Surrogacy is a vague and misunderstood subject. It's a very difficult concept for some people to grasp. There are legal matters to consider, and surrogate mothers are often looked down upon.
However, surrogacy is sometimes necessary for a couple that wants children. Here are several misconceptions about surrogate mothers, along with explanations as to why they are untrue:
1. The surrogate will want to keep the child.
This misconception is blown wildly out of proportion by the media. In fact, there are very few surrogate mothers who end up keeping the children they bear.
There is a lengthy process that surrogate mothers must go through in order to become surrogate mothers. These women undergo psychological tests to ensure they are mentally and emotionally capable of carrying and delivering a child who will go to another set of parents.
It's understandable that they would become emotionally involved in the process. After all, it's their body, and lots of hormones are involved.
Even if the parents are concerned about the surrogate mother changing her mind, they have surrogacy lawyers on their side. The lawyer will make sure the legal documentation terminates any biological rights the surrogate mother may have.
2. Surrogate mothers are only after money.
Surrogate mothers are compensated for carrying the children. That's only fair. After all, they go through the mental and emotional stress of carrying a child. They will endure morning sickness and go through the strenuous process of labor.
The media, and therefore our society, believes surrogate mothers are only in it for the money. This may be true in some cases. There are a lot of financial resources out there for surrogate mothers to learn how to invest their compensation.
However, there are women out there who become surrogate mothers because they know the joy of carrying and delivering children. They understand the heartache of a couple that desperately wants children, but is physically incapable to do so.
These women want to help support the women who can't have children of their own.
3. The surrogate won't care about the child.
Some people believe the opposite of the first misconception. They believe the surrogate mother won't care enough about the child she is carrying.
However, the emotional attachment and connection the surrogate mother has for the child she is carrying will cause her to care for the unborn child as if it is her own. Again, these mothers go through a tremendous screening process in order to ensure they are mentally, physically and emotionally capable of caring for a child during pregnancy, delivering that child and then giving him or her to his or her intended parents.
4. The child is biologically related to the surrogate mother.
This is a difficult subject to tackle. There are different ways to impregnate a surrogate mother.
Traditionally, the surrogate mother was related to the child. Now, there are technologies that make gestational surrogacy possible. Gestational surrogacy means the eggs from the intended mother and the sperm from the intended father make an embryo.
That embryo is then implanted in the surrogate mother. This make the surrogate mother simply the carrier of another woman's baby. So, just because the surrogate mother is carrying a child, that doesn't mean she's actually biologically related to that child.
5. Women who choose surrogacy only care about their figures.
Often times, the couple or individual chooses surrogacy as the last shot at having a family with one or both partner's genetic material. Insinuating that women only choose to pay a surrogate in order to avoid stretch marks and pregnancy weight is insulting to both the parties going through this serious and time-consuming process.
It's important to reveal the truth behind surrogacy. Surrogacy is to be talked about and celebrated. It gives hope to families who are unable to have children, and it empowers women who want to help other couples.