Surrogacy is a much more common now that celebrities like Kim Kardashian/Kanye West, Dwayne Wade/Gabrielle Union, Nicole Kidman and many others have used a surrogate as a way to expand their family. In the day and age of social media and instant access to information, surrogacy is making it rounds.
As a two time surrogate, I have found that there are quite a few misconceptions when it comes to surrogacy.
I won’t be able to give up the baby.
This one is always the funniest to me. What most people don’t consider is the time it takes from start to finish. The average time it takes from getting matched with an Intended Parent/s to having the baby is between 18-24 months, if not longer.
The typical time it takes between matching and transfer day, where they put the baby inside of you, is between 9-15 months.
During this time, I never think “this is my baby.” It is always Intended Parent’s baby. The time before transfer is such a crucial part of the surrogacy process. It allows you to really get to know the person/persons whom you are bringing a baby into this world for.
I am doing this for the money.
I know this one comes hand-in-hand more so for me as a surrogate because my husband and I are also working on our debt free journey. But, we actually began our debt free journey almost an entire year AFTER we decided to do surrogacy. Money was never a thought for us. (Look out for a separate post later about how we got into surrogacy.)
Surrogacy laws are different not only around the United States, but the world too. In Canada, it is illegal to get compensated for being a surrogate. You can only get reimbursed for medical expenses, travel, maternity clothes, etc.
In the states, at least with the agency I work with, it is titled “pre-birth child support.” Which I love, by the way. It explains it so easily. I am receiving child support for a baby that I am caring for until the parents take over (i.e. the baby is born).
The baby is always genetically related to the surrogate.
There are two different types of surrogacy – gestational and traditional. Gestational is what I am doing. I am just the gestational carrier for the parent/s. The baby is not related to me or my husband.
Traditional surrogacy is just that. Traditional. It means that my egg would be used with the fathers or donors. This is more uncommon, as the surrogate would be genetically related to the surrogate mother. This also helps with the fact that, this baby is not mine. There is no emotional attachment to me giving away my baby since the baby is not genetically related to me.
Surrogacy is a selfish way to have a child.
Yes – I have heard this. Quite a few times, actually. The thought process here is that there are so many children that are waiting to be fostered or adopted. And yes, that IS true! Not everyone who can’t have a child are cut out to foster – or even have the heart to do it, because I believe your heart has to be in the right place to be a foster parent. Just like not everyone who wants to be a parent wants to have their own child genetically related to them. I have several friends who only want to adopt.
How a person chooses to create their family is a personal decision, and one that does not need judgment from any of us.
Adoption isn’t for everyone. Fostering isn’t for everyone. Surrogacy isn’t for everyone.
You do you, and everyone else can stay in their own lane.
There is no pre-birth bonding between parent and baby.
I am beyond lucky in that Dustin and I have been matched with some pretty incredible intended parents (or IPs). With our first couple, we had a group marco polo chat where we would do videos to each other alllll the time throughout the pregnancy. We shared all the details.
Even this one. I am 14 weeks pregnant, and have celebrated every milestone with the mother. We FaceTime so frequently. My four year old son is obsessed with her, and wants to video chat with the mom every time that we mention her name.
While Covid is preventing the mom from travelling from Connecticut to Texas, where she is unable to attend all the doctor appointments, we FaceTime for every appointment and I share all the good and the bad of this pregnancy. This baby is bonding with their mother, but he also gets to enjoy bonding time with me, Dustin and Mark!
We are so blessed to have been able to do this twice now. Had you told me five years ago I would be having babies for other people, I probably would’ve laughed at you. But now that I am doing it, Dustin and I can’t imagine this not being apart of our legacy.