Born of a surrogate mother

Olivia Maurel, 32, was born to a surrogate mother and today she is fighting on the front line against the practice, which she describes as 'atrocious' and 'monstrous'. She always knew something was wrong with her family. She suffers from depression, has had problems with alcoholism and has attempted suicide several times. Only recently has she discovered the truth about her origins and that she suffered the trauma of abandonment. "To no child," she says, "should what happened to me ever happen again."
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Commercial or 'altruistic' surrogacy should be abolished. These are the words of Olivia Maurel, born in December 1991 in Kentucky by traditional surrogate (i.e., in which the oocyte also belongs to the 'surrogate mother', ed.), who recounted her experience in a lecture to the parliament of the Czech Republic. Today, married with two children in Cannes, "proud to be a feminist' as stated on its X page, fights against surrogacy. His testimony, very valuable as very few children born with this method are still willing to tell their stories publicly, is on behalf of those who do not have a voice: 'Too often we forget the people who have been affected by surrogacy. People who never gave their consent. These are the children born by surrogacy, torn from their mothers at birth to be sold to strangers, like machines to be ordered in factories. Children considered vulgar objects and products. Like me: created, sold, bought'

Given the adoptive mother's advanced age, the parents contacted the biological mother through an agency. "My surrogate mother is also biologically related to me but that makes no difference because for me mother is the one who carries the child for nine months and then gives birth to it'. Contrary to stories about the economic independence of surrogate mothers, her needed money. And he was very fragile. "It is said that the agencies do very thorough testing and make sure that women have no debts to pay. But we know this is not true. In 2022, the market reached USD 14 billion. Do you think they really examine women closely in case they lie during interviews? Mine is a perfect example, my mother was not psychologically stable, she had a long history of depression plus, before he had me, he had lost a two-and-a-half year old son. It was totally devastated, in debt but he had to put on a good face for the family. The agency saw what it wanted to see, the money it could generate. They abused a woman who needed money to feed her children and pay her bills"..

Olivia's birth was traumatic: "The moment I was born I was not placed in the arms of my mother, the one who fed me, who spoke to me, whose emotions I felt for nine months. The only person I knew. No, I jumped from his lap into a cold, austere world of hospital lights. I had to be sold to conclude the transaction in the arms of my unknown adoptive parents. And unfortunately that was the first trauma of my life. The trauma of abandonment'. Throughout her life, Olivia Maurel has been marked by abandonment and rejection. "My parents could not leave me. I had hysterics. I couldn't make friends. I was a complicated child". Growing up he had alcohol problems and has attempted suicide several times. As an adult she was diagnosed with bipolar syndrome which she believes she inherited from her biological mother, although she has no proof of this because she never had access to her mother's records. "When I was pregnant with my first daughter I was terrified because I didn't know what I could pass on to her: cancer, a genetic disease or mental illness." 

Olivia Maurel discovered her story a year ago using MyHeritage, a DNA test, but actually says she always felt she did not belong to her family: "I couldn't connect with my mother. A little more with my father. I knew something was wrong'. But she had no harsh words against her adoptive parents, who nevertheless provided her with a good upbringing. "They made a series of decisions, big and small, and I came into the world. I hope that soon I will be the one to help abolish the atrocity of surrogacy. But I don't want to blame them, they used an option that was offered to them on a silver platter and they didn't have the strength to resist. I don't hate them, I love them. Rather I blame the system that is trying to progressively legalise surrogacyfirst for medical reasons such as infertility, then for social reasons and any other reason until we accept child trafficking altogether'. Maurel concluded: 'I am not a doctor, I am just a daughter and the most important reasons for abolishing this monstrosity are the child's welfare, his rights, his psychological balance. To all those who think that surrogacy should be regulated, I reply that if even one child faces the problems I faced, it should be enough to convince you that nthere is nothing good in this process that can in any way be made ethical".

The video the testimony of Olivia Maurel here

Translation by Mara Accettura

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