The National Center for Surrogate Parenting in Chevy Chase, which matches would-be but barren parents with women willing to be artificially inseminated and bear a child in the formers' behalf, has reported its first birth.
A 6-pound, 10-ounce boy was delivered in a suburban Maryland hospital by a surrogate mother, herself married and the mother of two children. The healthy boy was taken home by the couple who arranged for the birth.
And the birth occurred on Father's Day.
The surrogate mother, in fact, was on her way to dinner at a restaurant with her husband and children when she went into labor. She was taken directly to the hospital where, within five minutes, the child was born.
All this was reported by Pamela Leonard of the staff of the National Center, which opened initially in Baltimore and later moved to a Wisconsin Avenue office building in Montgomery County just over the District of Columbia line. Leonard said the names of the parents, the surrogate mother and the hospital cannot be disclosed.
"The father said when he wrote the word 'father' on the birth certificate , 'it was the most beautiful word I've ever written in my life,' " Leonard reported. "There wasn't a dry eye in the hospital."
The parents, married 14 years, had tried most of that time to produce a child. But the wife was infertile. They arranged with the National Center for the husband's sperm to be implanted in the surrogate mother, who was paid a fee of $10,000.