I know I have already written about the topic of surrogacy, however, the topic keeps coming up in conversation, so I felt that I should probably address it more specifically. Here are some things to know about surrogacy:
Average cost of surrogacy is between $90k and $130k
When you ask someone to be a surrogate, you are asking them to give up their body, lifestyle, physical comfort, social comfort etc. for 9 months for a baby that they will not raise.
You are asking someone to go through the inconvenience of all of the doctor’s appointments, prenatal vitamins, tests, etc.
A woman cannot get pregnant with her own child at the same time she is pregnant with yours.
If a woman already has a family, they have to explain to their children how they will have a brother or sister with whom they may never have a relationship.
The woman may be in a relationship already. There will be impacts on that relationship to varying degrees.
The woman may want to have some form of relationship with the child after birth. This may present a number of different issues such as conflicts in parenting style, degree of involvement with the child, and conflicts in values and culture.
On a slightly more comedic note, I often wonder how people think these conversations happen, especially when they suggest we ask a sister, cousin, or close friend to carry our child. So I had some ideas about how one could do this (as a side note, we have asked others to carry our child and we did NONE of these):
We invite our female friend over for breakfast. We discuss her relationships with men and make small talk about her family. Matt pours her a mimosa as they laugh about a resent movie they both have seen. From the kitchen I ask, “So how do you take your eggs?” She answers. Without missing a beat Matt says, “So speaking of eggs, what are your plans for yours?”
I am driving around with a female friend and touring open houses. She says,” Wow! These houses are really expensive! I should consider renting a room.”
“Yeah, me too,” I respond.
“Wait, you already own a house.”
“Oh did I say room? I meant womb. How much would a nine month lease be for yours?”
As I have said already, we have asked a few people about them carrying our child. Deciding to bring up the topic, when, and how was really difficult. We are asking a lot. We know we are asking a lot. It is uncomfortable to ask and it is uncomfortable to be asked. It’s not an easy conversation. It requires a lot of thought and consideration, and it’s a lot to ask someone to take the time to do the emotional work of considering such a heavy and intense proposition.
We realize that when people make suggestions, it is usually in response to their shock at the cost of adoption. They often also discuss international adoption as well (which as previously noted isn’t really an option for gay couples or single males). The reason for this post is to help unpack exactly what it means and how difficult it is to consider surrogacy. It’s no less complicated and significantly more expensive. And it can be horribly uncomfortable and possibly effect one’s relationship just by asking for so much.
Some food for thought.