Surrogacy Happy Endings vs. Not Happy Endings

Dear Scholastic Surrogate:

I've heard some crazy stories about surrogacy in the headlines. Is this the norm? -Sketpic

Hello, Skeptic—

Yes…there are crazy stories about surrogacy. There are also crazy stories about adoption and regular pregnancy as well - and pretty much anything else you look up! However, since surrogacy is less common, less “the norm,” and in general, more “unusual,” unfortunately, those stories make the headlines more often than adoption stories and regular birth stories. It’s like that with nearly every topic you can think of. You’ll likely see headlines about a plane crash but not all of the car crashes that happen. Why? Car crashes happen way more often and have become the norm and are just common. Plane crashes are not the norm and don’t happen nearly as often…same concept with surrogacy versus “normal” pregnancy. That said, most surrogacy journeys are rival a normal pregnancy in its “boring-ness” and even surrogacy rarely makes the headlines given how often it happens!

Dear Scholastic Surrogate:

My friend who was a surrogate is offended when other women say, "I could never give up my baby." Why? -Confused

Hi, Confused—

That’s a really great question. The first and most important part to this is that the baby a gestational carrier gives birth to is not genetically related to her, so it’s not, and never was, “her baby.”  Second, when someone chooses to be a surrogate, they are making a huge sacrifice — giving up their body, going through medical and psychological testing, taking medications and often giving themselves injections for months at a time, going through labor, etc. for someone else, often a person who started the process a complete stranger to them! They do all this knowing they are carrying a child for someone else who cannot do it. It’s offensive to them to think that someone thinks they’re undertaking this labor of love and then just mindlessly giving away a baby. They are making a HUGE sacrifice and have really thought through all of the ramifications of what they’ll be doing. They fully understand from the start that they are carrying this baby for the parents and are simply giving it back to the parents upon birth. So to them, acting as if they are just “giving a baby away” with no thought, is very offensive.