What You Need To Know About Altruistic Vs. Compensated Surrogacy

Bringing a child into this world is one of life's top priorities for some. Choosing the path of surrogacy to assist with their reproductive wishes is a decision that many thousands of people have made since 1999, according to the Linacre Quarterly.

Surrogacy is the act of bringing together two parties to create a child — sounds pretty standard, right? Not quite. In this case, often the person carrying and delivering the child has no genetic relationship to the baby at all. Think of surrogacy as a group project where half the team brings the baking ingredients and the other half brings the oven.

According to Circle Surrogacy, the reasons people would seek out surrogacy as an option are vast, including issues with fertility, an intended mother not being able to carry a child for health reasons, partners looking to avoid passing down a potentially harmful genetic trait to their child, or to create a path for a same-sex couple to have a child.

Surrogacy can come in one of two forms

Surrogacy comes in two main forms, according to Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Colorado. These are altruistic surrogacy and compensated surrogacy.

In an arrangement where altruistic surrogacy is provided, the gestational carrier does not request or require compensation related to surrogacy outside of medical expenses directly related to the pregnancy or birth. These types of surrogates are generally close to the birth parents in some way. Oftentimes, family members or close friends will fill this role.

On the other hand, compensated surrogacy or commercial surrogacy is an arrangement entered into by intended parents where specific financial commitments are made to a surrogate to compensate them for their efforts, according to World Wide Surrogacy. While commercial surrogacy does typically come with increased costs, it also comes with some additional protections as well. According to Surrogate, commercial surrogacy comes with legal protections and mental and physical health screening of the gestational carrier.

There are many factors for both parties to consider with surrogacy

Surrogacy is still a controversial practice. If you are considering altruistic surrogacy, there is so much you need to know about becoming a surrogate for someone you know before making that decision. Surrogacy can come with potential health risks for the carrier, and according to Southern Surrogacy, women who deliver babies through surrogacy can still deal with postpartum issues.

If you're interested in becoming a commercial surrogate and helping others grow their family, per Newborn Advantage, consulting an agency is a good first step as they can let you know what you need to do to become a surrogate.

Removing the taboo associated with the practice will be important in making surrogacy more accessible to everyone. Recently, celebrities like Gabrielle Union have been opening up about their surrogacy journey, which will help to create public awareness. Becoming a surrogate is a major medical decision, so please consult with your physician before considering it.