Common Surrogacy Misconceptions

There are many misunderstandings surrounding surrogacy that stem from the lack of knowledge on the topic by the general population. Due to social media and media coverage surrogacy has become more well known to the public in recent years. However, facts are often misconstrued and shared in a biased way. We strive to spread awareness about surrogacy that will help suppress some of the most common misconceptions and bring light to ethical surrogacy practices. Below, we address some of the most popular misconceptions we often hear. 

Compensation

When people hear someone is a surrogate they typically begin thinking about the financial gain the surrogate receives. It is a common misconception that a woman becomes a surrogate because they are making a lot of money. Although the financial compensation the surrogate receives is a benefit, it is not the sole reason for pursuing surrogacy. Surrogacy is a long journey. It typically takes between 12-18 months from applying to delivery. There are many steps a surrogate must go through during this time. There is more behind the motivation for becoming a surrogate other than just the money. Surrogates have a strong desire to help someone else achieve their dreams of parenthood. 

The Parents Are Rich and Famous

In the news you hear about celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Nick Jonas and Cameron Diaz using surrogates to conceive their children which leads people to believe that you have to be very wealthy in order to use a surrogate. While it is expensive to use a surrogate and the average American family does not have the extra money just sitting around, there are different avenues they can pursue to finance their journey. Couples can take out loans or apply for grants that can go toward the cost.  Just like any major expense, it takes time and dedication to fund, but it is not unattainable. 

Genetics

One of the biggest misconceptions about surrogacy is that the baby will share genetics with the surrogate and as a result, look like her. While this is true with traditional surrogacy, it is not for gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy involves the surrogate using her own egg. As a result, genetic material is shared and there may be a resemblance between the surrogate and baby. Traditional surrogacy is not as widely practiced as gestational surrogacy. Our agency only works with Intended Parents and Gestational Carriers who are pursuing gestational surrogacy. 

During gestational surrogacy, the pregnancy is conceived using an embryo that has been created in a laboratory. The embryo is created using either the egg and sperm from the Intended Parents or from a donor. The carrier undergoes IVF under  the close supervision of a Reproductive Endocrinologist. The embryo is transferred to the carrier’s uterus during an embryo transfer procedure in a surgical room. There is no DNA shared between the carrier and baby. Therefore, any resemblance between the baby and surrogate will be a coincidence. 

Attachment

Surrogates undergo an extensive psychosocial evaluation during the beginning stages of their surrogacy journey. They are evaluated to make sure there are no underlying mental health concerns that would prevent them from experiencing a healthy journey. One of the requirements women must meet to become a surrogate is having their own family complete. They are not looking to carry the child and keep it as their own. They truly want to help another family welcome their own child. 

Although the surrogate is the one carrying the baby, she is not celebrating pregnancy milestones for herself. Instead, she is sharing the experience with her Intended Parents. When learning of the gender, she is not choosing baby names, decorating a nursery, or planning a baby shower. Instead, she gets to watch and experience her Intended Parents celebrate these exciting milestones. During all of these significant pregnancy events , the Intended Parents begin forming a bond with their child. After delivery, the baby is immediately put into their parents’ arms, and their bond continues to grow. After the delivery, the Intended Parents and surrogate mutually decide if they wish to continue a relationship and what that relationship may look like. 

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