertility and the statistics nationwide.”
Something Was Missing
There is no doubt in Didi’s mind that her own children have given her so much pride and happiness. Despite the feeling that her family was complete after having her third child, Didi still felt an urge to recreate that experience of giving birth. There was something about being pregnant that was very natural to Didi. If she was going to do it again, she knew that these babies would not be her own. However, there was one potential factor that could have completely ruined her dream…
While surrogacy laws vary from state to stage, a lot of agencies have certain requirements in order to be a successful surrogate. One of those is that women have to be between the ages of 21 and 39 – though this does not always apply. Many clients also prefer to have surrogates who are younger than the age of 40. This initially proved to be very challenging for Didi, who was already 42 when she first began her interest in surrogacy. Was she able to overcome these hurdles?
Becoming A Surrogate
Despite these worries, Didi wouldn’t have to wait too long until she was presented with an opportunity. In 2009, which happened to be 16 years after she gave birth to her third child, Didi was matched with a couple who had tried to have a baby but simply weren’t able to conceive. It’s understandable that Didi was nervous to carry such a huge responsibility and she only planned on being a surrogate mom once. However, things weren’t so simple…
Life Changing Moment
Upon seeing the intended parents holding the baby that she had delivered for them, a unique feeling took over Didi. It was in this moment that she realized that this is what she had been put on this world to do. “At first I was only planning on carrying for one family, but after experiencing the pure joy, I knew it was something I’d do again,” she said. So what exactly did this mean for Didi moving forward?
More Families, More Babies
As the years went on, Didi would continue to deliver babies for couples all over the United States. She delivered two babies for one couple, and then a further two babies for another. When asked where each family was located, Didi’s answer was fascinating. “My first family is on the East Coast, the second on the West Coast and the third right here in Texas,” she said. It appears that Didi has babies in every corner of the country.
Eight Years Pregnant
For the next eight years of her life, Didi continued to connect with couples who were struggling to conceive. Didi was able to help many people who were desperate to build families. It was during this time that Didi developed a reputation as something of a “serial surrogate.” One question that people often ask her is the following: how can she keep handing over these babies after carrying each of them for nine months at a time?
That Baby’s Not Mine
In response to this fascinating question, Didi had a fairly straightforward answer. According to her, it’s because “they were never my babies to begin with.” With this in mind, handing the newborns over to their actual parents has never been an issue for her. Being a gestational surrogate, this meant that the eggs that belonged to the intended mother were inserted into Didi’s uterus through IVF. As a result, none of the babies were biologically connected to Didi.
One of the main reasons that Didi kept going back into the world of surrogacy was due to the way she felt during each pregnancy. Not only is she a fan of the feeling of carrying a baby, she also felt much healthier every single time. “I love being pregnant,” she said. “I love how healthy I feel when I’m pregnant and I love the feeling of the baby moving around.” However, there was so much more to it than just health benefits…
Making People Happy
If there is one thing that most people can agree on when it comes to bringing a new life into the world, it is usually a good reason to rejoice, celebrate and be happy. For Didi, there was nothing she loved more than knowing that she was making other people happy. “It’s difficult to come up with the words to describe how I felt when I saw the intended parents holding their baby. It was momentous, incredible,” she said.
One of the key reasons that Didi kept maintaining the life of a surrogate mother was because she loved the idea that she was always helping someone in the process. “I love the feeling that I’m helping someone else. Not only am I helping to create a parent. I’m actually helping to create a family,” she said. “To include grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters. It’s a whole lot bigger than what somebody would think about.” However, it’s not just the families who benefit from it…
The person who arguably benefitted the most from the last eight years has been Didi Perry. Every single person who Didi helped has made her feel like she is also part of the family. “I know that all five of my journeys, my surrogate journeys, have been amazing,” she said. “I have a wonderful relationship with all of my [intended] parents and my surrogate babies all know who I am and I’m Aunt Didi to all of them…Couldn’t be happier about that.”
Not For The Money
Many skeptics might suspect that Didi had become a “serial surrogate” mother purely for financial reasons. However, she has been quick to shoot down such accusations and has reiterated time and time again that her heart has always been in the right place with every pregnancy. “I was never in it for the money,” she said. “I really just wanted to help these families.” Of course, Didi was paid for every surrogacy, but it was always a fair price…
Didi has always charged a fairly low fee for every single baby she has carried. This is simply due to the fact that she enjoyed the process so much. “I wasn’t trying to become rich from it. It was important that I made a difference in their lives,” she said. “As long as no money had to come out of my pocket, I didn’t mind. One of the intended parents asked me if I could lower the fee and I said, ‘certainly.'”
The Last Baby?
You know what they say; all good things come to an end. That was certainly the case as far as Didi’s life as a surrogate mother was concerned. The reality was that she simply couldn’t carry on being a surrogate mother for the rest of her life. Approximately five months before she turned 50 years old, Didi gave birth to her last surrogate baby. She may have been able to continue. However, Didi decided that it was time to close this chapter in her life.
Time To Move On
It seems like this was just the start of something much bigger for Didi. “Hi, my name is Didi and I’m a gestational surrogate,” she recently said in an online video. “I have carried five surrogate babies for three different families.” While the “serial surrogate” no longer carries other people’s babies, she has no regrets from the last eight years. On the contrary, Didi couldn’t be prouder of what she has done. Now, she is an ambassador for surrogates.
Killing The Stigma
There is a natural stigma attached to surrogate mothers, and Didi Perry is well aware of this. “I know there’s a lot of negative stigma around surrogacy thanks to Hollywood and the movies and all of the negative stories and the headlines,” she said. “But I think if everybody would actually look a little deeper and see some of the blessed stories that surround surrogacy, I think people would be more apt to think it’s going to be a wonderful project.”
In order to put an end to this vicious stigma, Didi is now working as a surrogacy coordinator for a local agency called Surrogate Solutions. Now, Didi’s job is to bring prospective parents and surrogate mothers together. “I absolutely love it. I’m not the one having the babies anymore, but I’m still involved in helping to form families,” she said. “I feel like surrogacy was put in my life for a reason. Now I’m essentially helping people leave a legacy.”
Didi actually addressed the stigma in a recent video that she uploaded online. According to her, ‘How can you give up a baby that you carried for nine months?’ is the question that she gets asked the most. “The truth of the matter is it was never my baby to begin with. Giving it back was the right thing to do,” she said. “In fact, for gestational surrogacy, the baby that the surrogate carries has absolutely no biological connection to them whatsoever.”
Advice For Future Surrogates
Not only did Didi address the misconceptions about gestational surrogacy; she also lent some advice to anyone who was watching who is considering becoming a surrogate too. “If somebody’s interested in looking to be a surrogate and you find the right agency, they’re going to make it a whole lot easier for you to get involved,” she said. “It can be a little overwhelming sometimes, a little even intimidating because there’s lots of information and lots to know. But do your homework and find the right agency that fits you.”
Like Mother, Like Daughter
It’s not just members of the public that Didi is inspiring to also become the next surrogate parents. It seems that her passion for surrogacy has rubbed off on her own daughter, 23-year-old Shayna Perry. In what can only be described as a story that has come full circle, Didi is essentially passing on the surrogate torch to her youngest child. “It’s really wonderful that I was able to inspire her to do this too,” she said.
Surrogacy Saved My Life
Whatever you might think about the decisions that Didi Perry has made over the last few years, there is one thing that nobody can take away from her: it has changed both her life and the lives of everyone who she has helped for the better. It has also given the “serial surrogate” a true sense of purpose. “I know that without surrogacy my passions would never have come to surface and I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now.”