Womb for rent: Aussie woman wants to be your surrogate
A MUM-OF-TWO who loves being pregnant, has decided to become a surrogate and even offered her womb for 'rent' on social media.
Michelle Griffin, 25, from Perth in Western Australia, posted a moving image online announcing her wish to be someone's surrogate, after becoming a mum left her with a strong desire to help struggling couples become parents.
After talking to her husband Trent, 26, about her dream to carry more children, fulltime mum to Leilani, three, and Isaac, 20 months, set out on a journey to find the right parents-to-be.
Despite being inundated since her post went live on Instagram almost a year ago, Michelle is still considering potential parents, and is looking forward to being an 'oven' for a deserving family soon.
"I am so completely happy with my two wonderful children but I still crave being pregnant," she said.
"It's like a little fire ignited in me after having my own children. Surrogacy was on my mind pretty much all of the time so I talked to my husband and we decided to take action.
"When I posted the photo, offering my 'Womb for Rent' I had no idea what to expect.
"So many people came forward, including friends or family members, who needed the help of a surrogate.
"My pregnancies were so easy and natural, it felt like giving birth is something I was born to do. If there was a way I could help someone else, why wouldn't I do it?"
Michelle first discovered her love of the birthing process when she unexpectedly fell pregnant with her daughter Leilani in 2013.
She said: "My husband and I weren't trying for a baby. In fact, I was feeling a bit lost as I didn't have a career or know what I wanted to do.
"I'd had a few jobs in hospitality, working in restaurants and bars but nothing really felt right. I didn't know what I was going to do with my life.
"Then after missing a period, we discovered I was 22-weeks pregnant and suddenly everything made sense.
"Being pregnant was an amazing feeling and the birth was just so effortless and beautiful. I knew I'd been put on this earth to produce children."
Despite her overwhelming connection with giving birth, Michelle and her husband felt that their family was complete after the arrival their son, Isaac, last year.
Michelle said: "I knew our family was complete, but I still had this strong desire to be pregnant again.
"I tried to ignore the feeling and instead channel it into a more realistic avenue and decided to become involved in the art of labour somehow.
"That's when I trained as a Birth Doula. But it only ignited the flame further and eventually I realised I couldn't ignore it. I had to be a surrogate."
After educating themselves on the laws and procedures surrounding surrogacy - which include being unable to profit from being a surrogate and months of counselling - Michelle posted her 'Womb for Rent' advert on her social media.
She said: "We knew I wanted to be Gestational Surrogate, which meant I would only be a 'tummy mummy' and have no biological connection to the child, and that the process would be lengthy.
"Pushing send on the post gave me so much joy.
"Within minutes I was getting messages of support and possible IP's (intended parents) were reaching out to me.
"After talking to many, including some we've met through the surrogacy community, we're only just getting to a point where we might have found the right IPs for us.
"I can't wait to begin the whole process one day soon."
She added: "Some people have been confused by the use of the word 'rent' in my post. I'm definitely not asking for money in exchange for using my womb. I just felt it was a powerful way to get my message across."
Michelle's gift to a childless couple is an incredibly selfless act, but she's aware of the effect it may have on her family.
She said: "I'm so thankful my husband is incredibly supportive and I'm already telling the kids that one day I will grow a baby for someone else, so they get used to the idea.
"I'm not worried about handing the baby over at the end of the nine months, as for me, this is all about helping a family to become complete like mine.
"I'm more than happy to take an 'Aunty' type role in the child's life, seeing them every now and again and watching from afar as they grow."
She added: "Becoming a mother was the greatest gift I could ever receive.
"Being lucky enough to give such a gift to another couple would be the most amazing thing I could ever do.
"I hope my womb can finally help someone else finally complete their family and be as happy as I am."