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Big heart Mum-of-four who acted as a surrogate to help her friends have a baby calls for changes to the law

'There was a few comments about how cold I was to give away this baby – but I’d do it all over again,' Becky Loftus Dore says.

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Becky was thrilled to be able to help her friends have a baby.

Becky was thrilled to be able to help her friends have a baby.

Becky was thrilled to be able to help her friends have a baby.

The amazing ‘circle of life’ moment when she helped her best pals become parents.

Mum-of-four Becky Loftus Dore gave birth to a baby boy for the lifelong friends in April 2019.

And ahead of the youngster’s second birthday the 44-year-old told how she’d do it again in a heartbeat.

“I had to have a section because I had two previous sections,” she says. “As they do, they kind of raised him over the curtain like a Lion King moment.

“There was no motherly instinct there when I saw him. I thought there might be a flutter of protectiveness, but I think I was delighted not to be pregnant — and knew that was it.

“As soon as the baby was born, they wrapped him up and gave him straight to his parents and brought them into a different room so they were able to do skin-to-skin straight away.

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Dore with three of her children in Turas Clainne

Dore with three of her children in Turas Clainne

Dore with three of her children in Turas Clainne

“It was more watching them because I knew he was not going to look like me or my husband. When I finally did hold him, it was just like holding someone else’s baby.”

Big-hearted Becky had no plans to expand her own brood when the couple — who have chosen to remain anonymous — opened up about their struggle to start a family.

And the Westmeath mum told how it was actually her husband, Maurice, who sparked the conversation which led to her carrying the couple’s first child.

“We were actually away for a weekend,” explains Becky. “On my mind was just a couple of nights away from my children, a full night’s sleep and a few cocktails.

“It was my husband who said to them, ‘Have you thought of your options for starting a family because you’d make great parents’, because they always showed genuine affection for our children. They said, ‘No, we’ve closed that door, we know it’s not going to happen for us’.

“I don’t know whether you call it divine inspiration or a lighting strike, but I just said to them, ‘Well, have you considered surrogacy because I think I would have a think about that’.

“I had gone through my own secondary infertility [struggle] so maybe that played a part in a bit of the empathy and understanding.

Two weeks later, I got a message saying, ‘Do you remember that thing you said — would you be serious?’”

As an ‘altruistic surrogate’, Becky — who is not biologically related to the boy — did not get paid for carrying the couple’s child like some women.

Living every scan and kick through the eyes of first-time parents was reward enough, according to Becky.

“That was something that was very, very clear from the beginning because I never wanted this child to think that he was ‘paid for’,” says Becky, who is now lobbying for legislation on surrogacy, which is still unregulated in Ireland.

“It’s hard to explain but it’s such a different journey right from the start.

“With your own child, as soon as you get pregnant you’re talking about baby names with your partner, you’re feeling the bump and wondering who it’s going to look like.

“I think because this journey is so different the conversations are different. Your head kind of figures out, ‘OK, this is what’s going on here’, and that probably helps your whole body.”

“One thing for me that I wanted to stipulate was that I didn’t want to use my own biomaterial,” continues the surrogate, who travelled to Cyprus with the couple and her family for in vitro fertilisation. “So I didn’t want to create an embryo out of my egg and my husband’s sperm.

“At the end of the day, it would have had a biological connection to us and our children — for me that was just complicated. So I said, ‘Look, you make the baby and I’ll grow it’.

“I had seen so many scans with my own pregnancies and I knew what to expect, My joy was watching their first time seeing their baby on a scan or when they came over to go, ‘Give me your hand’ and I’d put it on my tummy and go, ‘There you go, he’s kicking you’.”

Former Fine Gael local election candidate Becky shares her incredible story of surrogacy on new four-part series Turas Clainne, which starts on TG4 this Thursday.

But she admitted that not everyone is as understanding as her husband or their children Rachel (13), twins Emma and Siobhan (7), conceived through IVF, and Brian (6) about her decision to have someone else’s baby.

“There was a few comments [about] how cold I was to have no emotion and give away this baby,” says the surrogacy coach, who previously appeared on The Late Late Show. “But anyone that was just finding out at the school gates or whatever was very nice about it.

“The kids just got it from the beginning. They even told their teacher, Mummy’s having a baby and giving it away’. I had to clarify, ‘They’re right, but let me explain!’

“My husband was very black and white as well, which was fantastic. He was like, ‘Well, they’ll make good parents and you can make babies, so there you go’.”

“The only complicated thing is the whole legal side of it that myself and my husband as soon as the baby is born are the legal parents.

“There’s no protective laws supporting [the biological parents] or me during the pregnancy and birth — we could have walked away with the baby and they could have walked away from the baby.

“Like anything in life, it’s not for everybody, but if there’s somebody who has thought, ‘I think I could do that’, it’s definitely worth exploring and very much taking it step by step.

“Since being more open about it, women have contacted me saying they have offered now to be a surrogate for their family,” adds Becky, who is also set to share her experience with others at a virtual event.

“Actually, it was funny, a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen since we were in secondary school got in touch to tell me of his journey with his husband in England.

“I got on to my mom and said, ‘Do you remember such and such? They got in touch’. She was like, ‘Becky, don’t start!

“If I didn’t have all the sections I nearly think I would have gone again because it was such a lovely journey.”

Turas Clainne starts on TG4 on Thursday 18 February at 8pm.

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