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Surrogacy: A Test in Patience

Chad Craig hugs egg donor Jessica after 26 eggs were harvested from her. Chad and David Craig, in the background, had been waiting nearly two years for this moment. It was the first significant medical step in their unconventional quest to become fathers. (Tyrone Turner / For the Times)
Sitting by surrogate Whitney Cruey’s side, Chad, left, and David clasp hands as they watch magnified images of two embryos that are to be implanted. (Tyrone Turner / For the Times)
Dr. Suheil Muasher retrieves eggs from the donor that will be used to fertilize and implant in the surrogate. Of the 26 eggs harvested during the procedure, 16 were fertilized, and Muasher had graded 12 as good candidates for transfer. (Tyrone Turner / For the Times)
David is hopeful the morning of the embryo transfer. (Carolyn Cole / LAT)
Whitney and Chad talk as she recovers from the embryo transfer procedure. Whitney had been wearing estrogen patches on her lower abdomen for nearly three weeks. The estrogen coaxed her uterus into reacting as if she were ovulating, which prepared it to receive the implanted embryos. (Tyrone Turner / For the Times)
David Craig listens to a nurse’s advice after the embryo transfer. Chad and David were amazed by what they had witnessed and were convinced Whitney was pregnant. (Tyrone Turner / For the Times)
After receiving two fertilized eggs, Whitney was instructed to limit her activity for 24 hours and to return in 13 days for a pregnancy test. (Tyrone Turner / For the Times)
Chad, left, and David Craig listen on a speaker phone as Dr. Muasher delivers the bad news that Whitney’s pregnancy test was negative. (Tyrone Turner / For the Times)
Their new surrogate, Chad’s sister, Tonya Rosenberger, receives a fertility shot at Muasher’s clinic in Fairfax, Va. Tonya, whom the family calls Sissy, had two children of her own and sensed Chad and David were running out of money and resolve. (Carolyn Cole / LAT)
David plays with Anabelle, Sissy’s daughter, at the Rosenbergers’ Texas home. Sissy’s husband, Jay, was supportive of his wife being a surrogate. Surrogacy, he had remarked, was “like loaning someone your car, only a little more.” (Carolyn Cole / LAT)
Chad holds his niece Anabelle, 10 months, at the home he and David shared in Washington, D.C. A few months later the couple moved back to Atlanta, where they had met. Profit from their home sale helped pay off their surrogacy debts. (Carolyn Cole / LAT)
David and Chad sit with Sissy, who rests after the embryo transfer. Sissy was amazed at how brief and antiseptic the procedure was. “If I’m going to get pregnant,” she said she thought to herself, “the least they could have done is put a little mood music on.” (Carolyn Cole / LAT)
Sissy, David and Chad, right, look at the results of Sissy’s pregnancy test, which was negative. This was Sissy’s first attempt at embryo transfer, but David and Chad’s fourth try at becoming pregnant via a surrogate. Sissy’s husband, Jay, holds their daughter, Anabelle, as the news is read. (Carolyn Cole / LAT)
Sissy, Chad and David begin to make calls after learning that Sissy had not become pregnant. (Carolyn Cole / LAT)
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