Surrogate mothers enter the picture for many different reasons. Perhaps the intended mother doesn't have a uterus, or can't carry a pregnancy to term. Or perhaps the intended parents are gay men. Surrogacy can seem like the perfect solution for people who want to have a biological child. But it is not without its cons. Here are some questions people who are considering using a surrogate mother to start their family may want to think about.
Is surrogacy in my future child's best interest?
Surrogate mothers have been around for much, much longer than the possibility of implanting an embryo created with someone else's eggs and sperm in a uterus. Modern gestational surrogacy may seem like a solution that is painless for all involved. The surrogate is truly "only" carrying the baby, and is not biologically related to him or her, in gestational surrogacy arrangements. But it is well known that a fetus becomes attached to their mother (usually the person pregnant with them!) in the womb, and that the baby gets used to its future environment by listening to sounds.
It's not so strange to consider the possibility that a baby will be somewhat traumatized by the separation from its gestational mother, even if that child isn't related to her in any way. Later on, when that child grows up, he or she could also face difficult identity issues related to being carried by a gestational surrogate. These issues increase when egg or sperm donors are also used. Looking at surrogacy from a child's perspective is certainly a good idea.
Why do surrogates offer their uterus?
There is no shortage of surrogacy agencies. Some of them advertise heavily, and this post was actually triggered by a surrogacy site I recently looked at. The surrogacy agency made the whole experience seem so simple and cheap it had a McSurrogacy feel... Drive Thru, choose a surrogate mother, have a baby, pay money. In places where commercial surrogacy is legal, it may be quite easy to find a surrogate mother.
But what are their motivations? What do they feel like after they give a surrogate baby away, and how does the surrogacy affect their own family life? Why is that important? Well, it's not so weird to be concerned about the woman who may carry your baby for nine months, so these are essential questions to ask.
How do you feel about surrogacy?
This is one area in which you have a lot of space to explore. If you are considering surrogacy, why not talk to a counselor to explore all your feelings first? That's obviously apart from legal issues, which are very real and often rather complicated. Make sure you know everything about the process before you take this step.