Whether you are interested in becoming a surrogate mother or growing your family through surrogacy, you might have the wrong impression about surrogacy without even knowing. There are a lot of myths out there about surrogacy laws and the surrogacy process, but we’re here to clear the air.
Myth #1: Women become surrogate mothers for fast and easy cash
Though surrogates can be compensated for their time and service, surrogacy is the opposite of fast and easy!
Surrogacy is an emotionally and physically taxing process for surrogate mothers. Few women are willing to undergo the long and arduous process, which involves extensive medical testing, ongoing hormone injections, routine clinic visits, and other inconveniences. When all is said and done, surrogacy can take over a year to complete, including all the legal work, the contract negotiations, and the pregnancy itself.
Myth #2: Any woman can be a surrogate
This is definitely false – in fact, only a small percentage of women who apply to be surrogates are accepted. Surrogate mothers must meet strict personal qualifications and meet rigorous health standards to be selected.
Surrogate mothers must:
- Have given birth at least once without complications
- Have given no more than five vaginal births or three cesarean births
- Be smoke- and drug-free
- Have a healthy BMI, generally somewhere between 19-33
Even after meeting these requirements, prospective surrogates must undergo extensive medical testing as well as mental and emotional screening. Plus, they must also be fluent in English, be a permanent U.S. resident, complete a background check, receive no financial assistance from the government, and be able to commit to all surrogacy-related appointments for a full year.
If you are an intended parent considering surrogacy, you can rest assured that all surrogates have been screened thoroughly.
Myth #3: Can/Do Most Surrogate Mothers Decide to Keep the Baby?
A lot of people are skeptical about surrogacy because they fear the surrogate mother will back out at the last minute and decide to keep the baby. This is a myth for a variety of reasons.
First, all parties – the surrogate and the intended parents – sign a contract before the surrogacy proceeds to prevent this from happening. On top of that, surrogates are screened thoroughly to ensure they are emotionally and psychologically capable of navigating and completing the process.
Since most surrogacies are gestational (meaning the surrogate has no biological ties to the baby), surrogate mothers usually don’t grow emotionally attached to the baby. Many surrogate mothers already have their own families and most sign up for surrogacy with a genuine desire to help others achieve a lifelong goal of starting a family.
Myth #4: The surrogate is the baby’s biological mother
This is rarely the case. Surrogacy agencies in California only allow gestational surrogacies, wherein the surrogate has no biological connection to the baby she births. In gestational surrogacy, an embryo with the intended parents’ DNA (or an egg donor) is implanted in the carrier, meaning the surrogate’s DNA is not
The surrogate will only have a biological link to the baby in traditional surrogacy, which is far less common than gestational surrogacy.
Are you interested in becoming a surrogate mother? Do you want to grow your family through surrogacy? Cecil Cianci Law, PC can help. Our surrogacy lawyers offer personalized legal representation focused on clearing the air and educating clients about the process along the way.
Contact us at (916) 675-3866 to learn more.