One of the major critiques of surrogacy is due to the compensatory nature of most surrogacy journeys. However, as anyone who has gone through the process can agree, the gestational carrier deserves to be compensated for the work her body does and the danger that any pregnant person faces.
However, there are people out there who become a surrogate and go through the process without a compensation plan. In fact, some countries will only allow surrogacy if no one is being paid.
What is Altruistic Surrogacy?
Altruistic surrogacy is the same as a regular surrogacy, but the surrogate does not receive financial compensation for carrying the child. There is still a legal contract in place that may dictate the coverage of travel and medical expenses, but the surrogate herself does not come away from the process with any money for compensation, only her expenses are paid. This is a very rare situation and not often practiced in the United States.
Some people do this because it is the only legal way to be a surrogate in their country, but some people also do this because they are carrying for a family member or close friend.
What are the Pros?
There are many reasons to do altruistic surrogacy. Some people want to show that they are truly helping a family out of the goodness of their heart and for no other reason, while some people want desperately to help a family in need but live in a country where paid surrogacy is illegal.
Likewise, some intended parents simply cannot afford to compensate their surrogate, as many infertility battles are long and expensive. If there is a couple that a surrogate really wants to help but knows they can’t afford to compensate, they may consider doing it non-compensatory.
What are the Drawbacks?
When someone goes through a pregnancy they take on a certain amount of risk, which is usually why surrogates are compensated. There is a chance that the surrogate could lose the ability to have more children, the chance that the pregnancy goes very poorly, and any number of things that could go wrong in a natural pregnancy can also go wrong here.
Likewise, a surrogate will have to take off of work to recover from the birth. Compensation can help them feel appreciated, and able to take that time off, regardless of their company’s leave policies. It also can change the trajectory of what their family can do, and afford. Compensation can be a nice bump to the family’s finances.
Considering altruistic surrogacy is very kind, but there are drawbacks that should not be ignored. It is worth it to go through the surrogacy process with some sort of compensation entitled. Though, if potential surrogates still want to keep things affordable for their intended parents one could consider doing it for less.
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