A Sister’s Promise: Growing A Family Through Surrogacy

Article by Doug Ford on how a Factor V diagnosis causes family to seek out surrogacy provided by The Gazette – Virginian. 

Clover residents Melissa Fears and husband Scotty want children like most any other couple, but due to a pre-existing condition, Melissa has been unable to bear a child.

Through a sister’s and brother-in-law’s love and compassion, the Fears could be on their way to having a family.

The Fears have decided to pursue IVF through surrogancy, and Melissa’s sister, Jennifer Hatcher, and husband Adam of Nathalie have agreed to Jennifer’s trying to carry a baby for her sister.

“I have two children, and I had no problems carrying mine,” said Hatcher.

“Melissa and I are not only sisters, but we are best friends.”

“I’ve been pregnant eight times and lost five 14 weeks and under, and carried three girls, the latest being 23 weeks,” said Melissa, who suffers from a disease known as Factor V, a blood clot disease.

“It makes you at high risk for having children, said Fears, who takes a daily injection for the condition. “We talked about it a year or so ago. Christmas Day my water broke, and I lost a little girl.”

“She (Hatcher) brought it up again, and I said I love the idea. She said I’d be more than happy to do it for you. My husband and I talked about it, and we agreed to do it with my sister.”

“She buried three precious baby girls. Their names are Macy, Madison and Miracle Fears,” said Hatcher, who has been organizing a number of fundraisers to help pay for the procedure, including a stew and supper followed by a dance.

“I have started an Our Journey To Become Parents page on Facebook, if you would like to follow us,” said Hatcher. “Also, we have set up a (you caring) page to try and help raise money for this journey.”

In vitro fertilization is not cheap.

“We have to go to a facility in Charlottesville Feb. 2 for consultation,” Fears explained. “It costs between $400 and $600 just for the consultation.”

Fears said she did some online research and estimated the process of in vitro fertilization for one child could cost upwards of $50,000.

Shelly Beadles, a cousin to Hatcher, also is helping with fundraising.

Another fundraiser is one called “stink up your neighbor’s yard” with a toilet painted deep red and purple for Factor V awareness.

“How it works is it ends up in somebody’s yard, and they pay a $15 donation to have it taken out of the yard or $20 to have it placed in a friend’s, neighbor’s or anybody’s yard of their choice,” said Hatcher.

“Also, they have the option to pay toilet insurance and that is $40 to cover where the toilet never ends up in their yard.”

A sign next to the toilet explains the reason for the toilet being there.

“Jennifer moves the toilet every day, and she decides where to send it next,” said Fears. “So many people are interested in doing it, she started a second one.”

Melissa works full time as a LPN at The Woodview nursing home and part time at Triple A Grocery as a cashier.

Scotty works full time at Bobcat’s Bait and Tackle and also works on his boss’s farm when not at the bait shop, according to Hatcher.

“They both are two hard-working people and would give their shirt off their back for anybody,” said Hatcher.

“Melissa and Scotty are two of the strongest people I know. Please find it in your heart to help them to be the awesome parents they were meant to be and to bring awareness to infant loss, miscarriage and infertility.”

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