The German broadcast channel ARD showed our documentary several times, the last screening was on October 27, 2016, at 2:00 pm.
The seven-year old Greta has two fathers and two mothers: Jens and Andreas, surrogate mother Susan, and egg donor Rose from the United States. The gay couple Jens and Andreas from Essen is among the first Germans to get a child this way, and bring it from the US to Germany. Since surrogacy and egg donation are not allowed in Germany, Jens and Andreas returned to the US in the summer of 2013. The plan: Greta should have a sibling.
The eggs were once more donated by Rose because both children should have the same biological mother. This time the biological father will be Andreas because Jens is Greta’s biological dad. “It’s a burden, even financially,” says Jens. The process costs around 100,000 Euros which includes fees for the reproduction clinic, the agency, the egg donor, the surrogate mother, and much more. “But Greta should have a sibling. She deserves it”, says Jens.
The TV-format “Menschen hautnah” followed Jens and Andreas very closely for seven years from Greta’s first birthday to the birth of her brother Henri. During the course of the documentary the audience will also get to know the surrogate mother and egg donor. The film provides a rare insight into the world of women who fulfill other people’s wish for children in return for financial compensation: How will surrogate mother Susan cope with giving away a child after nine months of pregnancy? And how does the egg donor Rose deal with the fact that she is the biological mother of children she hardly knows?
The families of Jens and Andreas are very accepting of Greta, but they look at her history also with mixed sensations. Jens’ sister and Andreas’ sister-in-law are worried about the children’s future. What happens if Greta and Henri miss a mother figure later in life? What happens if they experience hostile reactions in their environment because of their origins? “We just hope that, with everything we do for them, our children will have the strength to cope with these situations,” says Andreas. “That would be our greatest happiness.”