Surrogacy Pros and Cons: What You Should KnowAll About Surrogacy
In the U.S., surrogacy has become an important option for individuals and couples who want to grow their families but can’t do so by traditional means. That’s why the demand for commercial surrogacy has been growing in recent years. As a surrogacy agency, we have also seen key changes in surrogacy laws that seemingly make the process a more viable option for both surrogates and intended parents.
As is the case with any medical process, there are surrogacy pros and cons that both potential surrogate mothers and intended parents need to consider. A careful analysis of the said surrogacy pros and cons will usually lead participants to make the right decisions.
If you are contemplating serving as a surrogate mother or looking to surrogacy as a means of growing your family, we would simply request that you do the proper due diligence before proceeding. Doing so will help eliminate the possibility of any misunderstandings while also educating you about key surrogate requirements and what being a surrogate means.
Below, we want to address the surrogacy pros and cons as we see them in our role as a professional surrogacy agency.
Types of Surrogacy
There is a good chance you have a decent idea of what being a surrogate is all about. What you might not realize is there are two forms of surrogacy: Traditional surrogacy and Gestational surrogacy.
Understanding the types of surrogacy can help you identify what are the surrogacy pros and cons.
Traditional surrogacy: The surrogate mother provides the eggs with the sperm coming from the intended father or a donor. In this case, there would be no genetic connection between the intended mother and the baby.
Gestational surrogacy: The eggs are furnished by the intended mother, giving the intended mother that coveted genetic connection. The surrogate mother’s responsibility is to simply carry the baby to term. Again, the sperm would be furnished by the intended father or a donor.
The Pros Associated with Surrogacy
To be clear, the pros related to this process almost always outweigh the cons. With that said, here are a few of the key pros:
The fulfillment of serving others
From your perspective as intended parents, surrogates are almost always held in high esteem. Why? After going through fertility issues, they are often so grateful to have a good woman who is willing to sacrifice for their benefit.
As a surrogate, you would be helping to fulfill someone’s dreams of being a parent or parents. That’s a big deal because that kind of caring is very rare. Should you choose to be a surrogate, you would be deserving of the gratitude that would be bestowed on you.
The chance to develop life-long relationships
While adoption is another option for intended parents who can’t be parents by natural means, it’s not very often a personal process. The presumption is the adoption would take place, if approved, and further connection with the biological mother might be blocked.
With surrogacy, intended parents get a say in the process. They also get a chance to build a “9-month” relationship with their surrogate of choice. Since that relationship might extend beyond the birthing process, surrogacy often serves as a way for the intended parents and surrogates to build strong relationships that will last. Often, this benefits surrogacy offspring because they get a chance to feel the connection to the process that created them.
As a surrogate, you would be entitled to compensation. In fact, the compensation is pretty lucrative as well as it should be.
At our surrogacy agency, surrogates are paid a base fee of $35K, up to maybe $40K if they have prior experience as a surrogate. Our surrogates also get allowances and expense reimbursements. FYI: Here are some of the potential extras:
- $200 month allowance
- Clothing allowance of $500 or more
- Reimburse for lost wages and some travel expenses
- Compensation for extra medical procedures, including C-section delivery
- Life and medical insurance coverage during pregnancy
- Embryo transfer fee of $1K
- and more
In total, the compensation package could fall between $60K and S70K.
Contractually secure process
From a legal perspective, surrogacy offers great protection for all parties. This protection is ensured by the signing of a contract that clearly lays out the responsibilities of all participants. That includes the intended parent or parents, the surrogate, and the fertility clinic or surrogate agency.
For the intended parent or parents, surrogacy might be a dream come true. It allows them to grow their family when they might have thought that would never be a possibility. If you are looking to build your family through surrogacy, you’ll be happy to learn that success rates are very high and dreams do come true.
The Cons Associated with Surrogacy
Yes, both intended parents and surrogates might have to encounter issues. With that in mind, here are some of the cons associated with surrogacy.
Cost of surrogacy
As the intended parent or parents, you have a right to be concerned about the cost of surrogacy. Yes, it’s an expensive process that not all people can afford to pursue. If you have access to financial resources, you’ll know right up front how much the process will cost you. At our agency, we charge an agency fee of $21K. You would then be obligated to pay the compensation that goes to your surrogate.
Since surrogacy laws tend to be strict, so to are the requirement relegated to both the intended parents and the surrogate. For intended parents, they must be able to represent their ability to handle the financial obligations of the process. They must also be able to represent they are pursuing the process for all of the right reasons.
For the surrogate, the medical and psychological requirements are quite strict. Here are a few of those requirements:
- Age limits – between 21 and 40
- Body weight limits – BMI of between 20 and 32
- No history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Living in stable living conditions
- Able to maintain good physical and mental health
- Must have delivered at least one prior baby with no history of pregnancy or delivery complications
Since the surrogate would have to take certain medications and actually carry a baby to term, there are inherent health risks. Surrogate requirements are strict to help mediate the possibility of anything going wrong.
Potential for emotional strain
Surrogacy is an emotional process for everyone concerned. Intended parents constantly have to endure anticipation while hoping the entire process goes smoothly. Surrogates are left to deal with hormonal changes that can prompt emotional reactions. At the point of delivery, they will have to let go of the baby they have carried in their womb for 9 months. That’s never an easy thing to do.
First, the application and screening processes can take at least a month or two. From the moment a surrogate contract is signed, everyone knows the process is going to take about 9 months. Combined, a year is a long time, and there is nothing that can be done to shorten it.
If you are ready to be parents or become a surrogate, we encourage you to contact us at the Surrogacy Center of Philadelphia to consider your options.