If you’re looking for advice about options surrounding fertility, pregnancy or counselling, always consult your doctor.
Shannon Garner always knew she wanted to be a surrogate.
“I noticed couples around me that were unable to fall pregnant. They had unexplained infertility and I was able to go on and have two healthy babies in a few years and it really started to hit home how easy it was for me and how hard it was for the friends around me.”
So Shannon, 36, from Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, began an important search for the perfect couple to help.
“I started to look into the idea of maybe being able to help them. One couple had tried for six years and it was really just unexplained infertility and that’s a really hard thing to go through.
“I just thought okay, well maybe I can help them so I offered to be a surrogate for them.”
That couple decided not to go ahead due to the cost, only to fall pregnant naturally soon after.
She began the process again and was in the middle of sorting through hundreds of couples when a friend mentioned a same-sex couple from the Blue Mountains in Sydney who were in need of a surrogate.
Their names were Jon Cole and Justin Worthy and they were the couple Shannon was destined to meet.
"I emailed them out of the blue and we went from there."
18 months after that initial email, Elsie, now two, was born and now Shannon is 28-weeks pregnant with a second child for the couple she refers to as "the boys".
It wasn't all smooth sailing. Shannon's husband Andrew, 39, was initially hesitant about his wife's plan.
"He was concerned at first about my health and how things would turn out because with pregnancy you never really know how it's going to turn out, and with birth."