Surrogates challenge those basic (archaic) ideas about motherhood. It’s the new normal to plan a pregnancy that works exactly how you want it to. You don’t have to be infertile to use a surrogate; there are many reasons to choose surrogacy, and it’s often less stressful than IVF treatments.
Surrogates widely report a sense of self-fulfillment after giving birth to a child for another family. It helps that the child is not genetically connected to her, but it’s mostly about providing the family with the child they deserve. You may be wondering just how much does a surrogate mother make, and that’s not an easy question to answer because it differs on a case by case basis. However, surrogates typically make between $25,000 and $50,000.
IVF: It’s Up to You
No woman who is trying for a baby wants to hear that she’s unable to get pregnant despite entirely viable eggs. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the process of combining an egg with sperm outside the womb and then transferring an embryo to the uterus. It can be a lengthy process because it requires many trips to the embryologist’s office, and it’s not guaranteed to work; however, it’s a perfectly acceptable and beautiful way to bring a child into the world.
Unfortunately, not every family has time for IVF. Fertility drugs will need to be taken to boost egg production. Regular transvaginal ultrasounds will need to be performed to examine the ovaries, as well as blood tests performed to check hormone levels. These appointments are frequent and could potentially get in the way of work or other commitments.
The actual retrieval of the eggs requires follicular aspiration, a minor surgery to remove the eggs. If you do choose to have a surrogate carry your child, you may still be required to undergo this minor surgery; or else, you’ll need to accept eggs from a donor. Either way is perfectly acceptable. After the surgery, the best eggs are joined with sperm and once an egg is fertilized, it can be introduced to the womb.
The embryo transfer is a quick procedure. The embryos are put into a catheter, which is long enough to reach the womb where hopefully it implants in the lining of the womb and starts growing. This part of the procedure is simple enough to be performed in a doctor’s office while the patient is awake.
Although IVF is not complicated, not all couples want to be put through the stress of IVF and then subsequent pregnancy. In fact, not all couples need IVF; some are perfectly able to get pregnant, but for personal reasons would prefer a surrogate carry out the pregnancy for them. For example, sometimes a mother’s career depends on her being able to work consistently or maintain a body in peak physical condition. Actress Lucy Liu became a mother at 46-years-old and used a gestational carrier. Other celebrities have done the same, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Kidman, and Jimmy Fallon and his wife, Nancy.
Why Couples Choose a Donor over IVF
There are many reasons a couple may choose to have eggs donated instead of undergoing IVF treatments themselves. One, the mother may not have viable eggs, in which case a donor is the only way to achieve pregnancy. Obviously, male gay couples do not have eggs at all, so their only option is a donor. And many more do not want to risk the chance of an ectopic pregnancy or multiple pregnancies, as IVF does have a higher risk of multiples.
Creating a family should be on your terms. You don’t need a reason to forgo IVF; nor do you need a reason to use a surrogate. These are your decisions, and all methods are safe and discrete, so you rarely have to worry that you’re putting yourself, the surrogate, or your future offspring at risk. If stress is your biggest reason for foregoing IVF, it’s still perfectly acceptable to use donors and surrogates to build your family.