“Infertility is a silent epidemic”

A Canadian woman who has two children via surrogate wants to start what she calls a ‘well overdue conversation’ on the subject of infertility

Amira Mikhail, who lives in New Zealand, suffers with debilitating endometriosis, and was having a laparoscopy operation to treat the condition when an internal bleed blocked her fallopian tubes, rendering her infertile.

Devastated by this news, the mother-of-two, was determined to realise her dream of becoming a mother and set about a programme of IVF, using a sperm donor.

On the seventh attempt it worked and she became pregnant, but it ended in a cruel miscarriage 12 weeks later

She was advised that it could be dangerous for her to get pregnant again, so she looked into adoption, but said it didn’t feel right and realised her only realistic option was surrogacy.

But as advertising for a surrogate is illegal and paying a surrogate is a criminal offence in New Zealand, she came up against a major hurdle.

After a year of red tape, counselling, medical and legal advice, the volunteer surrogate Amira and her partner, Simon, had connected with withdrew her offer.

But by chance, a close friend of Amira back in Canada knew someone who was willing to be their surrogate and so the embryos were transferred to Ottawa, but not before their application was sent for approval to the New Zealand Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology(ECART).

Four months later, the couple were delighted to reveal their surrogate was pregnant with their son, Kairo.

She told Stuff website: “When I started going through this I felt like I was the only one, but it became very apparent through my journey that infertility is a major issue, larger than we realise.

“I think it is important to talk about our experiences. It helped me a lot to hear other stories when I was struggling and alone.”

The couple are now expecting their second child with a surrogate due in November.

Amira hopes to breakdown the taboo and stigma attached to infertility and has written a book, entitled Mission To Motherhood.

Can you relate to Amira’s story? Tell us your story, email Claire@ivfbabble.com



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