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The Ideal Surrogate Steps Forward
Initially, Kelly started to contact agencies and search online message boards for potential carriers. She even went so far as to contact a few through the Internet, but nothing came of it. All the time, she was updating her friend Karen Holmes about her efforts to find a surrogate. The two women are married to best friends and live only a few minutes apart in New York.
"We talked on the phone every day. I knew what they were going through," says Karen. "I [said], 'What are you doing, you're going to have somebody you don't know who lives out of state carry your baby?'" laughs Karen. "But she was to the point where she just wanted a baby."
After talking about it at length with her husband, Karen volunteered to be a surrogate for her friend in March of 2006.
"I've known Dege for 20 years," says Tom, Karen's husband. "We saw all of their tries to have a baby. So, I thought it was great when Karen stepped up like that to help them. I was fully supportive."
Kelly says that she wasn't comfortable asking a family member or a friend to be a surrogate, but when Karen suggested it, she knew it was the perfect arrangement. First, because contracts between intended parents and surrogates aren't honored in New York, their lawyer said there was no point in writing one up. Instead, they contacted the reproductive clinic where Kelly wanted to go. Karen underwent psychological testing to make sure she was up for the challenges of being pregnant with someone else's baby.