With modern medical advancement, new fertility treatments, and a growing awareness of surrogacy, you have more options for becoming a parent compared to a few decades ago. However, for some, once you tell your friends and family of your choice, you may encounter some ignorance and stigma. Even in this enlightened age, there is a lot of misinformation surrounding the topic of surrogacy. Take some time to educate yourself about surrogacy so you will have an answer for people who question your journey to parenthood.
Surrogacy Myth #1: The Surrogate Will Keep the Baby
You may have thought about this yourself, but take a deep breath and consider the reality. Very few surrogacy arrangements end with the surrogate keeping the child. In almost all cases, surrogates are glad to hand over the child to the intended parents. Gestational surrogacy makes it even easier on the surrogate, since she is not biologically related to the baby.
Remind naysayers that proper surrogate screening, using a surrogacy lawyer to draft your contract, obtaining a birth order (if allowed in your state) and adhering to state regulations help ensure that your baby ends up in your arms. Let your concerned friends or relatives know that surrogates go through extensive screening to confirm that they are mentally prepared for the whole process, including turning over the baby to the rightful parents.
Surrogacy Myth #2: The Surrogate Just Wants Money.
This is simply untrue. The financial compensation is fair, considering the personal inconvenience, pain and physical changes that the gestational carrier undergoes. Plus, most gestational carriers say that their primary motive is compassion for families who desire children and cannot have them. One surrogate may have a close friend or relative who struggled with infertility, which makes her sensitive to the plight of childless couples. Another surrogate may enjoy the glow and the general feeling of being pregnant, and she may want to experience that again even if she is done having kids of her own. Most likely, your surrogate’s primary motive is a desire to do something good for someone else.
Surrogacy Myth #3: Only Rich People Can Pursue Surrogacy.
There is a hefty price tag associated with surrogacy. However, there are multiple ways to obtain the funds. Intended parents can take out a loan, use a medical financing company, check on their eligibility for grants, or do a crowd-funding campaign, which allows friends and family to contribute financially.
Surrogacy Myth #4. The Surrogate Won’t Take Good Care of the Baby.
Studies show that alcohol, caffeine, drugs, and smoking are bad for babies in the womb. Your family and friends may worry that the surrogate won’t take the necessary precautions to ensure that the baby is born as healthy as possible. What if the surrogate doesn’t eat plenty of fruits, grains, and vegetables? What if she doesn’t drink enough water? After all, the baby isn’t hers—what’s to keep her from doing exactly what she wants, without regard to the unborn infant’s health?
Again, remind the “nervous Nellies” that agency surrogates go through extensive screening, not only for their mental state, but for their lifestyle and support system. That’s one reason why it’s so important perform proper screening whether you use a surrogacy agency or choose an independent surrogate. With proper screening, you have a third party that can check up on things and make sure that your surrogate is doing right by your child. Any surrogate who takes her job seriously understands her responsibility for that little life.
Debunking Surrogacy Myths
The next time a well-meaning coworker, friend or relative comes up to you with one of these surrogacy myths, you can politely debunk it. If someone raises a legitimate concern, talk to your surrogacy agency or contact your assisted reproduction lawyer. You and your partner are not alone in this journey! Surround yourself with knowledgeable attorneys and other experts who can give you the information and support that you need.
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About Nicole K. White
As a mother via gestational surrogacy, Nicole is passionate about helping her clients experience the joy and fulfillment of starting or growing a family of their own through third party reproduction. Her knowledge and experience as an attorney and as an intended parent mean she knows firsthand what you will go through and what you will need – understanding, ongoing support, guidance and a smooth process.