There are couples in the world who are simply unable to conceive a child on their own, no matter how hard they try. While this can be incredibly heartbreaking and cause a great deal of consternation, many couples will decide to take the somewhat controversial route of using a surrogate mother to carry their child.
Reproductive treatments are quite costly and not always guaranteed to work, so surrogacy is often the most feasible option for parents who cannot conceive on their own. The surrogate carries the child to term and the parents are typically responsible for all of her medical costs and any other expenses related to the pregnancy.
This may sound great to some, but it bears mentioning that there are a number of drawbacks to this approach. There are advantages, as well, and it behooves prospective parents to explore both sides of the coin before making a final choice.
List of Pros of Surrogacy
1. Greater Chance of Success.
Once a couple has begun to look at reproductive procedures, this is a sign that they are closing in on the end of their options. Reproductive procedures are expensive and even worse than that, they are not always guaranteed to work. While surrogacy may not agree with everyone’s belief systems and/or personal preferences, there is a far greater chance that it will be successful.
If a couple is short on money and wishes to find a procedure that stands a much greater chance of being successful, then surrogacy is the way to go. It may not be conventional by any stretch of the imagination, but for many couples, it is the last bullet that they have left in the chamber.
2. No Physical Issues For The Mother.
Mothers who do not wish to experience any sort of pain and suffering often prefer surrogacy. Reproductive procedures are often quite painful for the woman who is involved and since there are no guarantees, a mother may decide that she would rather utilize the surrogate method.
There are no worries about gaining weight, morning sickness, mood swings, cramping, hormonal imbalances or any of the other myriad problems that crop up during a garden variety pregnancy. Most women would obviously prefer to carry their own child to term, but not having to experience weight gains and sickness is a fairly nice fringe benefit.
3. Gaining a New Family Member.
Yes, you will gain a new family member when the child is born, but most surrogate mothers also develop an attachment to the baby and they bond with the parents during the pregnancy period, as well. This allows them to remain a part of the child’s life and makes it easier for them to give the baby to their rightful parents once the child has been born.
Some believe that it takes a village to raise a child and there is something to be said for the importance of a loving community environment. A surrogate is hard pressed not to develop a certain level of attachment to the child that they carry, so they will usually remain involved, if the parents approve of such a relationship.
List of Cons of Surrogacy
1. Costs Are Prohibitive.
Surrogacy tends to be cheaper than many reproductive procedures that are available, but this does not mean that it comes cheap. Some health insurance plans will cover surrogacy, but they also come with a very expensive monthly premium, which may not make them feasible for a family with a middle class income.
A surrogate also gets paid a salary in many instances, which makes it difficult for families to afford their services. Depending on the particular needs of the surrogate, the ins and outs of their pregnancy and any other unforeseen factors, the costs could rise into the tens of thousands, which could be too rich for the blood of some prospective parents.
2. Surrogate Parents Have Rights.
Depending on the laws of the area where you are located, surrogate parents will often be able to retain parental rights throughout the pregnancy, rights that must be terminated upon the birth of the child and signed over to the rightful parents. Some surrogates have no problem with this and sign their rights over during the actual pregnancy.
However, human emotion leads to fickle decision making. A surrogate mother may say all of the right things during the selection process, only to renege once the baby begins to grow inside of them. Before allowing a surrogate mother to carry your child, be sure to know all of the attendant laws and rules that govern the situation in your particular region.
3. Personality Complications.
Simply put, you are not going to be able to watch the surrogate mother every step of the way. There is no guarantee that she will carry the child in the exact manner that you would like her to and there is always the risk that she could decide to drink, smoke, consume caffeine or participate in any number of activities that could potentially damage the child’s health.
The surrogate mother could also develop an attachment to the child and decide that they do not want to give them up once they are born. Trying to control the actions of another adult is extremely difficult to do and in many situations, it is not advisable. Unless you are able to babysit the surrogate mother 24 hours a day, you will have to trust their judgment.