Race and Ethnicity in Surrogacy: Does It Matter?
Can a surrogate be a different race than the intended parents? Yes!
Both surrogates and intended parents often wonder if race or ethnicity have any effect on the surrogacy process. We have good news: of all the million different factors involved in surrogacy, race isn’t one of them, so you can cross it off the list of things to think about! There are plenty of medical reasons why surrogates can carry a baby of a different race or ethnicity, and they start with understanding the science behind the most common form of surrogacy.
Traditional vs. Gestational Surrogacy
The biggest reason why race doesn’t matter for the majority of surrogacies is the medical difference between gestational and traditional surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s eggs are used to create the baby she carries, along with sperm from the intended father or a donor. This means the surrogate has a biological connection to the baby. In gestational surrogacy, on the other hand, the surrogate’s eggs are not used to create the embryo: instead, an egg and sperm from either the intended parents or donors are used to create an embryo outside of the womb, which is then implanted into the surrogate’s uterus. This means the surrogate has no biological connection to the baby in gestational surrogacy. For a variety of legal, medical, and ethical reasons, most surrogacy agencies (including Eggceptional Fertility) only work with gestational surrogacies.
With that in mind, let’s look at each of the groups involved in surrogacy – baby, surrogate, and intended parents – to discuss why race doesn’t matter.
Does a Surrogacy With Different Races or Ethnicities Affect the Baby?
No – during the embryo implantation process and resulting pregnancy, neither the surrogate’s body or the growing baby recognize race at any point. If the baby has a different race than the surrogate, it has no effect whatsoever on the baby’s health or development. Once the surrogate’s uterus has successfully received the embryo, her body will protect and nurture the growing baby regardless of biological race.
I’m a Surrogate – Should I Only Match With Parents Who Are the Same Race as Me?
No – as we all know, race has no effect on being a great parent. All intended parents are screened for their physical and mental health, their financial stability, and their readiness for the surrogacy journey. As you consider parents for matching, look for a respectful, compassionate partnership with parents who share your values. Race isn’t a factor in that decision.
If you are wondering how to answer questions from friends and acquaintances about the race of the baby you’re carrying, you can explain that the baby has no genetic connection to you.
I’m an Intended Parent Looking for a Surrogate – Should She Be the Same Race as Me and/or My Partner?
No – your surrogate will have no genetic relationship with your baby, so her race doesn’t affect the process at all. All surrogates are screened for their health, successful previous birth history, current financial, emotional, and relationship stability, none of which are defined by their race. When matching with a surrogate, look for someone who shares your values and with whom you can form a strong connection.
Surrogacy is a long and complex journey, and it’s completely natural to wonder if things like race or ethnicity can make a difference in the process. We hope we’ve reassured you that there’s no need to take race into consideration during the matching process; if the intended parent(s) and surrogate have a respectful, open, and compassionate bond with each other, then that’s all that matters. We’re happy to answer any of your questions about the screening and matching processes – give us a call or email today.