Being a parent is a huge step forward in many people’s lives. But if you want to have a child but are unable to do so for any reason, it can often feel as though that dream is something you’ll never realize. Adoption is one option, but surrogacy is another – and one that has gained in popularity over the years as more and more begin to see what it can do for them.
Still, it’s a big step to use a surrogate mother to have a child and taking a closer look at both the pros and the cons can help make it easier to understand more about this option and whether or not it’s right for you.
First, it is worth taking a moment to understand the basics of surrogacy. Surrogacy is a type of reproduction that involves the implantation of a fertilized egg into the womb of a surrogate mother. There are actually a couple of types of surrogacy, depending on whose egg and sperm are used.
For instance, in some cases a mother in a couple may undergo IVF and carry a child – the best examples being lesbian couples. In other cases, donor eggs are fertilized and implanted in a gestational mother outside the couple. Once the child is born, the intended parents retain legal guardianship of the child.
Surrogacy often allows for parents to have genetic relationships with their children, which can help them feel more like parents than adoption in some instances. But, there are some pros and cons that are well worth taking a closer look at to ensure that you’re going into the process with the right mindset and the right understanding of what will happen.
The Pros Of Having A Surrogate Mother
There are a number of pros that can be enjoyed when using a surrogate mother. Here are some of the main ones, each of which can help show you why it may be worth taking a look at.
- High Success Rates – Surrogacy has one of the best success rates ever now. Thanks to the development of science and medical technology, tens of thousands of surrogacies have occurred. And the technology continues to get better.
- Genetic Link – While adoption is a great option as well, surrogacy allows couples to have a child that they share genetics with. This can often be huge, helping families feel a stronger bond with one another.
- Hope – 1.5 million women in the US are infertile. Millions of men are as well. And when you add in the countless same-sex couples looking for a way to become parents, it becomes clear that surrogacy offers hope in a situation that often feels hopeless to those involved in it.
- A Bond – Often, agencies match up surrogates with parents using a deep matching system. This means that the gestational mother often becomes friends with the parents as well – a bond that is unique and strong.
The Cons Of Having A Surrogate Mother
The cons related to using a surrogate mother often stem from either costs or legal considerations. For those for whom surrogacy is really the only option other than adoption, understanding the drawbacks is important so you can make the right decision.
- Legal Protections – Surrogacy legalities vary depending on location. While states within the US are generally similar, different countries actually only allow certain kinds of surrogacy while in other nations surrogacy is banned outright. As such, legal considerations have to be managed properly.
- Financial Burden – Surrogacy is very expensive. Often, a minimum of $98,000 is needed while in other cases the costs can be even higher. Obviously, would-be parents will often pay anything to have a child, but the cost is still something that needs to be planned for properly.
- Unease – With surrogacy, you’re quite literally putting the life of your child in the hands of the surrogate mother. While agencies screen surrogates very completely, there will always be some nervousness as gestation occurs. Parents often worry that the surrogate is eating properly and being healthy, and there is also the question of what the surrogate’s feelings may be after birth. Proper legal steps will protect you, but that unease is still very much present.
Ensuring The Best Results Possible
For most families, the pros of surrogacy far outweigh the cons. Still, it’s important to take the time to carefully consider each aspect of the process so you can prepare yourself and know what to expect from it.
In order to truly get the best results, it’s always important to use a respected surrogacy agency. The professionals can help you with everything, from finding the right IVF facility to choosing a surrogate to handling the legal aspects. And they are always there to answer your questions, helping give you complete confidence. In short, to get the best surrogacy results possible, always use an agency.