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Kirkcaldy friends share remarkable surrogacy story: ‘The odds weren’t great, but we knew we had to try’

In November 2023, Jacob McGill, 34, and Jade McInnes, 32, welcomed a healthy baby boy via their surrogate Jaime McRaith, 40. They told me their story.

Jacob, Jade and baby Remy at home in Kirkcaldy with surrogate Jaime McRaith (middle).
Jacob, Jade and baby Remy at home in Kirkcaldy with surrogate Jaime McRaith (middle). Image: Steve Brown/DC Thomson

Mum Jade McInnes’s story

The doctor phoned me on my 27th birthday to tell me I had cervical cancer. It’s a day I will never forget.

I had been for a smear test two weeks before, where they discovered a tumour and referred me for a biopsy.

And here were the results. Cancer.

I was told I needed an urgent hysterectomy, which I would undergo at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

It was awful. I remember thinking how I was probably never going to have my own family.

‘Hysterectomy and eggs retrieval were a whirlwind of emotions’

My partner Jacob and I had always wanted to have our own children one day.

Right before the surgery, I contacted Ninewells to ask if they could freeze my eggs.

They only managed to freeze four because I also have stage four endometriosis, so I have had quite a lot of severe surgeries for that.

It was a whirlwind of emotions. Everything happened so quickly, I just put my head down and got on with it.

I didn’t know if I was going to have six weeks or six months to live – so it was great to have an all-clear after my hysterectomy.

Jacob, 34, Jade, 32, and Remy, 12 weeks, at home in Kirkcaldy.
Jacob, 34, Jade, 32, and Remy, 12 weeks, at home in Kirkcaldy. Image: Steve Brown/DC Thomson

Jacob and I have been together since I was 16 and he was 18.

We’re actually family friends so we grew up together and went to St Andrews High School in Kirkcaldy together.

Having children together was always on the cards, so when we learned that I needed a hysterectomy, it was devastating.

With only four eggs, we were told there was just a 10-15% chance that I would ever have my own biological child by surrogacy.

The odds weren’t great, but we knew we had to try.

‘It took us years to find a surrogate’

About two years after my all-clear from the cancer, we decided we were ready to start a family.

But we had great difficulty in finding a surrogate, and months turned into years as we searched for someone to help us have a baby.

And then Jaime, Jacob’s second cousin and a family friend of mine, said she wanted to help.

It was amazing – it was music to our ears.

We soon started the process of IVF.

The eggs were fertilised and we managed to get two embryos, which was miraculous on its own.

Everybody was stunned, and the quality of them was really good as well.

The Kirkcaldy duo with new baby Remy, who they welcomed via surrogacy.
The Kirkcaldy duo as new parents thanks to surrogacy. Image: Jacob McGill

We did the first embryo transfer at the start of 2023, and Jaime fell pregnant.

Sadly, she miscarried. It was difficult, but we all got through it together.

A month later we went for it again. It was our last embryo – our last shot at having our own baby.

Somehow, she fell pregnant again. We couldn’t believe it.

For IVF to work twice is quite rare.

On November 6 we welcomed our very healthy baby boy Remy.

He really is a miracle.

Jacob and Jade with baby Remy. Image: Steve Brown/DC Thomson

Although we are over the moon to have our baby, our fertility journey has been far more complex than it needed to be.

Ninewells Hospital don’t deal with surrogacy very often, so the process was poorly streamlined.

This added stress to an already very stressful situation.

The legal processes related to having a child by surrogacy are also extremely outdated.

We are currently fighting for a parental order so that I can be legally recognised as Remy’s mother.

‘Becoming Remy’s legal parents has cost us thousands’

According to his birth certificate, Jaime is his mother.

This has cost us more than £5,000, which is horrendous given that he is our baby.

The laws definitely need to be reformed because there will be a lot of people in our position who don’t have the money to go to court and to get the parental order.

It is another stress that you don’t need when you have a new born baby.

Having a baby by surrogacy is definitely not for the weak.

Surrogate Jaime McRaith’s story

Around Christmastime in 2021, I was out for dinner with my family.

My mum happened to run into Jacob’s mum Teresa beforehand, and invited her along last-minute.

I overheard her talking about Jacob and Jade’s difficulty finding a surrogate.

And then I just shouted across the table, “I would do it – I would totally do it”.

And that was it.

Prior to this, I had been going through a hard time.

Jaime and Jade during the IVF process.
Jaime and Jade during the IVF process. Image: Jaime McRaith

My marriage broke down in 2019, Covid hit in 2020, and I had spent all my time trying to support my three children through these challenging events.

I had become mentally and emotionally drained and I felt a bit lost.

But at this point, my kids were in a good place and I was ready to focus on my own healing.

The timing felt right.

I also love being pregnant – I know not every woman feels that way, but I do enjoy it. So I was happy to do this for Jade and Jacob.

Before I went through with it, I spoke to my two older children, who I felt were old enough to discuss this with.

They both understood what the process was and thought it was a great idea.

Jade and a pregnant Jamie.
It was a smooth pregnancy. Image: Jaime McRaith

The IVF process was quite a journey.

Prior to the embryo transfer, there were a lot of scans and tests to make sure my body was capable of safely enduring another pregnancy and birth after having three previous C-sections, as well as a couple of counselling sessions to make sure I was mentally prepared.

The embryo transfer process involves a lot of medication, including numerous injections.

Some of the injections leading up to and after transfer are self-administered and needed to be done at specific times.

The embryo transfer itself was uncomfortable and quite painful. There are no pain killers or anaesthetic offered to make it easier and I was just told to relax.

I ended up been given gas and air to help me relax and complete the transfer. I then had to wait weeks before taking a test, which is so nerve-wracking.

But I kept telling myself, “This is worth it – it’s going to be worth it”.

‘We were a good team’

I wanted to involve Jade and Jacob in the process as much as possible.

They would come to as many scans as possible, and I would always update them on the ones they couldn’t make.

They were so supportive.

In Scotland it is illegal to pay surrogates a wage – I would have never expected that anyway – but Jade and Jacob made sure I was never inconvenienced or left out of pocket.

They would drive me to appointments in Dundee and buy me maternity clothes, support pillows, pregnancy vitamins and anything else I needed.

We were a good team.

Jaime says she enjoys being pregnant. Image: Jaime McRaith

It was a very smooth pregnancy, totally by the book.

During the pregnancy, people often asked me, “Are you worried about how you will feel when you have the baby and give the baby away?”

I would say, “I’m not giving the baby away, I’m handing the baby to the parents. I’m just keeping their baby safe for now.”

Even though I was pregnant, it wasn’t my pregnancy. This was Jade and Jacob’s baby.

Victoria Hospital were really great on the day of my caesarean section. It was a great experience, they made it so special for all of us.

Jacob and Jade have always wanted to have their own children. Image: Jacob McGill

They really took care of us. I got my own room to recover and Jade and Jacob got their own family room to recover.

Since having Remy I have felt so happy and complete, knowing that Jade and Jacob have their healthy little boy.

I’ve also realised I’m actually a lot stronger than I thought I was.

NHS Tayside promise ‘the very best care at every stage’

We approached NHS Tayside about the issues raised in this piece.

A spokesperson said: “The assisted conception unit follows guidelines to support families who are going through a surrogacy pathway.

“This includes the offer of counselling for all those involved. These guidelines are in place to ensure the surrogate and intended parents receive the very best care at every stage.”

  • Is your family a little bit different? Maybe it’s who you are, maybe it’s what you do that sets you apart. We’d love to hear your story. If you have a tale to tell let us know.