Let’s face it: being a surrogate is hard. The women who pursue surrogacy often have to put their own lives on hold, sacrificing much of their time and energy (not to mention their physical comfort) to bring a child into the lives of another family.
Whether you’re thinking about surrogacy as a hopeful intended parent or prospective surrogate, or you’re simply curious to learn more about a process that is commonly misunderstood, this may leave you wondering: Why do women want to become surrogates?
The amazing women who choose surrogacy come from many different backgrounds and have many different reasons for taking this journey. In general, though, here are a few common reasons why a woman might want to partake in this life-changing process:
1. She enjoys being pregnant.
A genuine love of pregnancy is absolutely critical for any woman interested in surrogacy. The typical surrogate is someone who takes great joy in the miracle of pregnancy and has had positive pregnancy experiences with her own children.
Surrogacy agencies and clinics require that prospective surrogates have a history of successful, healthy pregnancies, and many encourage women to start this process only after their own families are complete. For many women, surrogacy is an opportunity to experience the joy of pregnancy again, even if they’re not planning on raising any more children themselves.
2. She wants to build lasting friendships.
Surrogacy is an intimate and collaborative process, and many surrogates and intended parents end up forming genuine friendships that last long after the surrogacy is complete.
In addition, many surrogates find a strong sense of community with each other through support groups, online forums and more. Surrogates often form strong bonds and lasting friendships with these women, who understand what they’re going through in a way no one else can.
3. She can learn more about her own health.
While not a primary reason for most women to become surrogates, every prospective surrogate does go through an intensive screening process that can help her learn more about her body and her overall health. Surrogates receive top-notch healthcare (as well as emotional support and counseling) before and during their pregnancy — all free of charge.
4. She sets an example for those around her.
There’s nothing like a baby bump to attract excitement and questions — and as such, many surrogates find themselves on the forefront of the conversation about surrogacy. Many surrogates are passionate about sharing their stories and spreading awareness of surrogacy and other family-building methods, and they take pride in setting an example of altruism for their own children and other people in their lives.
5. She earns a deep sense of personal satisfaction and pride.
Not everyone has what it takes to be a surrogate — and the women who do can take great satisfaction in knowing they’ve changed the world in a way not many others can. Surrogates make a lasting impact on the lives of intended parents and their families for generations to come, and in turn, many surrogates enjoy a deep sense of pride, empowerment and gratification throughout their surrogacy experience.
6. Surrogacy can help her reach financial goals.
Many assume that surrogate compensation is the primary motivator for most women who become surrogates, but that’s actually not the case. Surrogacy agencies gauge a woman’s motives for surrogacy to ensure they’re not solely monetary; if a surrogate is interested only in the financial benefits of surrogacy, the process will likely not be worthwhile or fulfilling for her.
For many surrogates, then, this compensation is just the icing on the cake — an added benefit that can be used to help them reach certain financial goals, like paying for their education or putting a down payment on a house.
7. She wants to help hopeful parents.
Ultimately, a surrogate’s motivation usually comes down to one thing: a deep desire to help intended parents complete their families. Surrogates know the joy of raising children themselves and want to give that experience to hopeful parents who can’t conceive on their own.
Whether she is working with known intended parents or strangers, LGBT parents or a straight couple struggling with infertility, a surrogate will make a huge impact on the lives of the families she partners with — and seeing the intended parents hold their new baby for the first time makes the whole journey worthwhile.