National Infertility Awareness Week: What You Should Know About Surrogacy

Published on Monday April 19th, 2021 by WCS

Thanks to modern reproductive technologies and techniques, many people who are unable to conceive or carry a child on their own are now able to achieve their dreams of having a family. However, as amazing as these technologies and techniques are, many of them are still shrouded in misconceptions and taboos. One of the most misunderstood forms of assisted reproduction is gestational surrogacy.

Roughly defined, surrogacy is the act of one woman carrying and giving birth to a child for someone else. In gestational surrogacy, all genetic materials are provided by the intended parents, whether from themselves or from donors. In exchange for their time and effort, surrogates are typically given significant compensation. However, beyond the simple definition, the world of surrogacy is far more beautiful and profound than most people realize.

National Infertility Awareness Week, which happens every year in late April, gives us an opportunity to shed some light on the often misunderstood process of surrogacy, and to explore some of the reasons why infertile couples and individuals might need a surrogate.

How Infertility Can Lead to Using a Surrogate

The first step to understanding the importance of surrogacy is recognizing why it is sometimes the only option for an infertile individual or couple. There are a wide variety of reproductive conditions that can make it difficult or impossible for a woman to conceive or carry a child safely to term, including:

  • Endometriosis
  • Absence of a uterus
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Pelvic adhesions

For women who have these conditions, the choice to have a child the traditional way has been taken out of her hands. Many individuals and couples try for years to have a child before realizing they need the help of a third party. With surrogacy, someone with a healthy and stable reproductive system can lend a helping womb and make the possibility of having a child a viable reality. While surrogacy might not be the way they had originally envisioned their path to parenthood, it offers them a way to create the family they so deeply desire.

The Truth About Gestational Surrogates and Compensation

Although altruistic arrangements exist, the vast majority of gestational surrogacy agreements involve compensation. Many people incorrectly assume that surrogates are financially desperate and only motivated by money. While some women may become interested in surrogacy solely because of the compensation, these applicants quickly realize that surrogacy is far from being an easy way to make some quick money. Not only does the entire surrogacy process take a while from start to finish, but it also requires a huge personal and emotional commitment. Furthermore, in order to be considered eligible to become a surrogate, applicants must be financially stable.

Of course, compensation undoubtedly helps surrogates and their families. Still, surrogates are primarily motivated by something far more important and sincere than money – a deep-seated desire to help someone else experience the joy of family.

Something many people don’t realize is that one of the requirements to become a surrogate is to be raising at least one child that the surrogate has given birth to. As mothers, surrogates know exactly how precious the gift of family is. They feel deeply compassionate for people who are unable to achieve it on their own. Plus, many of them have witnessed friends or family members struggle to conceive and feel inspired to help.

The Importance of Awareness

Even though surrogacy provides infertile couples and individuals with the amazing opportunity to have a family, it continues to be misunderstood by many. That can change as long as the fertility care community continues to raise awareness and educate others. This is true not just for National Infertility Awareness Week, but for every day of the year. Together, we can change the conversation.

To learn more about surrogacy, contact West Coast Surrogacy today.