Surrogacy Pros and Cons – a Guide for Intended Parents
Deciding whether to explore surrogacy or become a surrogate is a personal decision that depends on your unique circumstances, finances, comfort level with assisted reproduction, and individual preferences. In this article, we will be discussing the pros and cons of surrogacy to give you a better understanding of surrogacy and whether or not it is the right path for you.
Here are some common reasons why individuals or couples pursue surrogacy as Intended Parents:
Medical Conditions: Some individuals have medical conditions that make it dangerous or impossible for them to carry a pregnancy, such as certain heart conditions, congenital reproductive limitations, or a history of recurrent miscarriages.
Same-Sex/LGBTQ+ Couples: Same-sex male couples may use surrogacy to have a biological child by using their sperm and an egg donor, while other LGBTQ+ couples may use surrogacy in cases where one partner provides the eggs to create an embryo that is carried by a surrogate.
Age-Related Concerns: Older couples or individuals who may have difficulty conceiving and carrying a pregnancy to term due to age-related factors may use surrogacy.
Previous Pregnancy Loss: Couples who have experienced recurrent miscarriages or stillbirths may choose surrogacy to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and losses.
Pregnancy Complications: Some women may have certain medical conditions that make pregnancy high-risk, such as pre-eclampsia, and they may opt for surrogacy to protect their health.
Surrogacy for Sibling: Couples who have successfully used surrogacy in the past to have a child may choose surrogacy again to have a sibling for their existing child.
Career and Lifestyle: Some individuals may choose surrogacy to avoid the physical and lifestyle changes that come with pregnancy, allowing them to continue working or maintain their current lifestyle.
Personal Choice: Surrogacy is sometimes chosen by individuals or couples who simply prefer this method of family building over other options like adoption.
It’s important to note that surrogacy is a deeply personal and complex decision, and the specific reasons for choosing surrogacy can vary widely among individuals and couples. The decision to pursue surrogacy is often influenced by a combination of medical, emotional, and personal factors, and it’s essential to consider the legal and ethical aspects of surrogacy as well as the specific laws and regulations in your region.
Reasons to Pursue a Surrogacy Journey:
A surrogacy journey can be a positive and rewarding experience for many individuals or couples who are unable to have children on their own. Below you will find a list of some of the most common pros of surrogacy.
Fulfillment of Parenthood: Surrogacy provides the opportunity for individuals or couples who cannot conceive or carry a pregnancy to become parents and raise a child.
Biological Connection: In some cases, Intended Parents can use their own genetic material (eggs and sperm) to create an embryo, which is then carried by the surrogate. This allows for a biological connection to the child.
Safe and Controlled Environment: Surrogacy typically takes place under medical supervision in a controlled and safe environment, reducing the risks associated with pregnancy.
Legal Framework: Surrogacy arrangements are often supported by legal contracts, which help define the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved, contributing to a more secure and predictable process.
Opportunity to Give: A surrogate mother often finds the experience of helping others become parents to be deeply rewarding, as surrogacy allows giving another family a precious gift to those who cannot conceive on their own.
Open Communication: Many surrogacy journeys involve open and transparent communication between the surrogate and intended parents, allowing both parties to build a relationship and share in the joy of the pregnancy and birth.
Personal Growth: Surrogacy can be a life-changing experience for both surrogates and Intended Parents, fostering personal growth, empathy, and a deeper understanding of the challenges others face.
Financial Compensation: In the United States, surrogates are typically compensated for their time, effort, and the physical toll of pregnancy, which can be a positive aspect for those who choose surrogacy as a means to achieving financial goals for themselves and their families.
Parental Rights: In many jurisdictions, Intended Parents can establish legal parental rights prior to birth, simplifying the process of becoming legal parents over a lengthy adoption process.
Option for LGBTQ+ Couples: Surrogacy provides a path to parenthood for same-sex couples, allowing them to have biological children using their own genetic material or the genetic material of a donor.
It’s important to note that surrogacy can also be a complex and emotionally challenging journey with its own set of potential drawbacks and legal considerations. It’s essential for all parties involved to carefully consider their options, consult with experienced professionals, and engage in open communication to learn more about surrogacy and ensure a successful and positive surrogacy experience. Laws and regulations regarding surrogacy vary by country and state, so it’s crucial to be aware of the legal and ethical aspects of surrogacy in your specific location.
