What are the Pros and Cons of Surrogacy?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2018
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Surrogacy involves a woman carrying a baby to term for a couple that has had trouble conceiving. Not surprisingly, due to the complexity of this type of arrangement, there are various pros and cons. One of the most worrisome issues is the possibility of the surrogate mother refusing to part with the baby after he is born. Additionally, there are often high costs involved with this procedure, as the childless couple typically pays the medical costs of the surrogate mother, along with a fee for providing this service. On the other hand, surrogacy is often one of the only ways for a couple to have a biological child, and it can also allow the surrogate to greatly help someone in need.


One of the problems with surrogacy that is most often discussed is the possibility that the surrogate mother will not be able to hand the baby over to the infertile couple, as most women develop a bond with the baby they are carrying. This issue is especially likely when the baby is biologically the surrogate mother's, as in some cases, she may provide her own egg for the pregnancy. Some surrogate mothers may also refuse to part with a baby that is not theirs biologically, as some couples provide the sperm and egg so that the surrogate is only the gestational carrier. The chances of this issue occurring can be reduced by both using legal contracts, and performing psychological screenings for potential surrogates, but of course there is typically no way to know for sure if this problem will occur.

The costs of surrogacy are typically high, which means that childless couples who want a baby must have money to spare. They are usually responsible for paying the medical costs of the surrogate mother throughout the pregnancy, but they also often have to pay a large fee for this service. This allows the surrogate to be compensated for being pregnant for almost a year of her life, especially since it may be difficult to work a regular job for at least part of the pregnancy. Of course, the costs of surrogacy are usually on par with both fertility treatments and adoption.

This arrangement may be the only way for a couple to have a child that is biologically their own, as some women have no problem conceiving, but cannot carry a pregnancy to term. Thus, a couple may choose a surrogate, and then begin the process of in vitro fertilization, which involves mixing the sperm and egg so that the embryo can be implanted into the surrogate mother. On the other hand, some couples have either male or female factor infertility, barring them from conceiving on their own. In such cases, the healthy sperm or egg may be mixed with donor egg or sperm, and then placed inside the surrogate. This can allow the couple to have a child that is related to at least one of them, which is not a possibility with traditional adoption.

Finally, surrogacy is often a good way for some women to help others using a unique method. In fact, some women enjoy being pregnant, but do not have enough money to raise another child, which may prompt them to get involved in surrogacy. Additionally, this service can allow the surrogate to make some extra income while doing something she enjoys and which she feels is deeply meaningful.


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Post 3

With all of the risks surrounding surrogacy, I think I would give adoption every possible consideration. I can understand a couple's desire to have a child of their own, but the current surrogacy laws don't seem to provide much protection after birth.

I agree that both the couple and the surrogate need to be evaluated psychologically before anything takes place. Is the couple aware that the mother can legally decide to keep the child? Is the surrogate aware that the couple would be devastated by her decision?

Post 2

I can't think of any situation worse for the prospective parents than a surrogate mother changing her mind after the birth. I understand it's legal, but I would think there would be a moral or ethical imperative for a surrogate to follow. If I agree to do something as major as surrogacy, I should already be prepared to hand over the child to the people who supported me during the pregnancy.

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