Surrogacy is a beautiful thing beyond what you could ever imagine. Not only does it affect future parents but ultimately it affects the surrogate as well. In the end, you build a family and you grow as a person from the experience. What better gift to give than the gift of life. Unfortunately, surrogates nowadays are faced with many questions that aren’t true and are simply new and old ways of thinking from those not directly involved in surrogacy. As we talk to potential surrogates every day we’ve been able to collect our Top 10 Surrogacy Myths.
- The surrogate will keep the baby.
- You’ll make $100K.
- There aren’t any risks associated with surrogacy.
- You don’t need an agency.
- All agencies are created equal.
- You’re giving up your child.
- You share the same blood with the baby that you’re carrying.
- Surrogates just do it for the money.
- Only poor women become surrogates.
- You have to adopt the baby.
1. The surrogate will keep the baby.
Ask Any surrogate and she’ll tell you the number one question she gets is, “How can you give the baby up? Won’t you get attached?” It’s a perfectly valid question to ask and it’s one that no surrogate is annoyed answering. As often as the question arises most surrogates will tell you that the baby is not biologically theirs and they have no attachment to it. They’re simply “babysitting” for the intended parent (s). There are well-known documented cases in the news media where a surrogate has tried to keep the baby but those are very, very rare. Most likely if a surrogate has tried to keep the baby then one of the following situations occurred:
- Surrogate was not properly screened.
- Surrogate did not undergo a psychological screening.
- Surrogate and Intended Parent did not form a friendly relationship.
- Surrogacy agency did not have a dedicated support network.
- Surrogacy agency did not have proper training and protocols in place to prevent this.
- Surrogate is not going through an agency and contracts may have grey areas.
2. You’ll make $70-100K.
We’re not saying that it couldn’t happen, but we believe in transparency here at SAI and that’s not common. As an agency we’re usually pointed to other agency’s advertisements where they promise the surrogate she’ll make an incredible amount of money by being a surrogate and that’s not true. Typical first-time surrogates make anywhere from $45K-$55K in total. There are several factors that go into pay scales as a surrogate and they are….
- Intended Parents
3. There aren’t any risks associated with surrogacy.
Whether you’re pregnant with your own child, first or third-time surrogate, pregnancy, in general, can have risks. Complications do happen and can happen in any birth and surrogacy is no different. These risks are often communicated during initial screenings.
4. You don’t need an agency.
Agencies are advocates for both parents and surrogates. SAI ensures that surrogates and intended parents’ best interest are maintained. Simply put, an agency is peace of mind. Entering into an independent arrangement runs many risks. Should you have a complication or issue with your surrogate or intended parent who would advocate for you? If you have insurance issues who would step up and assist you? While surrogacy is a beautiful thing, complications in many facets do arise and an agency is there to help you through those issues.
5. All agencies are created equal.
If you’ve listened to our podcasts and/or watched The Surrogate Buzz on Facebook then you know we are advocates of due diligence. Do your research! We see surrogates and intended parents walk through our doors wishing they found us earlier and it’s heartbreaking to hear the stories. No agency is created equal. There are both good and bad agencies and it’s up to you to do your research. Schedule a meeting, look at their history, look at court records, speak to their surrogates. We’ve seen sketchy offices in strip malls that make us wonder. If that’s an agency you’ve narrowed down on your list then walk in. Look around. Ask the people running the agency about their work history in the industry. Are they being honest? Call their previous agency and ask about them. What kind of character do they have? What kind of ethics do they have? In the end, you’re going to feel that the agency is the right fit, however, make sure you do your due diligence. If you need more tips on choosing an agency listen to our Podcast, ‘Tips on Choosing a Surrogacy Agency’.
6. You’re giving up your child.
As previously mentioned surrogate babies are not biologically linked to the surrogate so they aren’t giving up their child. Here at SAI, we work with Gestational Surrogacy. Meaning the egg and sperm are from the Intended Parents or donors. Knowing that you are helping a couple have a child also helps put your mind in another zone. Your focus is shifted to helping them achieve the family they have always dreamed of instead of “I’m giving up my baby”. You know going into the process that this baby is not yours.
7. You share the same blood with the baby you’re carrying.
The human body itself is a miracle that we’re still trying to understand. However, there is no proof that a surrogate’s blood mixes with the baby’s blood. A baby’s own blood passes through its body and not the blood of the surrogate. Nutrients and oxygen from the surrogate’s blood are transferred to the fetal blood through the placenta, while waste products are transferred from the fetal blood and filtered through the placenta, without the two blood supplies mixing. The human body is amazing!
8. Surrogates just do it for the money.
Any surrogate that walks in through our doors is willing to change lives and build families and that’s a beautiful thing. Every surrogate has their own reason for becoming a surrogate but in the end, the surrogate wants to make a difference in the world and they do. Surrogates put their lives on the line and run the risks of complications because they want to help build a family and they are compensated for doing so. The compensation doesn’t make what they do any less meaningful.
9. Only poor women become surrogates.
Another myth that’s completely false. We have surrogates from all socio-economic backgrounds. Again, it’s about building a family and if a surrogate wants to fulfill someone’s dream then that could be anyone from any walk of life and for that we are grateful.
10. You have to adopt the baby.
You do not have to adopt the baby. The intended parents get what’s called a PBO or Pre Birth Order. The attorney gets a judge to sign a judgment that the IP’s have parental rights to the child before the child is born.