The Legal, Emotional and Health Risks of Surrogacy [And How We Minimize Them]

What are the risks of being a surrogate mother?

It’s an important question to ask if you’re considering surrogacy today. Committing to carry someone else’s baby is no small endeavor. You’ll need to be totally sure of how you feel about the process before actually taking steps to become a surrogate, and you can’t do that unless you know the risks.

Just as important as knowing about the risks of gestational surrogacy is knowing how to minimize them. That’s where we come in.

Our surrogacy program has been built to offer the most protection possible, both to gestational carriers and intended parents. Here, we’re going to give you all of the information you need about the risks of surrogacy that cause the most concern, as well as the ways our program steps in to protect you every step of the way.

If you’d like to speak with a professional at any point while reading, just scroll back up and click here to contact us today.

Surrogate Mother vs Gestational Carrier

You may notice that we use several different terms throughout this article, and throughout the rest of our website. This is because the most common term people use to talk about surrogacy, “surrogate mother,” is actually not the best language to use.

When a woman becomes a surrogate, she does not become a “mother.” There’s no genetic relationship between the surrogate and baby in gestational surrogacy, and the intended parents are always the parents. Instead, it’s better to say that she is a “surrogate” or “gestational carrier.”

However, in an effort to make this information accessible to everyone, we will use all three terms. Now, let’s take a look at the risks of gestational surrogacy, and how our program can minimize those risks for you.

The Risks of Surrogacy

Every surrogacy process is unique. Your health, your relationship with your spouse, your future relationship with the intended parents and many other variables will factor into your overall experience, including the specific risks of surrogacy that are most pressing for you.

Take the following as a broad outline. These are some of the most common surrogate risks, but you won’t necessarily be impacted by all of them if you do decide to become a surrogate. This can include:

  • Health Risks of Surrogacy
  • Emotional Risks of Gestational Surrogacy
  • Legal Risks of Being a Surrogate

Health Risks of Surrogacy

Becoming a gestational carrier involves becoming pregnant via embryo transfer through the work of a fertility clinic. As with any medical procedure, this can have surrogacy pregnancy risks and some side effects. The primary health risks of surrogacy can be common pregnancy side effects, such as morning sickness, general discomfort, swelling and soreness. Additionally, there can be similar side effects to some of the required surrogacy medications.

More serious health risks of surrogacy could include:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Damage to reproductive organs
  • Hypertension
  • Miscarriage

While these are the same health risks that could occur with any pregnancy (not just pregnancy as a surrogate), it’s still worth considering. Along with potential risks of gestational surrogacy from pregnancy, there are potential risks associated with the IVF process. These can include:

  • Slight bleeding
  • Cramping
  • Infection

Feeling a bit scared? That’s understandable. However, you should understand the difference between a potential risk and a probability. When it comes to surrogacy pregnancy risks, you can drastically lower the probability of experiencing serious health issues by following the orders of your doctor and maintaining open communication with the fertility clinic.

Our surrogacy program offers support in this part of the process. With the help of a dedicated professional, you can feel confident that you are staying on top of the surrogacy medical process and taking all of the necessary steps. Additionally, our medical screening ensures that only women who are healthy enough to become surrogates can begin the process. So, if you have undergone our screening, you can have confidence in your surrogacy medical process.

While the surrogacy pregnancy risks can be scary when listed out, the reality is that they are close to the same risks as any pregnancy would have, including the pregnancies you have already experienced. Working with a good fertility clinic and a trustworthy surrogacy program can provide the support you need to minimize these risks.

Emotional Risks of Gestational Surrogacy

The health risks of surrogacy are primarily the responsibility of the fertility clinic and your OB/GYN. These are professionals that you can trust and rely on. But, gestational surrogacy is much more than just a medical process. It’s also a personal journey, which is why you may be wondering about the emotional risks of gestational surrogacy.

Southern Surrogacy takes these risks very seriously and works hard to provide the support, protection and guidance you need.

Since most women who becomes surrogate enjoy being pregnant, the surrogacy pregnancy risks are less of a concern. The emotional challenges that gestational carriers could face may be more pressing for you, which is where our surrogacy program comes in.

Gestational surrogates may experience:

  • Depression during or after the pregnancy
  • Difficult and confusing feelings of loss at the end of the process
  • Tension with your spouse and/or children
  • Challenges while forming a relationship with the intended parents

Southern Surrogacy confronts these emotional risks of surrogacy by:

  • Providing all of our gestational carriers with personal, experienced counseling before, during and after the process.
  • Educating gestational carriers on ways to establish boundaries for your relationship with the baby and intended parents.
  • Offering a range of services that make the process less stressful, which can reduce tension in the home.
  • Taking a more personalized approach to matching surrogates with intended parents, ensuring that the match is right for everyone and there will be an opportunity for a real, personal relationship to develop.

Legal Risks of Being a Surrogate

The health risks of surrogacy and the emotional surrogacy risks are both important, and so are the potential legal risks of surrogacy. A bad surrogacy contract can put you in a very messy situation. And that’s why it is so important to work with a program like Southern Surrogacy.

Southern Surrogacy is owned by a local law firm, Claiborne | Fox | Bradley | Goldman. We have years of experience in family law, and specifically in assisted reproductive technologies, like gestational surrogacy.

We are also a regional program. Our team only works with intended parents and surrogates in the South. Since surrogacy laws are different in every state (and sometimes drastically different), our focus on only a handful of states means that we have experience and expertise in the surrogacy laws of your specific state.

Because of this, our team will reduce any legal risks of being a surrogate.

Surrogacy contracts are an important part of the process, and by working with a law-firm-owned surrogacy program, you can be confident in the validity and strength of your contract. You will also have your own independent attorney to review your contract with you.

Risks and Benefits of Surrogacy

The risks of surrogacy are, of course, important to consider. But, they should also be weighed against the benefits of surrogacy.

Many gestational carriers, like Adrienne, who worked with Southern Surrogacy, can tell you how amazing, beautiful and important this process can be.

“I have been in an environment where close family and friends experienced infertility issues and it made me want to be part of the solution to their hope,” Adrienne said. “This is one of many ways I can help grow and complete families and I am honored to be able to do so.”

Giving intended parents the gift of a baby — being the person who helps fulfill their dreams — is a benefit of surrogacy that can offer satisfaction, fulfillment and pride unlike many other things in life. And, it’s not the only benefit of surrogacy.

There’s also:

  • Fair and competitive compensation offered by Southern Surrogacy
  • The opportunity to experience the joys of pregnancy
  • A life-giving relationship with the intended parents
  • Total support for the entire process from the professionals on our team
  • And more

The risks of surrogacy are real, but so are these benefits. With support from our program, you can enjoy a process that emphasizes the benefits while minimizing the risks.

Does that sound good to you? If so, you can get started today by filling out this Information Request Form. This will only take a couple minutes and will put you on the path to becoming a surrogate.