When you think of a surrogate mother, you likely think of a scene in a movie or a woman who carries a celebrity's child. But you can find surrogate mothers right here in Sioux Falls.
While it's not always fun and games, Lindsay Kinzer loves being a mom to her two sons, nine-year-old Jordyn and five-year-old Braylon.
"It's the most wonderful thing ever," Kinzer said.
The Sioux Falls woman says she couldn't imagine her life without children, which is why she looked into being a surrogate.
"I used to do high-risk OB ultrasounds and we'd rotate down to the fertility clinic with Dr. Hanson. Seeing the struggles those families would go through on a daily basis of trying to get pregnant sparked my interest at first," Kinzer said.
In addition to her own children, Kinzer has been a surrogate mother twice.
"It's definitely a blessing to be able to be pregnant and have healthy pregnancies and to share that," Kinzer said.
Kinzer gave birth to two girls for a couple in Slovakia. The oldest, Zora, will be three in February. The youngest, Mira, turns one the same month.
"It was the mother's egg and the father's sperm that she carried that baby for that couple," Sanford Certified Nurse Midwife Terry Engelmann said.
A health issue kept the mother from being able to carry a baby. Kinzer says the look on the mom's face when she handed over the babies was priceless.
"I received a gift from one of my friends after I delivered my first surrogate baby that said, 'count your blessings, and then share them,'" Kinzer said.
Kinzer says she was more than happy to hand over the two little girls after birth, but she did have one worry while pregnant.
"I was always afraid that if there wasn't a heartbeat at an ultrasound, how would I communicate this over the phone to them," Kinzer said.
Thankfully both pregnancies went well and the births also spawned a friendship. The families now send pictures and talk to each other often. The Kinzers have even planned a trip to Slovakia in February.
"I can see this being a lifelong friendship and I consider them part of our family," Kinzer said.
It's a family that may be miles away but will forever leave a mark in each other's lives.
After Kinzer decided to become a surrogate mother, she went through an agency out of Boston that lined her up with the family in Slovakia. She, as well as the other family, had to fill out paperwork and send pictures to each other.