Six Common Surrogacy Myths
Understanding the truth of the surrogacy process
There are a ton of myths and misconceptions about surrogacy. Who uses surrogacy? Can the surrogate keep the baby? Will the baby look like the surrogate? We are here to debunk the myths and provide true facts about surrogacy.
Surrogacy Myth #1: The Surrogate Will Be Related to the Baby
This used to be true, but is no longer the case. All surrogacies used to be “traditional surrogacy,” where the surrogate’s eggs were used to create the baby that she carried. In 1985, “gestational surrogacy” was discovered. With gestational surrogacy, an embryo is created outside the womb using eggs and sperm from the intended parents or donors. The embryo is then implanted into the surrogate, who carries the baby to term. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate has no genetic connection to the baby at all. The vast majority of surrogate pregnancies today are gestational, so the surrogate doesn’t share any genetic relationship to the child.
Surrogacy Myth #2: The Surrogate Can Claim Parental Rights
Again, this used to be possible (although extremely rare!) with traditional surrogacy. However, with gestational surrogacy, surrogates have no legal rights to the baby they carry, since they aren’t related to it genetically. It is important to have a clear surrogacy agreement drawn up from the beginning, so there’s never any question about legal matters. Your surrogacy agency should provide resources to help with all required legal agreements.
Surrogacy Myth #3: People Choose to Use Surrogates for Vanity Reasons
False, false, false! Not only is this myth harmful and dismissive, it’s just flat-out wrong. Surrogacy is an enormous emotional and financial investment for the intended parent(s). Parents who turn to surrogacy do so because they are unable to carry a child on their own. For many parents, realizing they need a surrogate involves a lot of heartbreak, as they mourn the loss of their expected journey to parenthood. Surrogacy provides a path to biological parenthood for parents who otherwise would not have that option.
Surrogacy Myth #4: Surrogates Are Motivated By Money
Women who choose to be surrogates are driven by the desire to help intended parents grow their family. While most surrogates do receive some form of compensation for their physical and emotional contribution over the course of the process, that is never the primary motivating factor. All potential surrogates are screened for financial stability and altruistic motivation, as recommended by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
Surrogacy Myth #5: Only Celebrities Can Afford Surrogacy
While it’s true that surrogacy involves a substantial financial commitment, there are plenty of payment plans and financial assistance available for parents’ using surrogacy. You may also be able to find a surrogate whose health insurance covers surrogate pregnancies, which dramatically reduces the medical costs. When choosing your surrogacy agency and fertility clinic, make sure to ask about their financial assistance and advisor options.
Surrogacy Myth #6: I Won’t Be Able to Bond With My Baby
Parents of babies born through surrogacy are just as able to create deep, loving bonds with their children as parents with traditional pregnancies. When your baby is born, you will be able to hold it immediately to begin the natural bonding process. From then on, you’ll continue to grow that bond through feeding, contact, playing, and all the other million ways that parents bond with their children. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and love is not defined by pregnancy or even genetics. You will love and bond with your baby just the same as if you had carried them yourself.
Surrogacy is a complex process, and it’s still not as openly talked about as it should be. We understand that you may have lots of questions or concerns, and we’re here to help. Call us for a free consultation today to discuss if surrogacy is right for you.