Working with a surrogate mother can be both a challenging and rewarding experience.
For many individuals struggling to have a baby, a surrogate is the solution to years of obstacles and heartache.
Still, it’s a huge decision to make.
Working with a surrogate is a complicated relationship, legally, financially, and emotionally.
Here are some of the top considerations to keep in mind when contemplating a surrogate pregnancy.
Reasons for Considering Surrogacy
There are many reasons for using a surrogate to carry your child.
It’s important to know that most clinics require you to have a medical reason for using a surrogate — though that term can be used broadly.
Some of the primary reasons for using a surrogate include:
Mental and physical health concerns
Conflicting medication requirements
External risk factors
Some reasons are obvious, while others require some research and navigation.
For example, a career chef who works 16 hour days and provides for the family could be considered at risk from external factors despite being healthy and able to conceive.
Clearly outlining your reasons can help navigate the journey ahead.
Calculating the Costs of Surrogacy
The high cost of surrogacy is often the most significant barrier for those considering this route.
On the low end, surrogacy costs at least $100,000; but a journey can reach as much as $180,000 depending on your chosen agency, your surrogate mother, and the specific situation.
Surrogacy costs usually include:
Matching and agency fees
Medical and healthcare costs
As with anything in life, surrogacy sometimes comes with unexpected costs as well.
Outlining the Legalities
Legal regulations surrounding surrogacy differ from place to place.
It’s essential to take the time to understand the legalities in your state and surrounding the process itself.
When entering into a surrogacy agreement, you must have an experienced attorney representing your interests.
They’ll be able to review the paperwork and ensure you and your baby are covered.
Stranger vs. Friend
People often struggle with the idea of a stranger carrying their baby, opting instead to ask a friend.
Working with a friend has numerous benefits.
This approach to surrogacy can save tens of thousands of dollars and feel more emotional and involved.
However, asking a friend can put a lot of strain on your relationship.
Some states don’t allow this type of surrogacy for those reasons.
Working with a stranger ensures proper barriers and professionalism.
Look at your options and think hard about what you would prefer to do.
Consider the Emotions Involved
Having a baby is an emotional experience, regardless of the situation.
Using a surrogate can bring forth a lot of emotions as well for couples who feel as though they’re missing out on the pregnancy experience.
Take some time to process your emotions and consider your level of involvement with the pregnancy.
It’s worth working with an experienced counselor to help you with these feelings.
Additionally, looking for support groups can help you connect with a community that is going through the same thing.
Communicating Your Choices
Society has this weird sense of entitlement when it comes to pregnancy and family choices.
Many individuals and couples who choose a surrogate face backlash from those around them.
Your choice to work with a surrogate is your business, and you don’t have to justify your decision.
That being said, you should still take some time to outline how you’ll communicate this choice to the people in your life.
Consider how you’ll shut down negativity and create healthy boundaries.
If you have other children, consider how you’ll explain this process to them in an age-appropriate way.
Surrogacy has created opportunities for people to become parents when it seemed impossible.
Creating new life and expanding your family is a beautiful thing, and surrogacy can make that happen.