One woman from Peru is giving her daughter the gift of a lifetime: she’s serving as a gestational surrogate for her daughter and son-in-law in the U.S. state of Utah.
According to the Contra Costa times, 58-year-old Julia Navarro agreed to help her daughter Lorena McKinnon have a baby after McKinnon experienced multiple miscarriages in her efforts to start a family with her husband Micah.
McKinnon, now a U.S. citizen, came to Utah from Peru to study graphic design. In Utah, she met Micah McKinnon, who she would later marry. After Navarro went through a divorce in Peru, she moved to Utah to rejoin her daughter.
All was well until the McKinnons started trying to have a baby. The Contra Costa times reports that the problem wasn’t that Lorena couldn’t get pregnant— in fact, the couple estimates that Lorena was probably pregnant around a dozen times, but each pregnancy ended in a miscarriage in the first trimester.
The McKinnons began to consider surrogacy, but finding a surrogate wasn’t easy. A friend who said she’d carry their baby withdrew her offer after seriously considering the effects of a pregnancy. Add to that the legal and financial issues connected to hiring a surrogate, and the McKinnons began to feel desperate.
That’s where Navarro came in. The Contra Costa Times says that Navarro couldn’t bear to watch her daughter suffer, so she offered herself as a surrogate.
“As a family, we have to help each other,” explained Navarro when asked about how she came to the decision. Now she’s carrying the McKinnon’s baby, a little girl who will be her first grandchild.
“I was praying, ‘If this baby works, I am going to help others,’ “ said Navarro, explaining that “I would like to donate some of the money from my baby shower [Jan. 12] to children in Peru who don’t have parents or moms or dads who need help.”
So far, the pregnancy has gone remarkably smoothly, especially considering the fact that Navarro had been menopausal for 12 years prior to serving as a surrogate for her daughter.
“It’s worked out better than I ever expected,” says Micah McKinnon, Lorena’s husband. “I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but we haven’t had any complications. I’m pretty happy about it,” added the soon-to-be father.
The family knows that Navarro’s selfless actions are an indication of the love she has for her daughter. “There is not one person we have told about this that hasn’t gotten teary-eyed or fully shed a few tears. They can’t understand how brave and selfless love can be,“Julissa Gonzales, Lorena McKinnon’s sister, told the Contra Costa times. “I hope one day I can have a love so strong like the one my mom has for Lorena and me. The day I get it, I’m sure will be the day I become a mother because now I’m certain that there is no bigger love than a mother’s love.”