If you’ve been thinking about starting your family through surrogacy, you’ve probably already done a bit of research and encountered all sorts of information!
Attitudes towards surrogacy have changed a lot in the past decade. It’s now just as common for your best friend or neighbor to use a surrogate as it would be for a celebrity. But there are still some surprising myths about surrogacy that have persisted over the years. These misconceptions can make it very confusing for couples who are researching the surrogacy process, especially if they are still not quite sure what’s true and false.
Let’s dispel the six most surprising myths about surrogacy!
Myth #1: The surrogate can change her mind and keep the baby
Decades ago, you may have read a few stories of surrogate mothers who wanted to keep the baby. However, these cases involve traditional surrogacy, in which the mother’s own egg is used. This means she is genetically related to the child.
Gestational surrogacy is different. The surrogate uses only donated eggs and sperm, so she is in no way genetically related to the baby. The Intended Mother (or egg donor) supplies her eggs, while the Intended Father (or sperm donor) supplies his sperm. These are combined to create embryos, which are then implanted into the womb of the surrogate via IVF. This means the surrogate has no biological connection to the child, and it would be impossible for her to claim parentage after the birth.
Family Source Consultants will also walk you through the process of enlisting a surrogacy lawyer who will ensure that your parental rights are protected as soon as the surrogate becomes pregnant. Where necessary, these rights will be formalized through a birth parentage order, either before or after the birth. This also means that the Intended Parent/s’ names will be on the birth certificate.
It’s also worth noting that it would be highly unlikely for a surrogate to want to keep the baby she is carrying. All surrogates at FSC undergo a careful screening process which includes an in-depth psychological exam, ensuring they are fully prepared to carry a pregnancy for someone else, both physically and mentally. In fact, surrogates often say that they developed a more significant attachment to their intended parents than they did with the child they carried. We believe this is because surrogates go into their journey knowing the child they will carry has never been theirs, establishing a distinct mindset from day one.
Myth #2: Surrogates are in it for the money
It’s true that surrogates who go through an agency will receive compensation for carrying a pregnancy. They will also be reimbursed for all their pregnancy-related costs and any other expenses. But that’s not the reason our surrogates are surrogates!
At FSC, we find that women who become surrogates are genuinely eager to help other people start their own families. Many of our surrogates talk about the joy they feel in creating a little life, especially for couples or individuals who wouldn’t be able to have children on their own. These are extraordinary women who believe that surrogacy is something they were always meant to do.
Myth #3: The surrogate is related to the baby
At FSC, we only facilitate gestational surrogacy arrangements where the surrogate mother is not biologically related to the baby and will have no genetic connection to your child.
The amazing thing about surrogacy is that it doesn’t matter whose uterus is used: the genetic material that goes into creating an embryo will only come from the man and woman who created that embryo. The egg and sperm are the entire sum of the operation when it comes to genetic inheritance!
Myth #4: You can be a surrogate if you’ve never had a baby
Despite what you may have seen in movies, one of the non-negotiable requirements for gestational surrogacy is that you’ve had a successful pregnancy and are raising a child of your own.
Experiencing a full-term pregnancy and delivery is a requirement because intended parents need to be certain that their surrogate can safely carry a pregnancy to term and give birth to a healthy child. After all, they’ve invested a lot of time, money, and emotion into making this journey.
It’s also important for the surrogate herself to have experienced a full-term pregnancy. Pregnancy and surrogacy are both highly physical and emotional journeys, and it’s crucial that the surrogate knows what to expect. She will be dealing with all sorts of hormonal changes, which are different for everybody. Knowing what the postpartum period is like helps you to be mentally prepared for these changes.
Myth #5: The best surrogates are close family or friends of the intended parent(s)
Working with a known surrogate is appealing and has worked for many people fortunate enough to have a woman in their life willing to assist them in this way. This situation undoubtedly adds a layer of complexity and can often challenge and push established relationships to new boundaries.
At Family Source Consultants, we like to consider ourselves “match-makers” for our intended parents and their surrogate. One of our highest priorities when we match intended parents and surrogates is to ensure that each party’s values and goals are compatible.
Nearly all of the journeys we facilitate are between individuals who were strangers at first. Some go on to develop organic relationships and become life-long friends, while others mutually desire less ongoing contact, and the relationship fades with time.
Each journey is unique, and consequentially, each resulting relationship is similarly special.
Myth #6: You have to be rich and famous to use a surrogate
Many people who decide to pursue surrogacy are ordinary men and women who simply want to have children – but can’t. Yes, it’s expensive, but there are many options to finance surrogacy, including fertility grants which don’t have to be repaid.
There can be many reasons that people choose surrogacy. They may have already spent a long time trying and failing to get pregnant. For them, surrogacy is their only option to have a child that is biologically related to them.
Some of our IPs are single and want a child of their own but haven’t been able to find a suitable partner. Some are same-sex couples who need a woman to carry their baby. And some are heterosexual couples who have struggled with fertility problems and just haven’t been able to get pregnant.
The reasons go on and on. And, at the end of the day, having the family you’ve longed for is priceless!
Now we’ve cleared the air on those myths, let’s talk! Contact us today to learn more about starting your family through Family Source Consultants.