What the Media Gets Wrong About Surrogacy

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Gestational surrogacy pairs the innovation of science with the heart and soul of human compassion to help all people-from everyday people, to celebrities and politicians who are seeking to build or grow a family. Stigmas surrounding surrogacy have declined dramatically thanks to positive news stories in the media and famous personalities who have been willing to share their experiences.

But, because surrogacy can sometimes bring up ethical issues if a process goes wrong, there are also negative stories about surrogacy in the news. There are many headline-grabbing stories out there that revolve around cases that haven’t gone as expected.

At Growing Generations, we understand that this negative media attention can be scary for incoming surrogates and intended parents. But, please remember that these stories are the exception and certainly not the commonplace experience. We are proud that our track record has not led to a sensational media story since our inception in 1996.

Here’s what the media continually gets wrong about surrogacy:

  • Doesn’t highlight the happy. It is not hard to find articles that will highlight potential dangers of surrogacy. Using scare tactics and worst-case scenarios can heighten people’s underlying fears and, in turn, sell a lot of publications or lead to a lot of social media buzz. You’re less likely to come across positive stories showcasing the immense happiness and overwhelming joy that are the more common realities of a surrogacy experience. Read some of our surrogate stories for a more complete picture.
  • Misrepresents the motives. Media reports often paint surrogates as money-hungry or financially unstable women, always focusing on surrogate compensation. Most surrogates, however, choose to participate for altruistic reasons. All are required to meet certain income standards, among other requirements, before being cleared to move forward with Growing Generations.
  • Confuses the standard. In the United States today, surrogacy has two predominant realities:
    1. Most surrogates bear no biological relation to the child they will carry.
    2. Most surrogates, especially first-time surrogates, will work with an agency.

While it is possible for a woman to become a surrogate using her own egg, known as traditional surrogacy, this method is rarely used and distinguished in media reports. Part of the beauty of gestational surrogacy where the carrier has no genetic link to the child – is that the surrogate exhibits far fewer, if any, emotional hardships following the birth of the child.

Some surrogates do choose to work outside of an agency, a process often referred to as “going independent.” But, this is the exception to the rule. In many of these cases, surrogates and intended parents may inadvertently miss a crucial step in the process simply by virtue of lack of experience which may cause hardship later. It is important to note if a troublesome case was the result of an independent journey, something that lacks with typical media coverage. Many intended parents seeking an independent journey are looking to save money. We understand that an agency-brokered surrogacy can be costly, but it’s a solid investment that helps take the risk out of missed steps and lack of experience.

  • Focuses on tragedies. Growing Generations spends months screening our potential surrogates to prevent a tragedy. It’s something we call ethical surrogacy, and it’s a big part of why we’re so successful. While we’ve never had a surrogate change her mind about relinquishing a child after delivery, these stories do exist outside of our agency. It’s important to remember that while things can go wrong, working with a reputable agency from day one can be your best safeguard against becoming one of those scary headlines.

Surrogacy Stories: Celebrities and Everyday People

Growing Generations offers a specialized Legacy Program for VIP and celebrity intended parents. But it’s not just celebrities who are hiring a surrogate to help build or grow their family in an intentional way. Whether due to infertility or logistical problems, individuals and couples throughout the world are seeking surrogates in the United States and seeing their dreams come true.

As you consider taking part in this exciting journey, we encourage you to read the stories of a few of our surrogates.

By choosing to work with Growing Generations, you are engaging the support and assistance of a proven, respected program. We help ensure your process is smooth at every phase. We are proud of our support program that provides everything you need to have a successful journey.

If you still have concerns or fears about moving forward, don’t feel ashamed to speak up. We encourage you to ask questions and educate yourself through every step of this process and to contact us here.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.