Pros & Cons Of Surrogacy

While it’s natural for couples to decide to move onto a new phase of life by starting a family, not everyone has the option of taking the traditional route. Some couples, because of age, medical circumstance, or other factors, are either advised not to undertake a pregnancy or may no longer be able to. However, that doesn’t mean that they either remain childless or look at adoption.

Surrogacy is when one woman agrees to become pregnant on behalf of hopeful parents. However, as with any other alternative, there are pros and cons of surrogacy that couples should be aware of before they pursue this path. 


It May Not Be Available

Surrogacy as a technique dates back to Biblical times, but despite being such an old and widespread method, it is not necessarily available everywhere or, in some cases, in the specific style or technique a couple would prefer.

This is often due to the legal environment where a couple resides. For example, in countries like France and Germany, surrogacy of any kind is illegal. On the other hand, a country like Canada permits surrogacy, but only altruistic surrogacy, meaning couples that want more choice and less waiting that comes from a compensated surrogacy are out of luck in that country. More complex, the USA has different laws in different states, so while compensated, IVF surrogacies may be available in California; in Texas, surrogacies are permitted, but the IVF technique overlaps with the legal interpretation of abortion in that state. Abortion is severely restricted, meaning IVF pregnancies can’t be serviced there.

It Requires A Lot Of Effort

A normal pregnancy is simply a matter of the woman in the relationship allowing herself to become pregnant. With surrogacy, however, a lot of energy is needed. Research must be conducted to find the right surrogacy agency and whether that agency will even be in the country of residence or require travel to another nation.

On top of this, there is a search for a suitable surrogate mother candidate, and once found and approved, a relationship must be built, and the hopeful couple must nurture this partnership. Once the baby is born, if the birth occurred in another country, efforts must be made to ensure the child receives citizenship and is allowed to enter the intended country of residence.

It Requires Investment

One of the most obvious negatives of surrogacy is that, unlike conventional pregnancy, which is free, surrogacy does involve a significant investment. How much that investment will be depends on the type of surrogacy a couple chooses. The lowest cost surrogacy is a domestic, altruistic, traditional surrogacy. This means that a couple remains in their country of residence, finds a surrogate who is willing to volunteer herself, and only requires a sperm donation for the pregnancy.

On the other hand, surrogacy in another country that is compensated, meaning the surrogate expects significant payment, will cost more. If the couple wants an IVF surrogacy, where the donor egg and sperm are fertilized in the lab and then screened for congenital disorders before being implanted in the surrogate mother, the cost is considerably more.


It’s A Newborn

The one unavoidable truth of adoption is that while it is a chance to give a child a life with loving parents, that child will never be raised by adoptive parents right from their birthday. With surrogacy, however, hopeful parents get the chance to be there for a child often moments after birth.

For hopeful parents who want the experience of raising a baby right from the very first day, surrogacy is the best route to take.

It Can Be A Direct Genetic Ancestor

Another area in which adoption has severe limits is in providing couples with a “true” descendant. Conventional pregnancies offer a couple the chance to have a child that is 50% the DNA of the father and 50% of the mother for a true, traditional mix of the two.

The in vitro fertilization technique, or IVF for surrogacy, also provides this option. So even if the woman in a couple can’t conceive, she can still donate an egg, along with sperm from the father, for a legitimate genetic descendant that can trace ancestry back through the couple’s genetic family trees.

You Have Choice

Unlike a conventional pregnancy, where so much of it is a risky roll of the dice, surrogacy provides choice and control. Couples can choose an agency to work with; they can choose a surrogate mother to work with. In the case of IVF, they can even decide to screen fertilized eggs for congenital diseases that might be passed down family lines, thus avoiding disorders like cystic fibrosis or Down’s Syndrome.

All of this is just a matter of having clear goals and taking the time to ensure the agency provides the right services when you ask them, “How does surrogacy work?” This gives couples a greater set of options for getting the outcome they want.