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    by Jane Cafarella


Drama Play Script: 'e-baby' by Jane Cafarella

Catherine is a 45-year-old Australian lawyer living in London, who has everything: a husband, a career and an international life - everything except a child. After seven years of IVF treatment in four different countries and four years of trying for a baby before that, she has come to the end of the line.

As a last resort, she, with her husband Mike, hires Nellie, a mother of two living in the surrogacy-friendly state of Massachusetts, in the USA - just a short flight from the New York law office where she regularly commutes. Nellie is Christian and is motivated by the desire to create families for infertile couples, and also to put her boys through college. Pregnancy has been a breeze for her and she seems like the perfect candidate.

Catherine is fascinated, grateful and desperate to be involved in the pregnancy as much as possible. Nellie is naïve, flattered by the attention she receives as a surrogate and deeply affected by Catherine’s plight.  Together, they forge an unlikely friendship as they embark on a journey to create life. But the age of Catherine’s eggs makes achieving a pregnancy difficult.

After the first transfer fails, Nellie is persuaded to transfer four eggs instead of two to increase their chances. Catherine is elated when triplets result, but one does not survive beyond the first few weeks of pregnancy and further tests show that one of the remaining twins has a life-threatening genetic disorder. To save the life of the healthy twin, the sick twin must be ‘reduced’.  

Catherine is torn between her own views of about social justice and her desire for a healthy child, while Nellie is torn between loyalty to Catherine, her religious beliefs and her family. But there is no going back.

'e-baby' is a story of love and betrayal, highlighting the hitherto hidden world of surrogacy, where new life can start with an online ad.  

The central question posed by the play: 'How far would you go to have a child?', is one that audiences have emerged hotly debating.


95 mins approx



  • Catherine - 45, an Australian expat living in London, married to Harry, childless
  • Nellie - 28, a mother of two, a resident of Charlestown, in the surrogacy friendly state of Massachusetts, married to Mike

NOTE: The husbands, Mike and Harry, are present but do not appear. This is a reflection of reality, where commercial surrogacy in heterosexual marriage is mostly an intimate arrangement between women.

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