Three years ago, Michelle Griffin posted a photo of herself on social media holding up a sign saying “womb for rent”. She was serious. The Perth mother-of-two was willing to have a baby for another couple, for free.
In March this year, Michelle gave birth and immediately handed the tiny boy to his new parents.
“It’s just about being able to spread that kindness,” she tells Mamamia.
No Filter: Mia Freedman talks to Shannon Garner about her decision to be a surrogate for two gay men. Post continues after video.
Michelle had wanted to be a surrogate ever since she saw Phoebe have her brother’s triplets on Friends. Having two great pregnancies and births for her children, Leilani and Isaac, just made her more determined. Her husband Trent was supportive.
“I was like, ‘I’m done parenting, but I could totally do pregnancy and birth again, so why not help another couple?’” she explains.
Michelle’s original social media post attracted a lot of attention. She says she got “tons and tons” of “heartbreaking” messages from people around the world. But none of the people were from Perth, and she was looking for a local couple. So, in 2017, she went along to a surrogacy seminar. It was there that she met Kate Ranger, who couldn’t carry a baby because she didn’t have a uterus, and her partner Kris Barlow. They didn’t realise she was at the seminar as a surrogate.
“I think that’s what really resonated with me because they were kind to me purely because they’re kind people, not because they wanted something out of me,” she says. “I didn’t want it to be transactional. I wanted to have that relationship.”