Minnesota Surrogacy Awareness

WORLD, Making motherhood a commodity

By Courtney Crandell

In 1987, Charlotte Lee agreed to become a traditional surrogate mother for her barren sister. Lee grew up in an abusive home, so she relished the opportunity to help create a loving family for her sister and her husband. After four attempts to become pregnant through insemination with her brother-in-law’s sperm, Lee joyfully announced a successful pregnancy.

The sisters remained close until the baby’s birth in February 1988. According to Lee’s 2005 autobiography, Silently I Cried, her labor required an emergency C-section that nearly killed her. Relations between Lee and her sister quickly chilled after Lee signed the adoption papers a few days later. Promised visits with the baby became less frequent, eventually dwindling to none.

“I was not rewarded with abounding love,” Lee said. “I was left with a physical scar and a much deeper inner wound.”

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