Advantages & disadvantages of surrogate mothering

Updated November 21, 2016

Many couples want children despite physical obstacles that prevent them from carrying their own to term. Surrogate parenting gives couples the option to pay someone else to carry their child. Surrogate mothers are usually artificially inseminated and sign a contract stating the obligations of the surrogate and the intended parents. There are many benefits and disadvantages of surrogate parenting that make becoming or using a surrogate a major decision.

High Expense

The cost of using a surrogate parent is extremely high and can be in excess of £65,000, a cost that eliminates it as an option for many infertile couples. However, surrogate mothering provides the surrogate with an opportunity to fulfil the desires of a couple and receive compensation for her services. The infertile couple is responsible for all costs related to the pregnancy, including compensation for lost work, medical bills, maternity clothes and legal documents.

Moral Issues

While surrogate mothering allows a woman to receive monetary compensation for carrying another person's baby and allows childless couples to experience parenthood, opponents debate the issue of whether a baby is being purchased. Nevertheless, the baby is genetically a product of the parents.

Legal Issues

Although a contract with the surrogate mother exists, if the surrogate changes her mind, states vary as to how they will handle it. Additionally, pregnancies are unpredictable and issues may occur if the child is not carried to term or there are other complications. However, an agency will handle most of these issues to keep the process running smoothly.

Other Issues

Opting for a surrogate mother allows the infertile couple to investigate the surrogate's background before deciding to go forward. Additionally, the intended couple actually have a genetic link to the child, unlike with adoption. However, even though a surrogate gives up the child, the intended parents are closely involved in all facets of the pregnancy making the relationship between all parties extremely important, as the emotional moment of giving up the child may be bittersweet.

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