Being a surrogate mother to the highest bidder might seem like a pretty weird concept to most of us. Pregnancy is hard enough when you’re doing it for your own flesh and blood. Can you imagine going through all that for complete strangers? It’s a totally alien concept to most of us. And for all the surrogate mothers out there, having a child inside you that is not actually yours is like having an alien growing inside of you (their words, not mine). So why do it? The truth is that some women just enjoy being pregnant. Some of us might not understand this, but the truth is that everyone reacts to pregnancy in a different way. Some of us feel like it’s the best part of life. Others would never ever want to go through it ever again.
But as strange as the concept is, it’s a common source of income for a lot of women out there. Many of these women are veterans of this unique trade, and have carried multiple babies to term for their “employers.” When you’ve delivered one baby, you’re considered “experienced,” and you get paid more for the next baby. In this way, some women have viable careers keeping themselves almost perpetually pregnant. But what do these women actually have to say about the process? As it turns out, there are some serious horror stories…
15. “I know that death is a possibility”
We might have come a long way since the middle ages, but death is still very much possible during pregnancy. And we’re not just talking about stillbirths, we’re talking about the mother dying as well. While it might not be too pleasant to think about, it’s considered a necessary risk in order to bring new life into the world. But would you really take the same risk for a baby that isn’t even yours? All for a few thousand dollars? That’s one of the most troubling things that these surrogate mothers think about…
One mother reveals: “I know that death is a possibility. The surrogacy agency orchestrated a life insurance policy that the Intended Parents pay for while we are under contract. While I know that money isn’t a replacement for me in my family, at least they’d be taken care of financially.”
14. “A drug test… and a psychological exam… they screen like mad”
How does it really feel to be simply a tool for other people to have babies? Do you still have the same level of excitement and warm feelings about being pregnant? Most surrogate mothers would answer yes to that question, although there are some major differences. First of all, you have a lot less control. You’re treated more like a piece of medical equipment than a human being, as many surrogate mothers have revealed. You are subject to rigorous testing. Psychological exams, drug tests, all of that is part of the process of becoming a surrogate mother. How would you feel if you were going through all of that? It must be really hard to be analyzed and tested as though you were a human guinea pig…
13. “If there was something wrong with the baby […] they would have grounds for legal battle”
So let’s say you decided to be a surrogate mother, and you went through almost the entire pregnancy. But at the last minute, either before or after the infant was born, you discover that there’s something wrong with the baby. What happens then? Do you still get paid? Well as one surrogate mother reveals, not only could you not get paid, but you could also be sued. This seems really harsh, and it is. But they can only sue you if you did something that directly impacted the baby due to your own negligence. But lawyers are a crafty bunch, and it’s definitely within the realm of possibility that an innocent woman could be sued if her baby had issues. On the other hand, punishing a surrogate mother for drinking or smoking during pregnancy makes total sense.
12. “It is basically 20k for a year of my time and energy”
So how much do surrogate mothers actually get paid? For such an ordeal, you might expect the payment to to be pretty high. After all, they’re putting themselves through a long, tiresome, arduous and potentially life-threatening ordeal. For a whole year essentially. And remember, pregnant women can’t really work for the majority of their pregnancy, especially in the last few months. So they should be getting paid the big bucks, right? Well, one surrogate mother revealed that she gets paid a relatively meager sum of $20,000 to deliver one baby. One commenter on Reddit pointed out that this was essentially 13.89 an hour (based on a 40 hour week excluding taxes.) Hardly that impressive…
“[I get paid] 20k, divided into monthly installments, not including other costs being paid for like all travel, insurance, maternity clothing, etc. Edit: this does not add up to 180k like some people are posting. It is basically 20k for a year of my time and energy. There were quite a few months of planning and preparation before actually getting pregnant.”
11. “Progesterone […] in the butt cheek, huge needles. Yeah it’s not all ice cream and pickles…”
So for $20,000, you have to put yourself through all the discomforts and stresses of a regular pregnancy, and you don’t even get to keep the baby in the end. Does that still sound worth it to you? Well that’s not all surrogate mothers have to deal with. In addition, they are required to get regular injections to make sure their body didn’t reject the fetus growing inside of them. After all the baby inside of them is not related to them at all most of the time – These hormones contained things like progesterone, and this had to be injected in large needles directly into the butt throughout the whole pregnancy. So if you have a fear of needles, surrogacy might not be for you…
“That’s what all the hormone injections were for. Lupron (in the belly, small needles) and Progesterone in oil (in the butt cheek, huge needles) in case you care which ones. Hehe, yeah it’s not all ice cream and pickles. The Progesterone was for pretty much the whole first trimester!”
10. “I will like to see pictures every once in a while. It might haunt me if I never heard from them again…”
Probably the biggest thing people don’t understand about being a surrogate mother is the fact that you have to give your child away at the end of the pregnancy. The same child that has shared your body for 9 months. How could you not develop a connection with that child? It doesn’t even matter that the child might not be genetically related to you. There’s still the possibility that you will feel crushed in that moment that you have to hand over the baby. And as one surrogate mother reveals, she has accepted that she’ll probably lose touch with the baby that she gave birth to…
“I think we’ll maintain contact but not super close [with the child] (we live several states away from the IP’s (Intended Parents). We already have a nice strong friendship going but who knows what will happen, we will probably drift apart… but I will like to see pictures every once in a while. It might haunt me if I never heard from them again…”
9. “If she decided to keep it, there is nothing you could legally do to stop her”
Imagine that moment when you’ve finally given birth to the surrogate child that you’ve been carrying for the last 9 months. But when you see that baby, some maternal instinct “clicks” in your mind. You suddenly don’t want to give that child away. What happens then? Well, first of all, you won’t get paid. But the next thing depends totally on whether you used an egg donor or your eggs are the ones getting fertilized. If they’re your eggs, then you can legally keep the child as your own, and there’s nothing the “parents” can do about it. Can you imagine a more awkward situation?
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