Struggling with infertility issues can feel frustrating, exhausting, and completely unfair. It can be emotionally and physically draining to undergo multiple fertility treatments, especially without success. However, beyond IVF and IUI, there is still hope, and there are other viable options to expand your family, such as surrogacy.
Yet, there are many different types of surrogacy, some of which come with high costs. If these costs concern you, altruistic surrogacy might be a path worth taking. This remarkable act of compassion and selflessness involves a woman carrying a pregnancy for another without financial gain. In this blog post, we take a closer look at the specifics of altruistic surrogacy, differentiate it from commercial surrogacy, and guide you through its process, associated costs, and ways to find an altruistic surrogate.
What Is Altruistic Surrogacy?
Altruistic surrogacy is a type of surrogacy arrangement where the surrogate mother does not receive any financial compensation beyond her necessary medical and legal expenses.
Altruistic surrogacy is often undertaken by women who wish to help those unable to have children of their own, such as infertile couples, single parents, or same-sex couples. The surrogate mother, in this context, agrees to carry a child for the intended parents purely out of goodwill, without any expectation of profit.
Like any significant decision, choosing altruistic surrogacy comes with its own set of benefits and challenges. Here’s a list of potential pros and cons you may want to consider as you go about making your decision:
Pros of Altruistic Surrogacy
- Lower Costs: Because the surrogate mother does not receive any financial compensation beyond medical and related expenses, the cost of altruistic surrogacy can be considerably lower than commercial surrogacy.
- Personal Connection: Altruistic surrogacy often involves a close friend or family member, which can create a strong emotional bond and shared understanding between you two (or three).
- Greater Control and Involvement: You and the surrogate typically have a closer relationship, as mentioned above, which might allow you to be more involved in the pregnancy.
- Availability: In some states, commercial surrogacy is banned, while altruistic surrogacy is permitted, making it more widely available across the United States.
Cons of Altruistic Surrogacy
- Limited Availability: Finding a surrogate willing to carry a pregnancy without compensation can be challenging, which can, sometimes, make this option less accessible.
- Potential Strain on Relationships: If the surrogate is your friend or family member, the process could potentially strain your relationship due to the emotional and physical demands of pregnancy. However, depending on your relationship, this can be overcome through open communication and compassion for one another.
- Legal Complications: Laws surrounding altruistic surrogacy vary widely depending on the jurisdiction, and in some places, it may not be legally recognized or protected.
- Emotional Challenges: Since pregnancy tends to offer a time for mother and baby to bond, there may be some emotional challenges during the surrogacy process and post-birth. Ensuring you talk with a counselor or mental health professional or join a support group may help you find a healthy way to navigate any emotions that come up.
Remember, every surrogacy journey is unique; what works for one person or couple may not work for another. It’s essential to carefully consider these factors, do proper research, and consult with medical, mental health, and legal professionals before embarking on an altruistic surrogacy journey to expand your family.
Difference Between Altruistic And Commercial Surrogacy
The fundamental difference between altruistic and commercial surrogacy lies in the financial aspect of the arrangement. In commercial surrogacy, the surrogate mother receives significant financial compensation beyond just the coverage of medical and legal expenses. This payment is for her service of carrying and delivering the baby, which can cost you, the intended parent(s), upward of $200 000.
In an altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate does not receive any form of payment beyond the coverage of her pregnancy-related costs, which can significantly vary between $15 000 and over $100 000. At the end of the day, the motivation of the altruistic surrogate is not financial but emotional, often driven by a desire to help others, like yourself, experience the joy of parenthood.
Altruistic Surrogacy Process
The process of altruistic surrogacy involves several steps. The first step is finding a woman willing to be a surrogate without receiving financial compensation. This could be a friend, family member, or someone found through a surrogacy agency or online platform, such as via ELITE IVF.
The potential surrogate must undergo thorough medical and psychological screenings to ensure she is physically and emotionally capable of carrying a pregnancy to term. A legal contract is then drawn up and signed by both parties, outlining the rights, responsibilities, and expectations of everyone involved.
Once the legalities are sorted, the surrogate undergoes a medical procedure to implant the embryo. This is usually done through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), where an embryo created from your and/or your partner’s sperm and egg (or donors) is implanted into the surrogate. The surrogate then carries the pregnancy to full term and delivers the baby. At birth, you receive all parental and guardian rights to the baby.
Altruistic Surrogacy Cost
While altruistic surrogacy does not involve payment to the surrogate, there are still costs involved. These costs can greatly vary, which is why it’s important to do your own research, depending on where you’re located, so that you can plan your budget accordingly. Factors that may impact the cost include:
- Medical expenses: These encompass everything from the cost of IVF to prenatal care, delivery costs, and any unexpected medical expenses that may arise during the pregnancy.
- Legal fees: This includes the cost of drafting and enforcing the surrogacy contract.
- Insurance: You may choose to take out a comprehensive insurance policy for the surrogate to cover any unforeseen medical issues.
- Travel and miscellaneous expenses: Depending on the situation, you might need to cover the cost of travel for the surrogate and other miscellaneous expenses related to the pregnancy.
How To Find An Altruistic Surrogate
Finding an altruistic surrogate can be a challenging task due to the nature of the arrangement. Often, the most common way to find an altruistic surrogate is within your own circle of friends or family.
However, if personal networks do not yield any potential surrogates, there are surrogacy agencies that facilitate altruistic surrogacies. They can match you with women interested in becoming altruistic surrogates. For instance, ELITE IVF will work with you to determine your needs and help match you with an appropriate surrogate; This process all starts by filling out our online form. Various online platforms and social media groups dedicated to surrogacy can also provide a space for you to connect with potential altruistic surrogates.
It’s important to remember that regardless of how a surrogate is found, each party should have independent legal counsel, and the surrogate should undergo thorough medical and psychological screenings to ensure a successful and healthy surrogacy journey.
If you want to learn more about altruistic or commercial surrogacy, contact our caring and experienced specialists at ELITE IVF. Our team of fertility experts can help guide you through the entire process of surrogacy, from start to finish, helping you finally have the baby of your dreams.