Pro: Get to have a baby. Con: Can’t carry your baby. If only it were so simple.
Weighing the pros and cons of surrogacy is incredibly difficult for many intended parents. These issues can vary greatly from couple to couple. Depending heavily on non-influenceable factors like income or country of residence. Despite these unique and individual difficulties, couples from all over the world are still able to realize their dreams of building a family on their own terms. It’s important that whatever you decide, you remember to enjoy the journey.
Choosing to have a child via surrogate can enrich the lives of everyone involved. Although, it doesn’t mean that the choice is right for everyone. Knowing whether or not a surrogate is the right consideration for your household will depend on a great many things. Here are a few you’ll definitely want to consider along the way.
Pros and Cons of Choosing Surrogacy: Pros
Fulfils a Need
Modern medicine has only been able to take us so far. Most every couple that is considering surrogacy has already spent a myriad of time, money, and emotions attempting to find other ways in which to have a child of their own. Often, surrogacy is the only option that they are left with. The promise of surrogacy can serve to give couples renewed hope and further options when other methods have failed. Success rates associated with surrogacy have shown significant improvement over the years as more families choose to make surrogacy a standard practice.
Since the early 1980’s advances in in vitro fertilization have led to more promising surrogacy arrangements worldwide. While surrogacy itself have references back into biblical ages, new advancements in the scientific procedure have allowed parents and surrogates alike more protection and reassurance when it comes to surrogacy procedures and agreements. Thousands of children are born into healthy and happy homes via surrogate each year, and this is a number that is increasing exponentially. The continued improvement within the industry drives innovation and propels better and safer practices every day.
The Genetic Link
Surrogacy offers intended parents the unique ability to be genetically related to their child. While they may be unable to carry the child themselves, what they will share is a genetic bond. Intended parents can use their own materials (eggs and sperm) in combination with donor materials (should the need arise), and combine these within a lab setting. This also offers parents to opt for Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) which can help identify possible illness and disease early. The use of PGD can also serve to decrease the incidence of complications during pregnancy.
Due to the increasing popularity and understanding of the surrogacy process, many countries that offer surrogacy-friendly laws also offer strict legal protection to those parties involved. Pre-birth orders and surrogacy agreements are legally binding documents that allow both intended parents and surrogate mothers to outline their roles and expectations early. These laws can also serve to make the transition home much smoother.
Entering into a surrogacy agreement is not something to be taken lightly. But it can engender friendships that last a lifetime. Some surrogate mothers are happy to continue to participate in the life of the child as little or as much as the intended parents would like to see. Throughout the pregnancy, both surrogates and intended parents can be in close contact and share in the joys of the journey together.
Pros and Cons of Choosing Surrogacy: Cons
Even “cheaper” surrogacy programs are expensive. Few insurance policies cover the entire cost of the process. Depending on what country you choose to secure your surrogate through, costs can exceed that of $150,000. Should additional treatments, or IVF cycles be required, additional expenses can add up throughout the process. Many agencies combat this by providing information on payment plans or loan offices that are tailored to the surrogate experience.
In many countries, surrogacy is illegal or very poorly legislated. Which offers little to no litigious protections to intended parents and surrogates. It’s important to research the laws concerning surrogacy in any given area throughout any pertinent questions that you may have as they arise. In countries where surrogacy is legal, it usually heavily regulated and highly nuanced. It’s always wise to seek professional law council anytime you are seriously considering choosing surrogacy.
For many parents, letting go of control is incredibly difficult. Not being able to carry, or care for your child directly throughout the surrogacy journal can be emotionally taxing. In incidences where intended parents choose surrogacy programs abroad, it’s understandable that the distance can lead to an expected measure of heartache. Many agencies will provide counseling services that can help curb these emotional troughs. But it’s important to be fully aware that being a part of a surrogate process can be extremely stressful.
In developing countries and poorer regions, reports of exploitation of women abound. It’s never wise to attempt and find a surrogate independently in these locations. Be very aware of any surrogate you choose. Agencies require their surrogates to pass a series of exams and assessments to ensure the safety and interests of all parties involved. Make sure that if you choose an agency, that they are reputable and have well-established rules and regulations on eligibility requirements of their surrogates.
At any point during an infertility diagnosis- parents are always encouraged to ask as many questions as they want and find the answers that they need. If you feel like you’d like to learn more about surrogacy, be sure to check out ilaya’s articles on American Surrogacy, Surrogacy Abroad, What Surrogacy Is, or even The Future of Surrogacy. Or contact a representative for a consultation.