When you’re considering surrogacy, you probably have an overwhelming desire to help other people finally become the parents they’ve wanted to be for so long.
These people, known as intended parents, will shape your surrogacy experience. You’ll develop a close, personal relationship with them, along the way learn all about who they are and what led them to choose surrogacy in the first place.
Every intended parent’s story is different, but there are usually some common themes when it comes to why they pursue surrogacy. It’s important to understand what many intended parents have gone through before you decide to become a surrogate for them — not only so you can know what to expect from a relationship with them but so you can understand just how important your decision is to them.
Who Are Intended Parents?
In many cases, intended parents are people who have tried for years to have a biological child, either naturally or through the in-vitro process. They want so badly to be parents that they’re willing to do anything to achieve this dream, even pursue the expensive surrogacy process.
Intended parents can include all kinds of couples and single people; there is no “typical” intended parent. For example, intended parents can be:
- Single men who want a child
- Single women who cannot carry a child to term themselves, due to infertility or health risks
- Same-sex male couples
- Same-sex female couples who cannot carry a child themselves
- Heterosexual couples struggling with infertility and the inability to carry a child
While intended parents who are older are more likely to struggle with infertility, many intended parents are younger as well. In fact, 12.3 percent of women aged 15-44 in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant, with 6 percent of women experiencing infertility after at least a year of trying. Almost 7 million women have used infertility services in the United States.
And it’s not just women impacted by infertility — about one-third of infertility cases are due to problems with a man’s sperm and reproductive organs.
By the time many couples or singles decide on surrogacy, they likely have already tried to become parents through in vitro fertilization — which can be an exhausting process. Each round of IVF costs an average of $12,400, and many intended parents try multiple rounds of IVF before moving on to the surrogacy process. It’s not uncommon for intended parents to put tens of thousands of dollars into an unsuccessful IVF treatment, making their parenthood journey even more stressful for their family.
When their IVF process is unsuccessful, intended parents are usually faced with a difficult decision: pursuing a biological child, turning to adoption or choosing to live child-free.
Why Do Intended Parents Choose Surrogacy?
When intended parents reach the end of their IVF process, they have to decide which parenthood process they’ll want to invest in next: surrogacy or adoption.
Many intended parents who are still invested in the idea of a biological child will choose surrogacy, especially if they have remaining embryos from the IVF process. While it is a significant financial investment, some intended parents decide to try one surrogacy attempt with a remaining embryo as a last chance for a biological child.
For these parents, surrogacy is not just their last chance at a biological child, but also their last chance at being involved in the entire pregnancy and knowing that a baby will be theirs after nine months (unlike in adoption, where a prospective birth mother can change her mind at any point). As a surrogate, you will provide these intended parents with a dream come true — one that they’ve been working toward for many, many years.
But, not all intended parents go through the IVF process before they decide on surrogacy. Usually, single parents and same-sex couples will choose surrogacy straight away if they want a biological child — but that doesn’t mean that their journey to get there is any less stressful.
Some single parents dream of establishing a two-parent household before introducing a baby into their life, and must grieve the loss of this dream and the support they would have received from a partner before turning to single-parent surrogacy. Same-sex couples still experience prejudice based on their sexuality, so overcoming that and grieving the fact that they can’t have a biological child who shares their partner’s genetics can be emotionally difficult.
Surrogacy does, however, offer these intended parents the opportunity for their dream of a biological child — and, despite the emotional and financial hardships they may have experienced on their journey to this decision, it is all worth it in the end when they are holding their own child.
As a surrogate, you can be instrumental in helping them achieve this dream. To learn more about how you can become a surrogate today, read this article.
Are you interested in learning more about surrogacy or starting the process? Complete our form to request free surrogacy information now.