Gestational surrogacy has become a very reliable method of family building in the last decade. According to a report from WebMD, about 750 babies are born from surrogacy each year and numbers are projected to rise manifold.
It’s a third party assisted reproduction process where a woman (called surrogate or gestational carrier in case of a gestational surrogacy) carries a pregnancy for another couple or individual who are otherwise unable to carry a pregnancy safely.
The gestational surrogacy has enabled many same sex parents to have a genetically related baby which would have impossible otrherwise. Today, nearly 2 out 3 intended parents pursuing surrogacy are from the LGBTQ+ community.
While there is no doubt that surrogacy can be the answer to many hopeful parents, one question does peek in our mind:
Why would a woman become a surrogate, go through the time-consuming, exhausting journey, only to give up the baby she carried for 9 months?
It’s not What you may have thought
We tried to find the answer and want to tell you that it’s not the one that came to your mind first. In almost all cases, these women were not motivated by the money they earn in compensation.
In general, a first-time surrogate mom in the US (where commercial surrogacy is allowed) can get upto $60,000 in compensation.
Still, the amount is not the driving factor behind thousands of women planning to become a Gestational surrogate each year.
We got the proof when we took our investigation to online forums and groups to remain anonymous. In one case, we got to learn from a woman from the popular forum Quora, where she explained that she decided to take this journey despite her family business generating millions of dollars per annum.
So clearly, it’s not the money.
Ok. Then what’s the reason here
To get a better understanding, we spoke to Dr. David Harari who is the president and co-founder of Physician Surrogacy, a notable surrogacy agency based in San Diego, California. According to Dr. Harari’s experience, most surrogates who contact his agency are actually driven by some level of emotional influence.
Some women become surrogates because they have firsthand experienced or witnessed the
struggle to become a parent. According to CDC, infertility affects every 1 in 8 people and in this case, remember that the list of intended parents also includes same-sex couples.
These women were deeply moved to see how infertility can slowly end the joys of life. Since they were highly driven by motherly emotions, they decided to help those in need.
For example, Devon, a two times surrogate said “It was like an act of god to me.”
She went on to explain her surrogacy journey, “It was a blessing to know that I was giving life to a family who wasn’t able to but had the opportunity to feel that joy that I felt when I had my son was just as amazing as the most amazing. The most amazing feeling in the world.”
This brought us to the next reason. The pregnancy itself.
We found that many women actually love being pregnant but do not want to have more kids of their own. They embarked on the surrogacy journey so that they can relive the joys of carrying a life inside them. This too is rooted in the motherly instincts of a woman that drives her to create life or at least contribute to the process in a meaningful way.
We also encountered some other surrogates who revealed a seemingly surprising motivation behind their surrogacy.
One surrogate said she did it to help the gay dads become fathers since it was impossible for those parents to carry a pregnancy. She took the decision after a close relative of hers revealed he and his partner were planning for having babies but had no idea how to pursue their parenthood. Being their surrogate she made sure those lucky dads have a biologically related baby they can raise.
All these cases go on to show that the surrogates are truly blessings for the hopeful parents and are motivated in their cause due to compassion.
As surrogacy is sought out by more and more people with passing time, we believe these amazing surrogates will be cherished more for their selfless love and commitment.