If you’re considering building your family through surrogacy, you know that you have an expensive route ahead of you. Surrogacy can be a complicated journey, and there are many moving parts and professionals required in order to complete this process safely and legally. There is not a great deal of options when it comes to making surrogacy more affordable, but there is one big one — deciding to find a free surrogate mother.
Often, the base compensation paid to a gestational carrier can be one of the largest aspects of an intended parent’s surrogacy cost. By eliminating this compensation, intended parents can pursue a significantly cheaper family-building journey.
However, the path to find a free surrogate mother is not as easy as it may seem. There are many things to consider before embarking on this kind of surrogacy journey and, when you learn more about it, you may even discover that it is not the right path for your family.
Below, we’ve tackled a few of the important facts about working with a surrogate mother for free to help you decide what is best for your family-building journey. Remember, our surrogacy professionals are always available at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) if you have any more questions about surrogacy costs, surrogate compensation and the possibility of working with an uncompensated gestational carrier.
Can a Surrogate Mother Do It For Free?
As you research surrogacy, you’ll likely first learn about the most common surrogacy path — compensated surrogacy. In this situation, a gestational carrier is paid base compensation (as well as reimbursement for any medical and pregnancy costs) in exchange for her services and sacrifice in carrying an intended parent’s baby. This process is available through most of the United States, depending on the laws of the state where the gestational carrier lives and will give birth.
However, you may also stumble across another surrogacy process: an altruistic surrogacy. During this process, intended parents find a free surrogate mother — someone who is willing to carry a child without receiving a base compensation. A woman’s medical and pregnancy costs will still be covered in this kind of surrogacy arrangement.
It is perfectly legal for a gestational carrier to carry a child altruistically. In fact, it is required in certain states that prohibit paid surrogacy contracts.
Are There Any “Pro Bono” Surrogate Mothers?
While it is certainly possible for a surrogate mother to do it for free, altruistic surrogacy is far less common than compensated surrogacy. Understandably, many women desire compensation when becoming a gestational carrier. After all, they are sacrificing their own time, energy and body to help someone else, and they often don’t feel comfortable doing so without some token of appreciation.
However, there are still women who are willing to complete altruistic surrogacies. Often, these are women who know the intended parents they wish to carry for. Perhaps a gestational carrier is a sister or friend of an intended mother, and she is happy to make this sacrifice for her loved ones. On the other hand, a woman may wish to become a traditional surrogate (in which she is related to the baby she carries) — a path which, in many states, cannot be legally completed if she receives base compensation. However, traditional surrogacy can be a risky legal and emotionally process that is uncommon today — and, even if you find a traditional surrogate for free, you should seriously consider the risks before moving forward with this path.
If you are looking to find a free surrogate mother, you might start by looking within your own network for an eligible friend or family member who wishes to carry for you. Otherwise, finding an altruistic surrogate is often a path you must take on your own. Many agencies (including American Surrogacy) typically work with gestational carriers who wish to receive compensation. So, to find a surrogate mother for free, you may need to search online and identify a surrogacy situation yourself.
Things to Consider About an Altruistic Surrogacy
For you, as an intended parent, working with a free surrogate mother may seem like the perfect path. It allows you to cut down on your surrogacy costs, of which there will be many. However, before you decide to pursue an altruistic surrogacy, it’s important that you think about this path from the perspective of the woman who will carry your child.
Surrogacy is a lot of work for a gestational carrier. Not only is she sacrificing a year or more of her time and energy to help you, she will also incur certain risks during the surrogacy process. A traditional pregnancy is risky for a pregnant woman, and a gestational pregnancy is no different — especially when you think about the extra medical procedures and medications required to impregnate a gestational carrier.
If a woman does not receive compensation as a token of her intended parents’ gratitude, she may feel taken advantage of — which can greatly impact your relationship with her. Similarly, if you are an intended parent in an altruistic surrogacy, you may feel incredibly indebted to your gestational carrier. These kinds of feelings can quickly cause tension in a relationship, even between friends and family members.
So, before you go looking for any “pro bono” surrogate mothers, we encourage you to reach out to our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY). Our specialists can discuss with you the pros and cons of this path, including the responsibilities you will have to take on if you choose to find a free surrogate mother instead of a compensated one. We can also explain the benefits of finding a compensated gestational carrier with our agency and help you get started whenever you are ready.
For more information, contact American Surrogacy today.