One surrogate has gone above and beyond to ensure the baby she carried for nine months had a loving home until her parents could meet her.
Jennifer Parson got more than she signed up for when she agreed to be a surrogate for a couple from Shenzhen, China in 2019.
After giving birth to a baby girl in June, the teacher's assistant from Arizona was left in limbo after the parents were unable to travel to the United States due to the global pandemic.
After devising a plan with the parents and the surrogacy agency who matched the trio, she was told she could place the newborn with a nanny appointed by the agency.
But when the baby girl's parents asked her to take on the enormous task of caring for the newborn, she told Insider she didn't think twice.
Each moment I have with her is a blessing 💖 I'm so happy her parents are here and getting to know her . Our family has fully embraced having her around and we will miss her deeply. She will forever have a place in our hearts #surrobaby #surrogacy #surrogatemother #quarantinelife #surrogacyjourney #surrogatelife #extremebabysitting #surronana #surropapa #ivfjourney
"When the parents reached out to us personally to ask if we'd be comfortable (caring for her) it wasn't even a question for us," she told the publication.
"It was an immediate response. We already felt like they were our family, and we wanted them to be able to lean on us for any support they needed."
Moved by her empathy, the parents named the girl Jennifer in her honour and the newborn spent her first two months living with Parson, her husband and their four children.
Documenting her surrogacy journey on TikTok, she shared how COVID-19 had affected the process and how she continued to care for the baby after the birth. And in a viral video posted October 3 – exactly a year from the embryo transfer, Parson documented the entire experience.
"Embracing another baby into the household just seemed very natural for everyone," she said. "And [Jennifer] made it easy on us. She was such a good baby."
When baby Jennifer's parents were able to travel to meet her in late August, it was an emotional moment for all of them, Parson said.
The couple stayed in a motorhome outside Parson's home for three weeks as they got to know their baby.
Little miss Jennifer is 2 months today! She is babbling and smiling alot more , sleeps about 4-5 hours at a time , loves to be walked around so she can see all of the things 😀 Her parents are still scheduled for August 30th and are attempting to find an earlier flight still. I'm so excited for them to finally meet her ! #surrobaby #surrogacy #surrogatemother #surrogatejourney #surrogacyjourney #surrogatelife #extremebabysitting #surrogacyrocks #ivfstory #coronavirus
"It was a pretty emotional process. But I think that after the fifth day, she definitely started to understand and acclimate to her parents and she got some of the biggest smiles I've ever seen when they were talking to her," she told Insider.
"So it was definitely one of those where it really puts it into perspective that this was the right thing to do."
The family has since returned to China and send Parson regular updates on Jennifer.