Whether you’re an intended parent or prospective surrogate, choosing to pursue surrogacy is a big commitment. It’s important that you do as much research as possible before embarking on this journey, especially so you understand the pros and cons of surrogacy and make an informed decision on what’s best for you.
Because each surrogacy is unique, you’ll need to understand how your circumstances may affect your surrogacy process. The professionals at the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson can explain the benefits and disadvantages of surrogacy in your particular situation and help you determine whether it’s a process you want to move forward with at this point in your life.
To discuss your individual situation, you can call our law firm at 864-573-5533 or contact us online. Keep reading this article for more information about the surrogacy pros and cons you need to know.
If You’re an Intended Parent
Because surrogacy affects intended parents and surrogates differently, here are the pros and cons of surrogacy that you should consider before committing to this process as an intended parent:
Pros of Surrogacy
For intended parents who want a biological child, the advantages of surrogacy are many:
- Being able to have a genetically related child: Surrogacy gives intended parents who have struggled with infertility or an inability to have children the possibility of having the biological child they’ve always dreamed about (although sometimes donated eggs or sperm are needed).
- Being involved every step of the way: Unlike some adoption processes, surrogacy allows intended parents to be a part of their child’s development from the moment of their conception. You can be present for milestones like doctor’s appointments and the birth of your child, which is not always possible in adoptions.
- Building a relationship with your surrogate: Starting from the beginning of the surrogacy process where you get to select and meet your surrogate, you will likely create a natural friendship based on respect as you work with your surrogate during the year or more the process takes. Some intended parents and surrogates even keep their friendship alive after the baby is born, keeping in touch as the child grows up.
- Healthy pregnancy: Many times, in infant adoption, the expectant mother has not obtained regular prenatal care or the unborn child has been exposed to illegal substances. In surrogacy, you have the chance to participate in the prenatal care from the very beginning and help ensure that the surrogate, as well as your unborn child, are receiving regular medical care. Additionally, due to extensive screening processes, as well as the regular medical care and testing, the chance of the surrogate exposing your child to any harmful substances is extremely rare.
- Having peace of mind: When you complete an infant adoption, there is always the possibility that a prospective birth mother will change her mind and choose to parent. A surrogate, however, always knows that the baby is not hers to keep, and you can rest assured that once the pregnancy proceeds safely, you will have a baby at the end of the process. You also have the knowledge that a surrogate can successfully carry a pregnancy, determined by the extensive screening she undergoes.
Cons of Surrogacy
While there are many advantageous benefits of surrogacy, there are also some important disadvantages of surrogacy to consider if you’re an intended parent:
- The cost of surrogacy: It’s common for surrogacy to cost intended parents $80,000 or more once you factor in program fees, medical expenses, compensation for your surrogate and more. Intended parents must be prepared for the financial requirements of surrogacy before moving forward.
- The complicated medical processes: When you complete a gestational surrogacy, you may have to undergo IVF processes to create an embryo (if you haven’t already). These processes are expensive, take time and may not be successful on the first try.
- Giving up a sense of control: While you have the chance to be involved in your surrogate’s pregnancy, you cannot control every part of the process. So, if you pursue surrogacy, you must be prepared to give up that sense of control and trust that your surrogate will have a healthy pregnancy.
Clearly, surrogacy does come with certain risks as well as benefits. However, for many intended parents, the risks of surrogacy are heavily outweighed by the advantages — mainly, the possibility of finally having the biologically related child they’ve dreamed about for so long.
If You’re a Prospective Surrogate
Becoming a surrogate is a huge commitment to make, so there are many things to consider before moving forward with this process. One of the best things you can do is speak to our professionals at the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson regarding our Gestational Carrier Program, as we can give you accurate information about what it’s really like to be a surrogate.
Pros of Being a Surrogate Mother
While surrogacy is a huge commitment where you choose to sacrifice your body and time to help another couple, there are many surrogate mother benefits that make the process worthwhile:
- Financial compensation: In commercial surrogacy, you will receive base compensation, starting at $25,000 or more depending on your surrogacy experience. You may want to use this money to achieve financial goals, like making a down payment on a house or paying off your student loans. The intended parents will also pay for all of your pregnancy-related expenses.
- A bond with the intended parents: When you become a surrogate, you have the chance to choose intended parents that you want to work with and will stay in contact with them throughout the surrogacy process. You might even create a friendship that lasts beyond the birth of the baby.
- A life-changing experience: By becoming a surrogate, you are providing a priceless gift to intended parents. When you help create a family, you’ll receive an immense sense of personal satisfaction and pride knowing that you’ve changed someone’s life forever.
Cons of Being a Surrogate Mother
Many women choose to pursue surrogacy to give intended parents the baby that they could not have otherwise, and they’re happy to help another couple become a family and enjoy the pregnancy along the way. However, being a surrogate is not a decision you should make lightly, as there are some risks and potential negatives involved for you:
- Time commitment: A surrogacy process from start to finish can take a year or more. That means you will spend a lot of time going through screening processes, taking fertility medications, attending doctor’s appointments, staying in contact with the intended parents and more. You will need to give up some of your personal time along the way, which could impact your work hours and how much time you spend with your family.
- Medical risks of IVF and pregnancy: Like any medical procedure, there are some minor surrogacy risks inherent in taking fertility medications, undergoing an embryo transfer, being pregnant and giving birth. Your doctor will make sure you’re aware of these risks and help you minimize them before moving forward with the surrogacy process.
- Emotional complexities: When you become a surrogate, you will understand that you are gestating someone else’s child for nine months before they’re born. However, your rational understanding of the process can get complicated when you’re under emotional stress from hormones and the demands of surrogacy. Therefore, surrogacy is only something you should pursue if you’re confident that you can manage these emotions in a healthy way. We will always help to arrange appropriate counseling to you free of cost, should you need it.
How to Decide What’s Right for You
At the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, we are always willing to discuss some of the pros and cons of surrogacy if you’re trying to decide whether surrogacy is right for you. Because surrogacy is a life-changing process for both intended parents and prospective surrogates, it’s important that you know all of the information available to you.
To learn more about surrogacy and get started with the process, please contact our law offices today.