Circle has been celebrating #1500circlebabies all month long with stories from their own employees who were surrogates on intended parents through the surrogacy program.
Our last celebratory post is from Lee Winters, who was the SECOND baby born at Circle through surrogacy. It’s hard to believe that Lee is already 18 years old!
We caught up with Lee who shared his thoughts about being baby #2 and the 1500-baby milestone for Circle.
When did you find out you born via surrogacy?
I first found out I was born via surrogacy when I was very little, probably around 6 years old. It was a little confusing for me at first, because surrogacy is a complicated topic for a young child to grasp. They know they have parents, and adoption is an easier idea to understand, but surrogacy can be confusing. Most of the conversation consisted of my parents convincing me I wasn’t adopted! I remember reacting with excitement rather than anxiousness, contrary to what most people would think. I thought I had some type of superpower, something that made me different than everyone else on planet Earth!
What did you think when you heard the news that Circle was celebrating #1500circlebabies through surrogacy?
Did hearing the news that Circle reached the 1500 baby milestone disappoint me because I learned I wasn’t different than everyone else on planet Earth? Not at all! I immediately felt like I was a part of a new community, and that feeling is spectacular. The fact that I was number 2?!?! Unbelievable. It means so much that my life has been important for not only my family but for many other people, and this was before I was even born! To think that I helped begin this line of helping families out means the world to me, and when I first heard this I was nothing but ecstatic.
How do people react when you tell them you were born through surrogacy?
The usual reaction was similar to my initial one. Peers have heard the term surrogacy before but aren’t sure what it is. When they do, or when they understand it, they also think it is very cool! I am a pretty open book with people, so I’m happy when it comes up in conversation. People accept my enthusiasm towards the topic and embrace it, so that makes me smile.
Now that you’re older, how does it feel to have been born via surrogacy?
Humans strive for empathy, and I am no exception. Being a child of surrogacy, I know in my life I just have more people who care about me! I mean something to more people in the world, and that helps me live day by day. Sure, I used to think it was a type of superpower, but now I think it is even better. I constantly feel loved, cared about, and appreciated, and for that reason I feel fortunate, happy, and lucky to be a child of surrogate.
After his conversation with Circle, Lee was inspired to reach out to his surrogate, with whom he had never spoken.
“I contacted my surrogate on a whim,” Lee said. When he went home for Fall break from college, he decided to meet her in person. “We had coffee and talked for hours!” Less exclaimed. “It was so great!”
Lee said that his surrogate was ecstatic to hear from him!
“It was a little overwhelming at first,” Lee admits, “it was an important meeting!” During their time over coffee, Lee learned all about his surrogate and her family (she has 5 daughters). “I found out I had an ‘extended family’,” Lee shared. He was happy to hear that there’s a whole other family that knows about him – and that there are even more people in the world that care about him. In the upcoming months, Lee is planning to meet up and spend time with his surrogate and her family.
Learn more about becoming a surrogate or a parent through surrogacy