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Why Do Women Become Surrogate Mothers?

Apr 16, 2008
There has been a lot of talk lately about surrogacy, with new TV shows and movies featuring surrogates. Much of what the media portrays is misleading. So why do women decide to become surrogate mothers?

If you asked the average person on the street, their response would probably be "for the money" but nothing could be further from the truth. While money does play a factor in most surrogacies, a woman cannot decide to become a surrogate simply for the money.

First, the money, when compared to the time and discomfort involved, is insignificant. A gestational surrogacy arrangement can take, on average, 12-18 months, sometimes longer.

There are months of testing, examinations, interviews, and attorney arrangements. All this is after a woman has researched surrogacy for months, perhaps years.

Then, once all of that is done, a gestational carrier needs to go through weeks, perhaps months of medications, including daily injections, to prepare her body for an embryo transfer. Not all embryo transfers result in pregnancy, however, it can take several weeks to determine if it failed.

If the transfer is unsuccessful, the gestational surrogate will undergo the complete procedure again, with generally one to three months wait in between. Sometimes a surrogacy will involve three to four failed transfers.

Once a transfer is successful, a surrogate mother will carry a baby or babies for the intended parents for the full gestational period of 40 weeks. After delivery, she may even pump breastmilk for an extended period of time.

And, no matter how long the entire process takes, a surrogate mother does this all for $15,000-20,000. When you think of the fact that this process can take upwards of a year and a half, this is not a significant amount of money.

So if not for the money, why do women become surrogate mothers? The reasons are varied.

Some women become surrogates for close family and friends. Others have had infertility touch their lives on a personal level, and want to give back to those who are in need.

Some love being pregnant, and want to experience pregnancy again without having another child enter their family. While yet others simply want to give back to the world in a large way.

Not every woman could become a surrogate mother. Most women would be unable to differentiate the feelings she has towards her own children that she carried and the child she is carrying for someone else.

But surrogate mothers are unique in the fact that they are able to make that distinction, and in doing so are able to help grow another family, from a purely unselfish and giving heart. These women view surrogacy as a sort of extended baby-sitting project, and when its all over, they are happy to reunite parent with child.

Regardless of the reasons why a woman becomes a surrogate, most gestational carriers choose to do this because they are wonderful, intelligent women with very large hearts, full of compassion. They are in no ways money-hungry, and in fact often reduce or eliminate their fees in order to help the right set of intended parents.
About the Author
Rayven Perkins is an author and two-time surrogate mother. To find out how to become a gestational surrogate mother, or more information on gestational surrogacy, please see her site What is a Gestational Surrogate Mother?
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