‘We Bought Your Mommy’ — YouTubers Make Light of Dark Surrogacy Industry
‘It’s just a constant reminder that we can’t do it ourselves.’
Shane Dawson and Ryland Adams, two men with 388,000 followers on their YouTube channel, recently began to plan a surrogate pregnancy and revealed they selected and purchased an egg donor.
They intend to use the same donor for two children, born a few years apart. Dawson’s sperm will be used for one child and Adams’ for another, giving the children the same biological mother — but not necessarily the same birth mother — and different biological fathers.
“We chose an egg donor. It was very strange to click ‘purchase’ on our child’s mother,” Dawson said in a videocurrently trending on YouTube. “We filmed the process, not for YouTube, but just stuff for our kid when they’re 18. If they have a sense of humor, they can laugh at it. Just us pressing purchase — ‘We bought your mommy!’”
Dawson and Adams made the decision after sifting through potential donor profiles. After using an app to combine their faces and see what their biological child would look like, Dawson suggested using it to combine their faces with the woman’s as well.
“It actually does look like a mix of us. See, that’s even more depressing because we can’t have a kid,” Dawson said, looking at the image. “But I could put pictures of surrogates in here. We could see what happens. Give me a girl.”
“We’re joking, but we do have to figure out what we’re going to do,” Adams added.
Dawson recalled mentioning filming the process of purchasing the mother’s egg and eventually sharing it with the child to his therapist.
“She was like, ‘You’re really going to show him that?’” Dawson said. “I was like, ‘I guess not.’"
As they became more serious about finding an avenue to having children and began looking through profiles of women, the pair described it as “really dark” and “depressing.”
“Where it gets sad is, well, we’re not women, so we have to find an egg donor,” Adams said. That means sifting through what he described as “dating profile-esque” photos.
“It’s just a constant reminder that we can’t do it ourselves,” Dawson. “It feels weird to look at pictures of all these girls and be like, ‘I want that to be mom.’ So grateful for them, but it’s weird.”
They’re just two of many people in the public eye choosing to use a surrogate. Most recently, Dave Rubin and Dave Janet announced their use of a surrogate mother in March 2022, and Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra revealed the birth of their child via surrogacy earlier in the year.
The Catholic Church denounces use of reproductive technology like in vitro fertilization and surrogacy. Manipulations of procreation violate both the dignity of the marital union and of the child.
The document titled “Instruction on respect for human life in its origin and on the dignity of procreation,” available on the Vatican website, addresses the act of surrogacy specifically.
It clarifies what “surrogate mother” means, including the more common type, a “woman who carries in pregnancy an embryo implanted in her uterus and who is genetically a stranger to the embryo because it has been obtained through the union of the gametes of ‘donors.’” The woman has pledged to carry the pregnancy and surrender the child to the commissioners.
“Surrogate motherhood represents an objective failure to meet the obligations of maternal love, of conjugal fidelity and of responsible motherhood,” the document reads. “It offends the dignity and the right of the child to be conceived, carried in the womb, brought into the world and brought up by his own parents; it sets up, to the detriment of families, a division between the physical, psychological and moral elements which constitute those families.”