If you’re thinking about becoming a surrogate, you are probably excited at the opportunity to work closely with intended parents to help them reach their parenthood dreams. But, you may wonder at the same time: Who are intended parents, and why do they choose to pursue surrogacy?
Each intended parent’s situation is unique, and understanding their motivations for surrogacy is an important first step to being the best surrogate possible. You will always have the chance to get to know intended parents before committing to working with them, and your surrogacy specialist will help you prepare for the conversations with intended parents you are interested in.
However, before you learn the specifics about the intended parents that you think are right for you, you can learn more about intended parents in general in this article — and better understand why your role as a surrogate can change their lives forever.
Who Are Intended Parents?
As their name suggests, intended parents are people who are hoping to have a child of their own and turn to surrogacy to reach this goal. Many of these intended parents have tried for months and years to have a child through a natural pregnancy but, after failed infertility treatments, decide that surrogacy is the best path for them. They choose to place their dearest parenthood dreams into the arms of women like you who can make the biggest difference in the world to them.
There is no “typical” intended parent. Instead, the title encompasses several kinds of people who cannot have a child naturally on their own, like:
- Single men who want a child
- Single women who cannot carry a baby to term themselves, whether because of infertility or health issues
- Same-sex male couples
- Same-sex female couples who can’t carry a child themselves
- Heterosexual couples who are struggling with infertility and unable to carry a child themselves
Intended parents can be of all ages and races — and may be more common than you think. In the U.S., 12.3 percent of women aged 15–44 have difficulty getting pregnant. Infertility spans gender; about one-third of infertility cases are due to issues with a man’s sperm and reproductive organs. Infertility is a debilitating challenge that can cause serious emotional damage, and many intended parents have focused their finances, time and energy into solving theirs for a long time.
Those who are unable to carry a child due to infertility problems often turn to in vitro fertilization before surrogacy — which means that those intended parents who decide on surrogacy often have already spent thousands of dollars unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant themselves. A round of IVF costs an average of $12,400, and many intended parents attempt several rounds before choosing a new family-building process.
Unfortunately, many intended parents are unsuccessful in their IVF process — which is the main reason they turn to surrogacy.
Why Do Intended Parents Choose Surrogacy?
Often, when intended parents cannot conceive naturally on their own and choose to pursue one family-building path or another, they get questioned: Why did you choose surrogacy rather than adopting/becoming a foster parent/etc.?
As a prospective surrogate, you may even have this question yourself. While it’s a natural one to have, it’s also important to recognize that which path a hopeful parent takes to add to their family is no one’s business but their own. Each family has specific reasons for choosing the right family-building process for them, and it is not the place of those who are able to conceive naturally to judge or question their choice.
That being said, there are typically a few common reasons why these intended parents choose surrogacy rather than adoption when they reach the end of their IVF process.
Intended parents who pursue surrogacy are wholly invested in having a child who is biologically related to them. Often, they may have embryos left over from their IVF processes and, rather than choose between disposing or donating or storing them, their natural next step is to attempt a new infertility treatment. For them, the financial investment of surrogacy is worth the last opportunity they have to have a child who shares their genetics.
Intended parents who choose surrogacy also have the chance to be involved in the pregnancy and the early stages of their child’s development — an opportunity they may not have with adoption. Surrogacy also provides a sense of security that adoption does not, as intended parents know that the child a surrogate is carrying will be genetically and legally theirs after the nine months of pregnancy are complete.
However, not all intended parents complete IVF before choosing surrogacy. Some, like single males and gay male couples, know that surrogacy is their only option to have a genetically related child. For them, surrogacy is the best parenthood path for their goals, although they may still have to grieve dreams of a two-parent household or overcome prejudice based on their sexuality before pursuing this process.
No matter what their personal background, most intended parents go through a challenging emotional and physical process before they decide that surrogacy is right for them. In fact, surrogacy is often the last chance that these people have to reach their specific parenthood dreams. Many of them are willing to put their personal lives on the line to make their hopes and dreams come true.
This is where women like you come in. You can selflessly and generously choose to help these parents reach their goals by becoming their surrogate — giving them a healthy uterus when they do not have one themselves. Of course, surrogacy is a big commitment to make, and it’s important you consider all the pros and cons before taking this journey. But, for the women who choose to become surrogates, the advantage of changing someone’s life is a powerful opportunity that they can’t refuse.
To learn more about becoming a surrogate and how you can help intended parents who desperately wish to have a baby, contact a surrogacy professional today.