Would you trust a complete stranger to carry and give birth to your own child? Plenty of people have said yes -- by one estimate, about 25,000 couples in the United States have contracted surrogate mothers since 1976 [source: Colenso]. That's a relatively small number, to be sure, but it's growing, thanks to advances in technology and the increasing legalization of (and acceptance of) gay marriage. The vast majority of surrogacy cases happen with no fanfare: The baby's healthy, money is exchanged (or not), "mom" stays in touch (or not) and maybe has a baby for another couple somewhere down the line.
When a surrogacy case does make news, though, it's all too often for the wrong reasons -- anyone out there old enough to remember Baby M? It's hardly surprising that some surrogate mothers, even after signing a contract, suddenly decide that they can't give up the babies they just carried for nine months, and this is obviously a heartbreaking scenario. But every once in a while, you do hear something incredible. Surprise quintuplets (and the surrogate declines her fee!). A woman gives birth to her own grandchildren (triplets!). We've compiled a list of the five most amazing surrogacy stories out there.