5 Surrogacy Myths It’s Time to Stop Believing
Surrogacy: A medical procedure through which a celebrity couple (e.g., Kimye) arranges to have their unborn kid (always twins or triplets) carried and birthed by another woman. Oh, wait. That’s totally not it. Here, five myths about surrogacy that are definitely worth busting. Onward (and momward).
Myth: Only celebrities can afford it
While some celebrity couples do end up paying six figures once all their custom perks (a personal chef, nutritionist, massages, a fitness trainer, relocation to L.A. for the final months of pregnancy, etc.) are added in, the standard fee is more like $30,000 to $45,000. There are also specific loan programs designed to help intended parents finance surrogacy.
Myth: Surrogacy is highly unusual
While the number of babies born to surrogates in the U.S. each year is estimated to be in the thousands, those numbers are steadily rising. And with a reported one in eight couples experiencing infertility, parents seeking surrogacy are a surging population.
Myth: Surrogacy often leads to multiples
In the early days of IVF and surrogacy, doctors would implant multiple embryos to get the best chance of a successful pregnancy (hello, Jon & Kate Plus 8). But that era is over. “These days, doctors are far more likely to recommend a single—or a double at maximum—embryo transfer as their standard, explains leading surrogacy agency Growing Generations. “The result tends to be a [single] pregnancy that carries far fewer risks and complications than a potential multiple fetus gestation would.”
Myth: Surrogates are usually the baby’s biological mother
In reality, the opposite is true. The majority of surrogates are gestational surrogates, meaning they have no biological ties to the children they carry. Instead, the embryo is made from either the client’s egg and her partner’s sperm or a donor egg and/or sperm. (Traditional surrogates, where the woman carrying the baby is also the egg donor, are far less common, our friends at Growing Generations tell us.)
Myth: Surrogates are desperate women seeking a payout
Not even close. Thanks to rigorous psychological, physical and fiscal screening processes recommended by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, surrogates tend to be healthy, mature, financially independent mothers with their own biological children and solid support systems. Out of the 200,000 applications one leading agency receives, only 1 percent are accepted as surrogates. Most (if not all) of these women are motivated by the altruistic desire to help others become parents. Aww, now we feel all warm and fuzzy.