The one where they have a baby; real-life “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” use surrogacy to create a family

Rachel and Ross Pfeifle overcame many hurdles to welcome their daughter, Harper Grace, into the world.
The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Monday-Friday
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 4:10 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Almost four million babies are born each year in the U.S. Fewer than 1.000 of them are born via surrogacy.

One Rapid City couple chose surrogacy to fulfill their dream of becoming a family.

In October 2021, I shared a story that seemed like it came straight from Central Perk. Rachel and Ross fell in love, and got married, but couldn’t have a baby.

For Rachel and Ross Pfeifle, their journey hasn’t been an easy one. Rachel was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, ulcerative colitis, and was told she had one year to live. After seven years and six major surgeries, Rachel beat the doctor’s prognosis.

Then a different hurdle, the couple couldn’t get pregnant.

“I kept bugging Mayo and emailing ideas and procedures, why can’t we do this or that, and at the end of last year, they called us and said ‘Rachel stop calling us, everything you’re asking us to do, is never been done before.’ We were both like, so?” said Rachel in October 2021.

After that story, the couple began searching in earnest for surrogates. Eventually, women from all over offered to help Rachel and Ross make their dreams of a biological child come true.

“A lots changed since the last time you were here. After we shared our story, we had 22 women reach out to be our surrogate,” said Rachel. “Well, there’s quite an extensive medical process to become a surrogate, so that narrowed down quite a few of the women that reached out. And then we met with some just face to face or over the phone or video and it felt kind of like speed dating, are you going to have a connection with someone? Can you see them in your life? Do you feel that love and support and trust with this woman?”

  • Background checks
  • Medical screenings
  • Countless doctor appointments
  • 9 months of waiting

“I don’t think there’s enough words, we’re just so happy it’s finally happened,” continued Rachel through happy tears. “I don’t know how you ever prepare. Whether you have a child traditionally, you adopt, you foster, you go through surrogacy, I don’t know if any parent feels ‘we are prepared on this day, to bring home this child’ but it was a lot of learning, researching, leaning on friends and family for their experience and it’s been a lot of learn as you go.”

“Yes, you get anything and everything you can and then all of a sudden, it’s there,” added new dad, Ross.

This love story had its fair share of hurdles.

Harper Grace was even born during the December snowstorm that swept across the midwest, causing the Pfeifle family to celebrate Christmas in a hotel room.

Despite all this, there may be another chapter to this story in the future.

“I don’t want to say we will or won’t use surrogacy again,” said Rachel. “But there’s so many different ways to grow your family through adopting and fostering and just so many different other avenues that it’s hard to say we’re going to shut one door or keep one open.”