Busting Surrogacy Myths part 1

June 23, 2023 by Frank Golden

If I had a dime for every time I heard someone say, “Women only become Surrogates for the money,” I would be able to fund a worldwide campaign to debunk surrogacy myths faster than you can say “obstetrician.” Because the truth is, the incredible women who choose to become Surrogates are driven by compassion, selflessness, and a genuine desire to help others. They deserve respect, not baseless assumptions. So, let’s debunk this myth as well as other surrogacy myths and celebrate the extraordinary individuals who make dreams come true, one baby at a time!

Surrogacy Myth #1: Surrogacy is Only For the Wealthy or Celebrities

One prevalent myth is that surrogacy is only a family-building option available to the extremely wealthy or celebrities. However, this idea is far from the truth. According to the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “15% of couples experience infertility” (acog.org). This indicates that assisted reproductive technology (ART) is sought after by a diverse range of individuals and couples, not just those from privileged backgrounds. Everyone Deserves a Family, not just those who can do so without financial assistance. In reality, financial assistance options such as insurance coverage and grant programs are available to make surrogacy more accessible to middle-class individuals and families.

It is also important to recognize that while celebrities often share their surrogacy journeys publicly, many everyday people are also choosing surrogacy to fulfill their dreams of creating a family, but they are not sharing it on large platforms for millions of people to see. Of course, we hear about Kim Kardashian utilizing surrogacy, but there could be couples and individuals in your life also utilizing surrogacy in a private manner. Just because you do not hear about these stories does not mean they are not happening. In this circumstance, perception is not reality. Surrogacy is not only for the wealthy or celebrities just because those are the only people you know who have done it.

Intended father holding his baby while they both smile.

Surrogacy Myth #2: Women Choose Surrogacy to Avoid Pregnancy

Another myth surrounding surrogacy is that women choose to use a Surrogate to help create their family to avoid pregnancy. I have heard people claim “vanity,” “work commitments,” “fear of giving birth,” and other reasons from individuals who would rather spread misinformation than learn the truth. This misconception undermines the medical need and genuine reasons that lead women to pursue surrogacy. In fact, in several US states, there are laws and requirements that mandate a medical need for Intended Parents to have a Gestational Surrogate. Surrogacy is not a decision that gets made on a whim. The decision requires careful consideration and often involves complex medical factors. At Golden Surrogacy, we only work with couples and individuals who have a medical necessity rather than social surrogacy. It is also worth noting that many Surrogates prefer to work with Intended Parents who have a genuine medical need.

Additionally, women do not you owe you an explanation for their medical decisions. You do not deserve the right to know how someone’s child was brought into the world. Yes, even with a celebrity. I see time and time again the comment section of posts from celebrities regarding their use of a Surrogate being filled with things like, “Go natural next time,” “You BOUGHT a newborn baby,” “I didn’t see her pregnant.”

Three negative comments left on public figures' Instagram accounts after they announced their child who was delivered via surrogacy.

Here are just a few real comments left on the accounts of Paris Hilton (@parishilton) and Priyanka Chopra (@priyankachopra) after they announced the birth of their children through surrogacy. If you take time out of your day to leave a nasty comment on a celebrity’s post, just know that they won’t see it, but your friends who are unable to naturally conceive due to age, disability, infertility, weight, etc., will. No one should feel comfortable making these types of comments. So, to all the Karens of the world, the next time you want to make a nasty comment about someone’s life—save it. You have no idea what someone is going through, and they do not owe you anything.

Surrogacy Myth #3: Intended Parents Who Don’t Give Birth Naturally Struggle to Bond with Their Baby

As a gay man, it is infuriating to hear the claim that Intended Parents who do not give birth naturally will face challenges in bonding with their baby. This myth is another baseless claim attempting to undermine the beautiful reality of surrogacy. Claiming that anyone who does not carry and deliver a baby will struggle to bond is far from the truth and does not account for the different ways families are created in today’s day and age. Many individuals and couples, including myself as a gay man, have formed deep bonds with their children despite not experiencing pregnancy. The ability to bond with a child is not limited to the act of giving birth. Love, care, and nurture cannot be overlooked. I have found that skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth can also contribute to the bonding process. Intended Parents should not worry about their ability to develop a profound and loving bond with their baby. In the same way adoptive parents, stepparents, and foster parents should not worry about their ability to bond with the children in their lives.

The best surrogacy agency for LGBTQ+ couples

Surrogacy Myth #4: Surrogates Are Solely Motivated by Financial Gain

The most cringe-worthy myth that we will address is the belief that Surrogates are solely motivated by money. For whatever reason, some people have a hard time believing that a woman would not become a Surrogate if it was not for the money. Pregnancy is long and delivery is hard. Why on earth would a woman sign up for that? It must be because of the money, right? Wrong. Just because you would not become a Surrogate for any reason other than money does not mean you can make that assumption about others. What this misconception fails to recognize is the incredible compassion and selflessness that Surrogates demonstrate. Over the years as a surrogacy agency director, I have witnessed and built meaningful relationships with Surrogates who genuinely care about helping others create families. It is true, Surrogates do receive compensation for their invaluable role, but the money is not the driving factor. The emotional rewards and the joy of giving the gift of life are far more significant for Surrogate than any financial gain.

This is not to say there are not women out there who are interested in becoming Surrogates for financial gain. As a means to weed out those with less noble reasons, Golden Surrogacy has strict Surrogate requirements in place to ensure any woman who embarks on a surrogacy journey as a Golden Surrogate is doing so because they genuinely want to help couples and individuals create the families of their dreams. Even if a person’s reasons for needing the money are righteous, we do not work with anyone who is “in it for the money.” During Golden’s complex Surrogate screening process, we screen candidates with a psychological interview & assessment, criminal investigative check, medical records review, insurance analysis, physician exam & lab testing, and a social worker home visit.⁠ We do not accept Surrogate candidates who are not financially stable.⁠

What is surrogacy?

As we conclude our attempt at a worldwide campaign to debunk surrogacy myths faster than you can say “obstetrician,” it is important to embrace the truth. Surrogacy is not exclusively for the extremely wealthy or celebrities–it is a realistic option for individuals and couples who are unable to conceive naturally. Women choose surrogacy based on medical needs rather than avoiding pregnancy for frivolous reasons. Intended Parents who do not give birth naturally can develop deep bonds with their children. And Surrogates are motivated by compassion, not financial gain.

So, next time you hear someone say, “They only used a Surrogate because she did not want to gain weight,” whether it be about a celebrity or not, kindly remind them that surrogacy is driven by compassion, love, and the desire to make dreams come true. If you are unsure about what to believe, I encourage you to do some research of your own and talk with those who have gone through a surrogacy journey. At the end of the day, Everyone Deserves a Family and no one should be shamed for needing a bit of assistance.

To end on a happy note, here are three comments from Paris and Priyanka’s comment section that spark joy!

Three positive comments left on public figures' Instagram accounts after they announced their child who was delivered via surrogacy.