Honestly, surrogacy is a beautiful thing. It has helped millions of childless couples to have children they can call their own. It is a long emotional journey that requires utmost commitment from both the intended parents and the surrogate, who ultimately gives life. Without a doubt, this is a revolutionary assisted reproduction method which requires a standing ovation.
But here is the bad news – surrogacy, just like all other good things are surrounded by hundreds of myths that need to be debunked. Below are some of the most popular “facts” you should stop believing:
1. Gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy are not different
There are some sources of information and 'internet doctors' who will try to convince you that there is no difference between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. This is a myth. The truth is that in gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother doesn't have any biological link to the baby. The egg and sperms used in fertilization come from the intended parents or donors; thus, the embryo implanted in the surrogate's womb doesn't have her DNA.
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate also acts as the egg donor; hence she has a biological relationship with the child she is carrying. This type of surrogacy is less common, and it is regarded illegal in the most surrogacy-friendly countries such as Ukraine.
2. Any woman can be a surrogate
If you want to kick-start your surrogacy process, there are those who will tell not to spend a lot of your time looking for a surrogate, because any woman can become one. This is a myth.
Look – not every woman is mentally and/or physically ready to carry a pregnancy to term for another person. There are a host of factors that can disqualify a woman as a surrogate. They include financial constraints, family issues, genetic disorders, health and lifestyle issues, family dynamics, and a lot more.
Therefore, make sure that the surrogacy agency you want to work with is affiliated to professional recruiters, who will guarantee that a potential surrogate is thoroughly screened before being matched.
A good surrogate is not one who is motivated by the financial gains she will draw from the process. The best is one who is delighted by the journey, respects how her body gives life and enjoys pregnancy.
Before choosing a surrogate, make sure she is examined medically, psychologically, and mentally, so that you can have peace of mind knowing that you are working with a woman capable of carrying a healthy pregnancy on your behalf.
3. Surrogacy is unethical
Sometimes, you want to get a baby through surrogacy, but different mediums, including social media and mainstream media, discourage you. This is because they regard surrogacy as "womb for hire" and "baby hawking" schemes, and call clinics which make surrogacy possible "baby manufacturing plants." This way, you tend to perceive the entire process as unethical.
Here is what you need to know – as long as surrogacy is practiced within the confines of the law, there is no exploitation that occurs in the process. Also, there are a set of requirements that a woman must meet for her to qualify as a surrogate, and stable living is one of them.
In surrogacy-friendly jurisdictions, surrogates must be financially stable, which means that they are not at the mercy of public assistance. Also, she must undergo a couple of mental and medical tests. Therefore, there is no professional agency that will recruit a surrogate mother with the intent of making just wealth. Therefore, this process is not unethical!
4. Gestational surrogates make as much as $75k-$100k
The reason why most couples fear taking the surrogacy path is because of the costs associated with it. There are some quotas which say that gestational surrogates make as much as $100k regardless of their experience.
This is not true. In the best surrogacy destinations such as Ukraine, the total cost of surrogacy is $40,000-$60,000. Therefore, even if the surrogate takes a huge chunk out of the surrogacy budget, it cannot go as high as $100,000.
5. Surrogacy has no risks
In any form of pregnancy, complications can happen during delivery, and surrogacy is not any different. Therefore, if you have chosen surrogacy because of the popular belief that this process is risk-free, you need to get the facts right.
Surrogacy risks are often discussed during initial screening; thus, both the intended parents and the surrogate are prepared for any eventualities.
6. The surrogate mother has a right to keep the baby
When it comes to surrogacy, the main fear of intended parents is that the surrogate mother might keep the baby after birth. This is one myth that you should stop believing in going forward. Don't forget that surrogacy contracts are legally binding, just like all other legal contracts, you know. Therefore, a surrogacy agreement is valid in all courts of law, where this assisted reproduction method is considered legal.
We cannot shun away from the fact that there are some cases where surrogates have demanded the right to keep the baby, but they are extremely rare, and where traditional, not gestational surrogacy is practiced.
7. Surrogacy is selfish! Why not adopt a baby?
Some sources of information, especially those that are affiliated to particular religions, claim that surrogacy is not only unethical, but it is also selfish because there are millions of children waiting to be fostered or adopted. This is a myth.
Childless couples opt for surrogacy because they want a baby who is biologically related to them. Mostly, intended parents have conditions that make it impossible for them to conceive naturally. However, they might have an inherent desire to have a child who is genetically related to them. In such a case, adoption is never an option. Surrogacy becomes the only way to fulfil their desire.
8. You have to adopt the baby
This "fact" is far from the truth. Once the child is born, intended parents are given what is known as a pre-birth order, which gives them the parental rights to the baby before birth. In countries such as Ukraine, the law recognises the intended parents as the parents of the baby; therefore, the birth certificate bears their names. This means that you don't have to adopt a baby born through surrogacy!
9. Intended parents have a problem bonding with the baby if the surrogate is the carrier
This is not true. You can bond with the baby as early as you want, even if someone else is carrying the pregnancy on your behalf. You can bond with the surrogate during pregnancy and regularly communicate with the baby in the womb. Also, you can go with the surrogate for doctor's appointments, and during delivery, be there and become the first person to hold the baby. This way, you will easily bond with the child from the word go.
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