Maine couple uses social media help find surrogate after cancer

After freezing embryos due to cancer diagnosis, Sam and Katelyn Burrell are turning to social media to help them find a surrogate.

POLAND, Maine — You can watch NEWS CENTER Maine’s Roslyn Flaherty’s full story Thursday, August 5th at 6 p.m.

Sam and Katelyn Burrell are looking for a surrogate to carry their child and are using social media to help in the search. The Poland couple is asking strangers to fulfill their dream of being parents.

In 2019, the couple suffered a miscarriage. Soon after, Katelyn found a lump in her breast and was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

“We went from family planning to survival mode,” said Katelyn.

“It was definitely scary and at first, we didn’t really think about the future. You’re thinking about fighting in that moment of well let’s fight this. Let’s get through it. Let’s conquer cancer and move on with our life,” said Sam.

Before treatment, they decided to freeze embryos. It cost them $12,000 out-of-pocket. A bill before the Maine legislature would require private insurance companies in the state to cover in-vitro fertilization costs and would potentially cover the medical aspects of surrogacy, which Katelyn said will cost them $50,000.

“Everyone is entitled to having a family. It doesn’t matter how the family is created or what type of assistance is needed. We didn’t do anything to put ourselves in this situation,” said Katelyn.

Katelyn said social media has been healing for her throughout her journey. She and Sam hope that sharing their story will help other couples going through the same situation and bring awareness to the expenses.

Katelyn said a woman from Ohio messaged her to volunteer to be their surrogate. They are now starting the legal process.

If you are thinking about surrogacy, Resolve New England, a nonprofit dedicated to providing support and education for those suffering from infertility, encourages all parties involved to have legal counsel to protect everyone involved.

The Burrell’s have created a GoFundMe page to help out with the expenses.


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