Across the United States, the legal allowances for surrogacy differ greatly, but trends in surrogacy are rising. Surrogacy continues to grow in availability since the development of gestational, or in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and the development of litigation that permits surrogacy in more states.
However, as surrogacy grows in popularity, a number of myths about the process of being a surrogate have grown as well.
Myth #1: Surrogates are related to the babies they carry
Once upon a time, traditional surrogacy was a common option for IPs. However, traditional surrogacy agreements are almost never available at surrogacy agencies. The legal complexities of a traditional agreement open up the potential for a lengthy, contentious legal battle since the surrogate retains a genetic connection to the baby. Therefore, the use of IVF and IP genetic material mean that the surrogate is not genetically connected to the baby they carry, also known as gestational surrogacy.
Some also misinterpret the surrogate-intended parent relationship as the surrogate “giving away their baby.” Since a child born through surrogacy is almost never genetically related to the surrogate, the intended parents retain legal custody over the child starting before birth.
Myth #2: IVF is always successful.
Unfortunately, there is no concrete way to know whether the IVF will be successful for any given surrogate. Achieving pregnancy is a process of trial and error, and there are no guarantees.
Myth #3: Surrogates are desperate and just want money.
Many surrogates are drawn to the experience of surrogacy due to a distinct desire to help couples who want to start a family. Most if not all surrogates feel they are answering a call to provide a priceless gift, not seeking a payout.
The physical and psychological effects of surrogacy are complicated, and in order to become a surrogate, potential carriers go through a comprehensive screening process. During that time, potential surrogates are interviewed in order to understand their desire to become a surrogate and their qualifications.
Check out our surrogate testimonials.
Myth #4: Anyone with the desire can become a surrogate.
There are a number of important medical requirements that must be fulfilled in order to become a surrogate. At the very least, a surrogate must have given birth once in the past.
In addition, the characteristics of a potential surrogate’s home life are taken into consideration. If a member of the household abuses alcohol or drugs, or smokes cigarettes, this will make an individual ineligible for surrogacy.
By the same token, not everyone can become an intended parent. Intended parents are also required to go through a screening process, both medical and psychological, per the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Myth #5: As an intended parent, surrogacy is too expensive.
Depending on your situation, as an intended parent, you have the option of choosing from a full service program, a match only program, or a case management program. The services at AFS are designed to target your individual needs, how much control you want over the matching process and your case, and much more. Take a look at our testimonials to see the wide range of experiences and individuals we have worked with in the past.
Even if you live in a state where commercial surrogacy isn’t legal, there are still options. Many states have become a hub for intended parents and surrogates, and Oregon is one of them.
No surrogate experience is alike. The decision-making process starts with the simple desire to help others to start a family. Get in touch if you're interested in learning more.