Your family is there for you through thick and thin and vice versa, right? No matter how annoying they can be, you would do absolutely anything for them. But really? Anything? Would you carry and give birth to your brother’s child?
David and his partner Brendan from Sydney, Australia wanted a child of their own. For years they had been desperately trying to adopt. Because of Australia’s policy on adoption for same-sex couples, they were having a very hard time and began to lose hope of being able to have a child.
Seeing their struggle, David’s sister, Ashlee Mataele, volunteered to be a surrogate for the couple. Ashley already had three children with her husband, and she was ready to bear number four for her brother.
When asked about her generous offer to have their child, she explained, “When I was growing up all I ever wanted to be was a mum. That's why the decision to become their surrogate was so easy for me… Being a mum has brought me so much joy, I wanted the same happiness for David and Brendan. When I saw how much David and Brendan were struggling to become parents together, I knew I had to help.”
Once everyone was onboard, David and Brendan started searching for an egg donor to fertilize with Brendan’s sperm. Within only a few days, they connected with a woman through a surrogacy forum named Corrinne Hocking, who would be the egg the donor. When getting to know Hocking, they realized that she used to study where the couple was studying when first met. They felt like the connection was kismet.
She said, “After doctors created a few viable embryos, I was implanted with the first one in September 2015. I remember feeling really excited about the prospect of falling pregnant with my future niece or nephew. We discovered it had worked about two weeks later and I got David's kids to draw banners to tell them the news. It was an amazing moment our families shared.”
Baby Rylee was born on June 4, 2016. When he was born, the baby was put into Brendan, the father’s arms first. Brendan also cut the umbilical cord and the nurses placed the baby on his chest where they stayed cradled like that bonding for more than an hour.
What an amazing family moment and what a generous and wonderful person. To Ashlee, it was nothing.
"I was so pleased we had given such an incredible gift to two people who mean so much to me," she said. "To see and feel the love they had for Rylee from the moment he was born, I knew we'd done the right thing."