If you’re just starting to think about becoming a parent through surrogacy, you may know little about the process and not know where to start. Then, as you start researching, you may feel inundated with information—and, unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there, too.
Here are four of the most common misconceptions about the surrogacy process:
1. The child is genetically-related to the surrogate. Although this is true in a “traditional” surrogacy arrangement, in a gestational surrogacy arrangement the embryos are created with either the intended mother’s eggs or eggs from a donor, or a donor embryo is used. The surrogate’s eggs are never used in gestational surrogacy.
2. Building a family via surrogacy is only for the wealthy. It’s a fact that surrogacy expenses can run high. However, at the surrogacy agency I co-founded, Family Source Consultants, we work with many intended parents who have an average income. Our agency, like many other fertility centers, offers financing options from lenders who specialize in reproductive arrangements, as well as cash discounts and payment plans.
3. The surrogate may not give up the child. Intended parents should work with an attorney who specializes in reproductive law, or confirm that their surrogacy agency does, to ensure that they are recognized as the legal parents of the baby. In addition, a surrogate (and her partner, if applicable) should undergo a psychological evaluation prior to entering into a legal agreement with intended parents. Most surrogacy centers require the surrogates they work with already be parenting their own children and to be clear about the fact that they are helping another family have a child. While the surrogate will care for the child she’s carrying and have an emotional bond, she will be aware that the child is not hers to parent.
4. The surrogate needs the compensation or is poor. Many surrogates at reputable surrogacy centers have full-time careers, are financially stable, and often have partners who have secure, well-paid jobs, too. At Family Source Consultants, I have worked with many surrogates who are the breadwinners of their marriage or partnership. A surrogate should never fully depend on the surrogacy compensation that she receives in order to live a stable lifestyle. Financial problems or any indication that a surrogate candidate is motivated by money can be reason for disqualification.