Strange Questions People Ask Surrogates During Their Pregnancy
If you are thinking of becoming a surrogate, you are considering the most incredible gift you can give to another family. But, we should warn you…when people find out that a woman is carrying a child that is not her own, they usually have a lot of strange questions for her!
New England Surrogacy is made up of a phenomenal team with some previous gestational surrogates on board. We asked them, and others, about strange questions they were asked during their surrogacy process. Today they share some of the questions people asked (and their answers!) during their surrogacy journey!
“How can you just give the baby away?”
There are many variations to this question, “What if you decide you want to keep it after the birth? What about your kids - why are you giving away their siblings?” but the answer remains the same. The baby is not the surrogate’s; it never was! The genetics are made from the intended parents and/or donated eggs or donated sperm. The intended parents’ embryo was transferred to the surrogate and they are just there to help it grow!
“Did the parents tell you what to do the whole pregnancy?
Before the process begins, a surrogacy agreement is made which spells out everything that is expected of the surrogate and the intended parents. This makes sure the surrogate knows exactly what the intended parents’ wishes are and there are no surprises during the pregnancy. But, no, they don’t micromanage her on a daily basis!
“How does it work? Did you just inseminate yourself at home?”
No way! Gestational surrogacy should always be done under the care of a doctor. Plus, for the intended parents to be named as parents on the birth certificate, the process must be done by a licensed doctor. Being a gestational carrier, or gestational surrogate, literally just means that you are gestating the embryo; the carrier is in no way related to the embryo/child as the embryo is from the IPs, transferred to the GC’s uterus, therefore not possible to inseminate at home as a gestational carrier.
“How does your body not reject the baby? Is there medication you had to take?”
A woman’s body cannot tell if the baby is genetically not their own. When a woman gets pregnant, she naturally produces some hormones as the egg is released, then as the egg combines with the sperm her body kicks into high gear to create hormones so the body maintains the pregnancy by thickening the uterus. When you are a gestational carrier, the egg and sperm have already met, and are typically inserted in the uterus as a 5-day old embryo. The body might not keep that embryo and maintain a pregnancy if the lining of the uterus isn’t at an optimal thickness to accept the embryo and the hormones in her body aren’t just right. The medications for the gestational carrier can also be given to suppress ovulation because the process does not need her eggs.
”Do you get to help with naming the baby?
Probably not. Like we said, being a gestational carrier means you are just there to help the embryo grow. The intended parents could always ask you about your opinions and thoughts on names though!
”Do you ever get to see the baby after he/she is born?”
This depends. Some intended parents don’t live in the same state or even the same country as their surrogate which would make visiting difficult. Then, there are relationships with intended parents and surrogates that either end after the baby is born or just have the occasional update with pictures. It all depends on your relationship! There are many cases where the intended parents and surrogate become lifelong friends! We have seen all of these outcomes. That’s why we think it is so important to talk about the relationship you want when you are in the process of matching with your intended parents or surrogate!
“Did you have to have sex with the dad? Is your husband ok with another man getting you pregnant?”
No, no, no! The embryo was created from the intended parent’s (or donor) sperm and intended parent’s (or donor) egg, then implanted in the gestational carrier via IVF. No sex involved—just a clinic and a fertility doctor, some nurses, the embryo, a cervical catheter and an ultrasound machine! Plus, there are all kinds of families that use surrogacy, so there might not even be a “Dad” (or a “Mom!”)! And, my husband was a great support system for my surrogacy journey. I couldn’t have done any of it without him.
“I heard you make a ton of money (maybe even millions!) being a surrogate. Would you do it again?”
Gestational carriers are compensated most of the time; and the amounts can vary widely. However, this compensation is meant to cover the time, effort, discomfort and sacrifices they are making and generally referred to as pre-birth child support. This amount is not typically near a million, much less millions! With that said, we would most likely do it again! Pregnancy is hard on you and it’s a big commitment from you and your family. But, you don’t become a surrogate for the money! It was one of the most deeply profound and surreal experiences of our life. Knowing what we know now and how much it impacted the families, it was all worth it in the end.
We always say that surrogates are angels walking the earth among us. These are women who offer people, famous or not, the chance to have a family when they are unable to on their own.
Surrogacy is an emotional path. It’s complex, and it’s a unique journey for each who take it and we know that Gestational Surrogacy is fairly new process with many questions. Don’t ever be afraid to ask about surrogacy!
If you have any questions we didn’t cover today, feel free to email us your questions. If you’re ready to become a gestational surrogate, fill out an intake form!