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October 21st, 2011, 07:59 PM
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Sister gives gift of life as first surrogate mum

In five months, Laura will deliver her sister Katie the most precious gift of all.

The Perth women have entered into one of the first surrogacy arrangements in WA, a process which they say has been demanding and stressful but has strengthened their sisterly bond.

Katie, 33, has two children with husband Jesse. But the relief teacher has multiple sclerosis and, although her prognosis is positive, she was warned that another pregnancy would affect her health.

"We ended up having two babies but we just felt we weren't complete," she said. "We had always banked on being approved for adoption but because of my MS we were turned down."

It was then that Katie and Jesse decided to take up Laura's remarkable offer to carry a baby for her sister.

"I just always said that I would do it," Laura told _The Weekend West _.

The 29-year-old nurse already has two daughters with her husband Darren. "I liked being pregnant and I had easy pregnancies, although this has been harder than I thought it would be. The hormones were the hardest part."

The sisters embarked on the arduous process of applying to have a baby under the WA Surrogacy Act, which came into effect in 2009.

In a process that took more than a year, the sisters and their husbands went through rigorous medical and psychological assessments, psychometric testing, counselling and legal advice.

They then underwent a three-month cooling-off period before they could apply to the Reproductive Technology Council to have the baby.

"There's been lots of tears and stress, but no, I've never wanted to give up," Katie said.

In January their application was approved and in June Laura fell pregnant after in-vitro fertilisation using an embryo from Katie and Jesse.

Laura - WA's first confirmed surrogate mother - is 17 weeks pregnant and is due in March.

"We're very excited. It's a bit surreal because obviously I'm not carrying the baby - I just can't wait to hold and see the baby," Katie said.

Katie said their bonds had been strengthened by the process and described her sister as a "truly special person to do this".

But Laura shed tears when asked how she felt about being able to give her sister the ultimate gift.

"I am just lucky I've got the ability to do it for her," Laura said.

The RTC has approved 10 surrogacy applications under the Surrogacy Act.

The council's 2010-11 annual report showed there were two ongoing surrogate pregnancies in WA under the new laws.

The sisters will have one final legal hurdle to clear after the child's birth.
Lawyer Rachel Oakeley, from Bowen Buchbinder Vilensky, said they would have to apply to Family Court to issue an order to declare Katie and Jesse as the child's parents.

Sister gives gift of life as first surrogate mum - The West Australian
__________________
Bethany
Mommy to Damon TS to Kyle 10/07 GS for E and R--WE ARE PREGNANT!!
Try 1--Sept 2010 negative Try 2--Jan 2011 negative
Try 3--May 2011-miscarried at 5 weeks
Transfer 4---PREGNANT!!! BFP @ 5.5dp3dt Beta at 11dp3dt was 164.6

Ultrasound showed TWO BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





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