If you’re considering starting the surrogacy process, whether as a prospective surrogate or intended parent, you’ve probably come across websites and forums where members of the surrogacy journey share their stories, opinions and advice for others. These websites can be a great way for you to learn more about surrogacy from someone who has been where you are — but it’s important that you take the information presented here with a grain of salt.
When it comes to learning about the surrogacy process, there is no better source of information than the surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy. When you call 1-800-875-BABY(2229), an experienced surrogacy professional is able to answer your personal questions and help you best determine whether surrogacy is the right path for you.
Proper research is important for every prospective surrogate and intended parent. While we are not discounting the helpful stories and information presented on sites and forums where anyone can share their experience, there are a few things you should know about these information sources.
- Not all information is accurate.
You know that not everything on the internet is true — and that is certainly correct when it comes to information shared about surrogacy and other IVF processes.
Surrogacy is still a new way of building a family, which means there are many people out there who do not fully understand how the process works. People who only mean well may be the people constantly sharing incorrect information in online support groups and forums, leading others astray. Don’t take everything you read on these support groups and websites to heart. You could easily be misled about how surrogacy actually works, putting your own surrogacy journey at risk.
For the most accurate information about the surrogacy process, you should speak with a surrogacy agency, a surrogacy attorney and a fertility clinic.
- Dramatic circumstances and stories are actually in the minority.
When people hear about surrogacy, their minds often go to the dramatic stories they hear on the news: of surrogates becoming pregnant with their own children, of surrogates taking custody of children, of intended parents refusing to take responsibility for their children, etc. While these stories are popular online, they are in the small minority in real life. The majority of surrogacy stories go well without any hiccups — but, because those are “boring” in comparison, people don’t talk about them as much.
The same applies to stories shared in surrogacy support groups and forums. Because dramatic stories get the most attention, you may see a disproportionate number of these in your feed. Don’t let these scare you away from surrogacy; make sure to speak with a surrogacy professional about how surrogacy actually works before making a decision for your family.
- Some support groups are formed with an agenda.
People on the internet always have an opinion, no matter how hard they may try to be objective. However, some people don’t try to be objective at all — and instead use the internet as a way to deliver biased information to sway people one way or another.
There is a very vocal anti-surrogacy community online. You may find yourself stumbling upon a support group or forum that claims to offer helpful information when it really just offers biased, non-factual information intended to dissuade people from surrogacy. For example, even though American surrogacy is very different from surrogacy elsewhere in the world, people use ethical breaches in international surrogacy as reasoning against surrogacy on U.S. soil.
Before you join any online support group or forum, take your time to investigate who is hosting the discussion and what personal affiliations they may have. Even if a support group itself is not biased, remember that certain people will want to promote their own ideas in the comments, as well.
- There is always a risk in finding surrogacy partners online.
More and more people are using online support groups and forums to help them find a surrogate or intended parent to share their journey with. A great number of these people use these sources because an agency will not help them match for a traditional surrogacy, or because the laws in their state or country disallow the kind of surrogacy they wish to pursue.
If you use these methods to help yourself find a surrogacy partner, be cautious. Not all intended parents and surrogates on online sites have been properly screened for the surrogacy process. “Matching” with one of these partners on your own can delay your surrogacy journey as they follow through with screening, especially if they are not approved for the surrogacy process.
Working with an experienced surrogacy agency like American Surrogacy is the best way to find a safe and approved surrogate or intended parent for your journey.
- Be prepared for “shaming” of surrogates and intended parents.
Online shaming: It’s something that you’ve probably seen in all aspects on the internet, and surrogacy is no different. People are able to say terrible things online that they would never say in a face-to-face conversation because they are emboldened by their anonymity and the lack of consequences.
If you join a surrogacy support group, be prepared for seeing (and receiving) some mean comments about your surrogacy choices. No matter which path you choose, there is always someone on the other side who might disparage your decision. Try not to take these comments to heart. If a surrogacy support group starts doing more harm than good in your surrogacy journey, it’s probably time to give it up and find your information from a local, experienced professional instead.
For more information about surrogacy support groups, including which ones to join and which ones to avoid, reach out to your surrogacy specialist. They can also answer whatever questions you may have about the personal surrogacy journey ahead of you.