Childlessness is seen as a taboo and is often a controversial subject in many countries across the globe, none more so than in Africa
A woman who is unable to bear her own children is often isolated, ostracised and condemned by her family.
The subject is something that figures highly in the conversation with the First Ladies of the African countries, IVF babble regularly features articles about their work in their communities to break down the stigma of being childless and how education can help to combat these taboos.
One option women are turning to is surrogacy, where a woman will carry another woman’s baby so they can realise their dream of having a family.
In recent years Nigeria has seen a rise in the number of women stepping forward to help childless couples have a baby. But what are the reasons behind it?
Human resources manager, Juliet told Punchng.com in a report on surrogacy in Nigeria that she needed the funds after losing her job.
“I was out of work and needed something fulfilling and rewarding to do. It was a tough time for me and my family, and I needed to do something quickly or else my family would have been on the street.”
One of Juliet’s friends told her she knew someone who needed a surrogate mother and that was how her journey into surrogacy started.
Nneka, a civil servant, said she felt surrogacy was a win-win situation for all.
The single mother said, “I have always loved children and I love to help others to have children but it comes at a price. I love to see people happy and I love babies but I am not ready to have another child myself.”
One woman interviewed said she saw surrogacy as a way to relocate for a new life in another country.
Olabisi said she wanted to leave Nigeria for a new life in Canada with her children.
She said, “I need the money to relocate my family to Canada but I am also happy that I’m helping a couple to have their own child.
“I am doing this to give my own children a better future and giving intending parents the opportunity to enjoy their future too. There is no loser in this deal and that is one of the reasons why I love surrogacy.”
Some women interviewed said they had to persuade their husbands to let them help childless couples, which wasn’t always easy
One said, “I am happily married with two beautiful children. But getting my husband to approve was not easy at all. I pleaded with him and told him that nothing was wrong with being a surrogate. He initially disagreed but later agreed.”
Another said, “My husband found the idea really strange before he finally agreed to it. When I told him how much I would get from the procedure he loosened up a bit. He was really assured when I told him there was legal backing and entailed a thorough medical procedure.”
What does it cost intended parents?
Several of the women were paid between two and six million Nigerian nairas to be a surrogate mother, which is between £3,700 and £11,500.
Many used the money to start their own business or pay for their children to go to school.
What’s your thoughts about surrogacy? Have you had a child using a surrogate? We would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org