Bad Things About Surrogacy

Considering becoming a surrogate mother? Wonder if it will be all laughter and joy? Read on for a necessary dose of reality before you continue on this journey by learning about the bad things about surrogacy.

Talk to a surrogate mother about her surrogate pregnancy and she is likely to tell you about all of the benefits and how wonderful it is to experience gestational surrogacy. Rarely will they delve into the bad things about surrogacy – at least not without prompting. But, trust me, the surrogacy journey is not always perfect.


Ok, first off, let me say that the majority of surrogacy journeys go off without a hitch. The intended parents and the surrogate mother get along great. The birth happens without complication and the result is a health, beautiful baby (or two). The surrogate mother is filled with a sense of accomplishment and the intended parents are filled with love and gratitude. Everyone is happy and all is right with the world. However, this is not the case for every surrogate pregnancy.


So, what are some of the bad things about surrogacy:

Failed Transfers

Many intended parents go the route of finding a surrogate mother in order to increase their odds of a successful In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) pregnancy. However, having a surrogate mother does not mean that this will be guaranteed. Transfers sometimes fail. Once. Twice. Three or Four times. Sometimes they never take and the intended parents must part ways with the potential surrogate mother. When this happens it is usually an emotional blow to everyone involved. The surrogate mother may feel as though she has failed. The intended parents have spent a substantial amount of money only to go home empty handed. And, more often than not, everyone is too discouraged to try again.


Miscarriage or Birth Defects

Even when you use a surrogate mother, things can go wrong with the pregnancy. It is a sad fact, but miscarriages and birth defects can happen to anyone. Not every surrogate pregnancy will result in a healthy baby.


Multiples and Preemies

When you pair up assisted reproductive techniques with a surrogate who is already able to conceive unassisted, chances are the surrogate pregnancy may result in multiples. And whenever a mother is carrying multiples, the risks of premature birth increase. Sometimes, micro preemies are born with developmental challenges; not all of them survive.


Falling Outs

Sometimes, the issues that are faced are not even physical. Sometimes they arise because of communication and emotions. Two common reasons for “falling outs” are:

  1. Misrepresentation on the part of either the surrogate mother or the intended parents
  2. The development of unexpected emotions, such as jealousy and resentment – usually on the part of the intended parents.

Whatever the cause, these clashes are capable of ruining the relationship between the surrogate mother and the intended parents. In some situations, the surrogate mother may even forbid the intended parents from attending such momentous occasions as ultrasound appointments and the birth.

The most common of the bad things about pregnancy involves compensation. In some cases, the intended parents may delay compensation or even cancel the contract altogether after the child’s birth. This (of course) is likely to have very negative results.


Financial Concerns

Another financial concern is how the intended mother will deal with medical bills after the child has arrived. Sometimes this is merely an oversight. However, other times, the intended parent does not uphold their end of the bargain and the surrogate mother is left to cover the costs of the medical bills on her own. In this case, she will either have to pay the bills herself or risk her credit being damages.


Preventing a Bad Journey

So what can you do to help make a surrogate pregnancy run more smoothly? The best thing to do is to take things slowly – especially when it comes to finding the perfect match. Be completely open and honest with each other and with yourself. If you have a high level of honesty, communication, and respect between yourself and the other people involved, things will go more smoothly and the result will be the birth of a happy, healthy baby.

Why Can’t a Surrogate Mother be on Government Assistance?

Many potential surrogate mothers, who are otherwise perfect candidates for surrogacy, may be shocked to find themselves rejected for a reason that may surprise them. If a potential surrogate mother is found to be receiving government assistance (i.e. Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, etc.) she will be rejected. State funded surrogacy (surrogate situations involving a commercial surrogacy arrangement where the surrogate mother receives federally funded aid) is illegal. But why? Read on to find out why an otherwise perfect candidate will be rejected.

For most people involved in a surrogacy situation, it seems unfair that a woman that is willing to sacrifice so much to bless another family with a child would be rejected simply because she is experiencing some financial difficulties. They may feel that this women should be commended, not punished. However, the fact of the matter is, despite her many positive attributes, surrogacy is simply not the right thing for her to pursue in her situation.


First, this perpetuates a negative stereotype that is held by many who hear about surrogacy. Many people that think about surrogacy imagine a scenario where a rich couple, unwilling (for whatever reason) to go through 9 months of pregnancy themselves, seek out a poor woman who will do it for them for a little money. Although this vignette is far from the truth of what surrogacy is all about, a woman who receives government assistance being a surrogate for a wealthy couple does play into the stereotype.


However, the main issue is that if the surrogate mother is paid in any form for her services, she will likely be deemed ineligible for government assistance. This means that she may suddenly become ineligible to receive Medicaid – and so will her children. According to the law, people on welfare are supposed to report ANY money they receive, even if it comes in the form of a birthday gift.


Some people in these surrogacy situations may be tempted to fool the system by paying the surrogate “on the low”. Some of them may do this because they feel that the laws are unfair and that the surrogate mother deserves the financial assistance she receives. Others do it for more selfish reasons – using her government assistance (Medicaid) to cover the costs of her pregnancy, labor, and delivery. However, there is no getting around the fact that this is fraud. And defrauding the United States government is not something that you want to do. Not only is it unethical, but it can come with very severe (and costly) consequences.


These are the main reasons that surrogacy agencies have the simple rule of automatically rejecting potential surrogate mothers who receive government assistance. However, when she is in a more stable financial situation, she is more than welcome to try again.