A life-changing journey took Lauri de Brito from TV producer to producer of babies

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Photo courtesy of Lauri de Brito

Lauri de Brito is co-director and vice-president of Agency for Surrogacy and Egg Donation Solutions, Inc. a business she runs with her business partner, California-based Kathryn Kaycoff. She’s previously helmed multi-million dollar TV show productions, but over the past 15 years, she’s done something much more fulfilling. She is also the mother of four children whom she calls “the lights of her life”. But it took a long, winding road to get there. I had the chance to speak with Lauri about her path to success and a family.

EE: You now run an egg donation and surrogacy business, but this is your second career, after working as a television producer. What prompted you to make this big change?

LD: I went to college to become a TV producer because it was my initial dream. I worked for Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and ended up as a director. I worked for HBO, and HBO bought E-Entertainment TV, and my two bosses, who were my mentors, came to California to run E-Entertainment TV, where I held a management role at the end of the twenteeth. But I didn’t like being behind a desk, so in my early 30s I left with a development contract.

EE: Were children on your radar at the time?

LD: Kids were never part of my game plan because I was so focused on my career. I worked for Additional, in its infancy, before it got too extreme. Still, I didn’t feel good chasing John Kennedy Jr. on the streets of New York City despite earning a lot of money and traveling. I was 35 at the time and had met my ex-husband. I got married when I was 37, he was an only child and wanted children. I agreed. While he was doing his residency (after finishing medical school), we started trying. I got pregnant with my daughter during our first intrauterine insemination (IUI). I was 38 when I gave birth to him. “

EE: Did you continue to work?

LD: Yes. I worked throughout the pregnancy. Three months after my daughter was born, we had another IUI. I got pregnant but had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. After that, we did a lot of medical interventions. I went from IUI to medicated IUI, in vitro fertilization (IVF), IVF with heparin, IVF with a donor egg. We have traveled across the country with these infertility treatments looking for support. But each time, the doctors were everywhere saying, “If you’ve ever carried a child, don’t worry, it’s not you. You will wear again. ”I kept getting pregnant – only to miscarry each time – 8 times. With each infertility procedure, each test, each pregnancy and miscarriage, I became more and more depressed.

My friend Kathryn was also a writer / producer / director for reality in Los Angeles. After she got married at 40, her obstetrician / gynecologist told her to try “the natural way” for a year. When I heard this, I recommended that she give up her OB / GYN and work with a fertility clinic. She got pregnant, but then had a miscarriage. The clinic recommended that she use a surrogate mother. What she learned was that there were only a few agencies around that had substitutes, but they were too expensive. She also felt that most agencies focus on money without considering the emotional state of the intended parent. Because Kathryn was trained as a producer, she produced her own surrogacy. Her surrogate mother gave birth to her identical twins at 28 weeks and she decided not to return to production work.

My then-husband also suggested that we try a surrogate as well. I used an egg donor and a surrogate mother, and Kathryn helped me through the process. At the same time, we both weren’t thrilled with our jobs in TV production: the truth is, when you get older, working on TV sucks for a woman. You move from job to job, and if you change your focus from your job to your kids, wages drop and job vacancies begin to dissipate.

As Type A people, we were both rooted in the world of surrogacy and egg donation. Because we understand both sides of the process and because surrogacy and pregnancy are very emotionally turbulent situations, we decided to help others based on our own journey by starting a business. “

Photo courtesy of Lauri de Brito

EE: What is the price for a surrogate mother?

LD: The surrogate receives a monthly allowance, usually $ 200 per month for incidentals. On top of that and her basic fees (between $ 35,000 and $ 80,000), she will get very standard things like a one-time payment for maternity clothes, lost wages if needed, babysitting if necessary. necessary, etc. All of his medical expenses will be paid for by the “Intended Parents”. Overall including medical fees, agency fees, surrogate fees, legal fees, egg donation fees (if needed), health insurance, lost wages, clothing maternity, drugs, this will range from $ 145,000 to $ 180,000.

It’s insanely expensive and the prices take it out of the realm of normal people, but you would be surprised. Parents and in-laws often contribute (my mom and step-mom helped pay my surrogate). Some people create funds, others take out loans. Many people save their entire lives there: cancer survivors, same-sex couples, women born without a uterus. If someone dreams of having a baby, they will plan for it and find support no matter what. “

EE: But there is no guarantee, is there?

LD: You can’t promise that once your surrogate is pregnant, you’ll be fine. However, you can do genetic testing on the embryos to rule out most chromosomal abnormalities and the potential for miscarriages. You can also choose the gender.

We are experts in this field not only because we have helped hundreds of people on their surrogacy journey, but also because we have experienced it ourselves.

A big part of what we do is education. For example, no one talks about egg donation, especially 47-year-olds who have twins. I think it’s because women feel like their eggs have failed which means they’re not good enough. Also, when women have a hard time getting pregnant, people often say “why don’t you adopt? I find that very casual. Why can’t I have a genetic child? Of course, there are children who need to be adopted. However, there are caveats: you don’t always get healthy babies if you adopt, and parents can take the baby back as well. “

EE: Tell me about your family and how you feel about what you do.

LD: I am divorced now. My children from the same egg donor and the same surrogate mother are 13 and 14 years old. % siblings, and I was transparent with each of them about how they were designed. In fact, my 14 year old daughter wants to take over the business one day.

Photo courtesy of Lauri de Brito

We were TV producers and now we’re producing babies and it’s a much better end result. There is nothing more rewarding or important than giving birth to a wanted child.

Estelle Erasmus is a journalist and writing coach, and guest editor for Narratively.com.

For more information, follow her on Twitter (@EstelleSErasmus), Instagram (@EstelleSErasmus), Facebook, and on its website.

Follow Estelle on Forbes.com



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