Carole Horlock is no stranger to having children and giving them to couples as a surrogate mother of 13
Carole has two daughters of her own and hopes to have her 16th pregnancy at the age of 53, which would make her the oldest surrogate in the world.
She has given birth to single babies, twins, and triplets and even admitted that she had given away a biological son after getting pregnant with her partner Paul’s child, believing it to be a child for a couple she was helping at the time.
She told the Mirror newspaper in an exclusive interview that she gave birth to a baby number nine, a boy in June 2004, believing him to be created from her egg and the imported sperm of the couple she was helping.
But several weeks after the birth, they had a DNA test and discovered it was their biological child
The couple then had to make the agonising decision on whether to keep the child.
In the end, they decided to let the intended parents keep the baby. He will turn 18 this year and Carole hopes he will get in touch so she can explain why they made the decision they did.
The two couples did not keep in touch after a breakdown of the relationship and Carole hopes the child will contact her through the Adoption Register process.
She said: “I am immensely proud of my surrogacy career and having 13 babies who are loved by their families.
“Surrogacy has brought me and the families I have helped immeasurable joy, but it has also led to some of the darkest days of my life.
“There is a darker side when it goes wrong – the heartbreak, the emotional rollercoaster, and acrimony is devastating.”
Six weeks after the birth of the ninth baby, the father of the child rang the agency furious that he was not the biological father.
It was then that they realised what must have happened
Carole said: “It was a terrible situation for everyone. I remember repeatedly saying the surrogacy agency – do they want him?
“As a surrogate, you are having a baby for someone else – you don’t bond, you haven’t prepared for a child, in fact, for nine months you are mentally distancing yourself from the baby.
“But we also had to make a decision. In the end, Paul made the decision. He said ‘If they don’t want him, we will bring him up.’
“We decided if they still loved him and still wanted to keep him, we would let him stay with them.”
Carole and Paul will marry later this year after 25 years together. Paul has developed a heart condition and Carole hopes he gets the chance to meet his son one day.
She said: “As the years pass by, we think about him all the time. Paul has a heart condition and it would break my heart if he never met him.”
Carole has written a letter and left it with the Adoption Register in the hope the boy wants to know about his heritage and find them.
She said: “I’ve written a letter and hopefully if he knows about his background, he’ll want to get to know us.”
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