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Surrogate Grandmother Says She Was Only Incubator For Triplets

October 4, 1987

LONDON (AP) _ Pat Anthony, the world’s first surrogate grandmother, said she was only an incubator for her daughter’s triplets and feels no strong maternal instincts for them, The Mail on Sunday reported.

″I did this because my daughter, not me, was desperate for children and unhappy because of it,″ the 48-year-old South African was quoted as telling the newspaper in an exclusive interview.

″When I first heard the babies cry it was just beautiful. They sounded so cute. But my feelings were those of any other happy granny whose daughter has just had a child.

″Now I find it hard to believe that the children were ever inside me. Although they will always be special to me I was only the incubator for them to grow in.″

Mrs. Anthony gave birth on Wednesday by Caesarean section to two boys and a girl at Johannesburg’s Park Lane Clinic. At the beginning of the year, doctors implanted four eggs from her 25-year-old daughter Karen which had been fertilized in a laboratory with sperm from her 33-year-old son-in-law Alcino Ferreira-Jorge.

Mrs. Ferreira-Jorge, an aerobics instructor, was unable to have additional children after complications during the birth of the couple’s only son, 4- year-old Alcino.

The Mail on Sunday said Mrs. Ferreira-Jorge took hormones for nine months and was now breast-feeding the two boys, David, and Jose. Paula, who weighed 3 pounds 9 ounces at birth, is being fed intravenously in the clinic’s neo-natal unit for premature babies.

Still tearful, Mrs. Ferreira-Jorge was quoted by the paper as saying: ″I know I can say they are really my own at last.″

Mrs. Anthony, whose husband owns a gift shop in Tzaneen, 300 miles north of Johannesburg, said even though the government says she is the mother of the triplets, and that the Ferreira-Jorges will have to adopt them, she never considered them hers.

″I have emotionally attuned myself to that from the very beginning,″ she was quoted as saying.

″It has been a total commitment for a year of my life and I feel good about having done it. Karen and Alcino have now got themselves a nice family.″ Dr. Joel Bernstein, one of the doctors at the Vita Lab who carried out the fertilization and implants, was quoted as saying he would not hesitate to use a mother as the surrogate for her daughter’s baby again.

″We feel that what Pat Anthony has done for Karen is the acceptable face of surrogacy. There was no payment, no commercialism. This was an act of pure love,″ he was quoted as saying.

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