Pros and Cons of Being a Surrogate

Most surrogate mothers derive an incredible amount of satisfaction from being able to help another family have a child. They love the idea of giving the ultimate gift. However, anyone contemplating this will definitely want to carefully weigh the pros and cons before embarking on this journey. 

Although most surrogates recall their time carrying a baby for a childless couple as being extraordinary, there could be some unpleasantness along the way that must be considered. This article realistically explores the pros and cons of the entire experience so that you can be better informed. 

Let’s start by explaining the pros.

Women who choose to become surrogate mothers do so for all different reasons. Most surrogates find the experience highly rewarding. It gives them great joy to know they’re contributing to someone else’s happiness in such a profound way. However, this life-altering experience can be beneficial in other ways, as well.

1. Being a Surrogate Can Be Very Fulfilling

Little else in life can compare to the experience of helping someone who cannot have children build a family of their own. Most surrogates find this work extremely fulfilling. The women who are drawn to this selfless act are typically very caring and get a great deal of joy out of helping others. People struggling with infertility have endured one heartbreak after another. Making parenthood possible for them can bring everyone involved the greatest satisfaction and the ultimate happiness. 

2. Surrogate Mothers Enjoy Strong Support

There are certain challenges that potential surrogate mothers must face when setting out on this journey. You will need to undergo a background check, various medical screenings, and psychological assessments, which is a lot for most young women. Having the opportunity to meet with and share the experience with others going through the same thing is incredibly supportive, encouraging, and even fun.

3. Surrogates Can Enjoy Pregnancy Once Again

Most surrogates love being pregnant. To qualify to become a surrogate mother in the first place, you must already have your own children. In deciding to carry this baby for someone else, you get to experience another pregnancy but without the responsibility of raising another child. 

4. Surrogates Are Generously Compensated

On average, surrogates can expect to be generously paid anywhere from $40,000 to $50,000 for being willing to take on the risks of carrying a child, not to mention their time and dedication. Also covered would be any medical expenses or travel required. Surrogates also receive health insurance coverage throughout the process. This financial compensation can go towards your education, help you buy a house, or help you reach other personal goals. 

5. Surrogates Have Legal Protections

Once a match has been made, very elaborate legal contracts are signed that protect you, the surrogate mother, as well as the baby’s intended parents. These contracts are legally binding and clearly state the responsibilities of everyone involved to ensure the healthiest possible pregnancy. The contract will make it clear that you will not be responsible for the baby in any way once he/she is born. 

Although being a surrogate mother can feel enormously rewarding by being able to help an infertile couple build a family, some inherent risks must be weighed. Here are the cons.

  1. Surrogacy Can Take a Physical and Emotional Toll

Women being considered for surrogacy must undergo a series of medical screenings and tests to ensure they are physically able to carry a baby to term and psychologically capable of handling the experience—this includes the physical demands of pregnancy as well as the medical appointments and treatments. Becoming a surrogate can be an emotional roller coaster at times. It is a huge responsibility, and it is natural for surrogates to have their ups and downs. To have as smooth a journey as possible, you should take advantages of any counseling services that are offered and join support groups so that you get the emotional outlet and support you need. 

2. Surrogacy Requires a Lengthy Commitment

The entire process, beginning to end, is quite lengthy and requires a substantial commitment. It starts with the online application and ends when the baby is delivered. In between, there are countless in-person appointments that must be kept. It takes time before the contract is finalized, and the medical procedures can take two or three months. You can expect the entire process to last a year or longer. You should not plan any major trips during this time and definitely not travel out of state or leave the country.

3. Pregnancy Can Be Risky

Any pregnancy involves health risks, and you could face additional health risks as a surrogate. There is a chance that you won’t become pregnant with the first transfer, and when you do become pregnant, there could be complications that could adversely affect your health. If you are seriously thinking of becoming a surrogate, you’ve got to be fully confident in your ability to assume these risks, physically and emotionally.

4. Surrogates Are Required to Take Medications Throughout the Process

Surrogates must be willing to take a variety of medications throughout the process, which may include birth control pills in the beginning followed by estrogen and progesterone. You will also need to have blood drawn and undergo ultrasound exams to ensure your cycle is functioning properly. You might be surprised by the amount of medication you will be given just to prepare your body for the transfer and all the other medication you’ll have to take throughout the pregnancy. All this medication is essential for a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and baby. 

5. There Is Still Some Stigma Associated with Surrogacy

Most people are adopting a more positive attitude towards surrogacy, but there will always be people who hold negative opinions of surrogate mothers. When considering your options, you need to understand that not everyone is going to support your decision to move ahead. Due to common misconceptions, as well as the social stigma that still exists, some of those closest to you may not offer you the kind of support you had hoped for. 


This post was written by MySurrogateMom, the first independent surrogacy community in the US and Canada dedicated to connecting intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors and an information hub where you can gain knowledge about the entire surrogacy journey.

You can also see MySurrogateMom featured on our resources page.

Do you have a story or informational article to share? We would love to feature you on our blog and Instagram.

Michelle Minucci