Misconceptions Regarding Surrogacy

Despite gaining popularity and notoriety over the past several years, many people remain a bit in the dark about the surrogacy process. While the list of misconceptions and assumptions about surrogates can be a lengthy one, many of the same fallacies are heard time and time again. Here’s a look at the most commonly misunderstood ideas on gestational surrogacy.

Surrogates Steal Babies– Rest assured that in over 1300 births and nearly 20 years, Growing Generations has never had to deal with this situation. Has this ever happened elsewhere in the world? Yes. This is an instance where we say, “It makes the news for a reason.” Instances like this are the exception, not the rule. Most surrogate mothers have already completed their families before entering into the world of surrogacy. The truth is that they’re just as afraid of the parents refusing the baby as potential parents are of the surrogate refusing to surrender it.

Surrogates Only Want Money- There exists a delusion that a woman choosing to become a surrogate is down on her luck, desperate, and in serious financial trouble. Throw in sensationalized tabloid reports of million dollar surrogacies and you’ve got the perfect storm for misconception. To the contrary, ethical guidelines require that potential surrogates be financially stable and not on any form of governmental financial aid to even qualify. Further, most surrogates choose to do this independent of the compensation element.

The Surrogate Is the Mother– Many people are unable to comprehend that the surrogate is not biologically related to the child she is carrying. In gestational surrogacy an egg and sperm are joined to create an embryo outside of the body and then placed into the uterus of a woman bearing no maternal relation to that child.

Not My Baby- Not My Concern. Many intended parents worry that a surrogate will not care for herself and their child with the same amount of care that she would care for a child she was carrying for herself. The misconception is that she disassociates from healthy lifestyles and prenatal care since the child is not her own. This is far from the truth. Women who sign up to be surrogates are here because they enjoy pregnancy, and respect how the body creates new life. These are reliable women with enormous amounts of responsibility who can be trusted to treat your developing baby just as good, if not better, than they treated their own.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last 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 of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, 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 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 created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.