When surrogacy is paid, there is some understanding of why a woman would put her body through a pregnancy that will not result in a child of her own. However when it is altruistic (as surrogacy in Australia must be), it is incredibly hard to fathom the level of generosity required to give another couple such a gift. Yet when reading Shannon Garner's account of being a surrogate for same sex couple Jon and Justin, you come to understand that such people do exist and that the choice she and her family made was one based on a genuine desire to help fellow humans in need.
Having used a donor egg, Shannon did not experience any emotional anguish handing baby Elsie over to her parents and she remains part of the little girl's life. Shannon speaks of the genuine love that grew between her family and Jon and Justin as the pregnancy progressed and you cannot help but be struck just how carefully she treated her body while pregnant.
Labour of Love is a positive and uplifting book that celebrates the generosity of the human spirit. It does not gloss over the more difficult aspects of surrogacy, but it does illustrate that when regulated appropriately it can be a truly beautiful thing for all concerned. Easy to read and truly moving, this book will change the way you think about the miracle of birth.