Reasons Surrogacy Might Not Be Right For You
While surrogacy can be a viable and fulfilling option for many people, there are also potential downsides and risks of surrogacy to consider. It’s important to recognize that what may be a disadvantage or concern for one person or couple may not be the same for another.
Here are some of the main cons of surrogacy and reasons why surrogacy might be considered a less favorable choice or not right for you:
Cost: One of the main disadvantages of surrogacy is that it’s incredibly expensive, including compensation for the surrogate, medical expenses, legal costs, and surrogacy agency fees (though these are optional if doing an independent journey with a site like SurrogacyPlace.com). The financial burden can be prohibitive for many individuals or couples. If individuals or couples cannot realistically afford the costs involved, they may want to explore more financially feasible options for family building.
Emotional and Psychological Stress: Surrogacy can be emotionally challenging for all parties involved. Intended parents may experience stress and anxiety throughout the process, especially if they have battled infertility for years.
Lack of Control: Surrogacy involves relinquishing some control over the pregnancy to the surrogate. Intended Parents may feel a lack of agency in the pregnancy and birth process.
Legal Complexities: The legal aspects of surrogacy can be complex and vary by location. Disputes over parental rights, contracts, or other legal issues can arise, though qualified assisted-reproduction attorneys can help you understand surrogacy laws and mitigate these risks.
Ethical Concerns: Some individuals or cultures have ethical or religious objections to surrogacy, considering it unnatural or exploitative. The United States is a preferred surrogacy destination as there is a well established legal frameworks for commercial surrogacy which are designed to protect all parties involved and prevent exploitation.
Lack of Emotional Preparedness: The emotional and psychological toll of surrogacy can be significant. If individuals or couples are not emotionally prepared to navigate the challenges and uncertainties associated with surrogacy, they should reconsider this option. If individuals or couples have unresolved relationship issues, such as significant marital or partnership conflicts, these issues may be exacerbated by the emotional strain of surrogacy.
Uncertain Outcomes: Not all surrogacy attempts result in a successful and healthy pregnancy. There can be multiple failed attempts, leading to disappointment and added costs.
Lack of Emotional Connection: Intended parents may feel disconnected from the pregnancy and birth experience, missing out on the traditional aspects of pregnancy.
Social Stigma: Surrogacy may be stigmatized or misunderstood in some communities or cultures, leading to societal challenges and judgment.
Health Issues: If Intended Parents have serious health issues that could impact their ability to provide emotional and physical care for a child, it may not be advisable to pursue surrogacy.
Inadequate Support System: Having a strong support system, including family and friends, can be crucial during the surrogacy journey. If individuals or couples lack such support, they may find the process more challenging.
While surrogacy can be a viable family-building option for many, there are certain situations and individuals who may want to reconsider or avoid pursuing surrogacy. It’s essential to thoroughly evaluate personal circumstances, financial resources, emotional readiness, time commitment and legal considerations before pursuing surrogacy. Consulting with experienced professionals, including fertility specialists and legal experts, can help individuals or couples make informed decisions about their family-building journey. Each situation is unique, and what may be a suitable choice for one person or couple may not be the same for another.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Pros & Cons of Surrogacy
How can I decide if surrogacy is an option for me?
Deciding whether to explore surrogacy is a personal decision that depends on your unique circumstances, finances, comfort level with assisted reproduction, and individual preferences. Some common reasons for considering surrogacy include medical conditions, same-sex/LGBTQ+ couples, uterine issues, age-related concerns, previous pregnancy loss, and personal choice. Surrogacy can offer a path to parenthood for those facing various challenges.
What are some of the positive aspects of surrogacy for Intended Parents?
A surrogacy journey can offer several positive aspects for Intended Parents, including a path to becoming a parent where traditional means are not viable. Surrogacy also allows Intended Parents to have a biological connection to the child and a legal framework for establishing parentage.
What are some potential downsides or challenges of surrogacy for intended parents?
Surrogacy may present various challenges and potential drawbacks, including cost, stress, lack of control, as well as uncertain outcomes.
Who should avoid or reconsider pursuing surrogacy?
While surrogacy is a viable option for many, individuals or couples should consider alternative options if they face severe financial limitations, lack emotional preparedness, have unresolved relationship issues, or have ethical or religious objections to surrogacy.
How can Intended Parents make an informed decision about surrogacy?
Intended parents should thoroughly evaluate their personal circumstances, financial resources, emotional readiness, and legal considerations before pursuing surrogacy. Each situation is unique, and what may be a suitable choice for one person or couple may not be the same for another.