As a previous surrogate, I’m no stranger to the bewildered looks of others as they try understand what my reasons were to become a surrogate mother. The decision to become a surrogate mother is a personal choice, but I really enjoy sharing my reasons and helping people to understand what motivates us and how we benefit from giving this gift to others. Here my top 5 reasons for anyone considering becoming a surrogate, and also for the benefit of intended parents who are curious to better understand why a stranger wants to help them have their family. The obvious answer is that you get to give someone the greatest gift in the world, and while that is absolutely true, there are so many more ways that surrogates and their families benefit from this process.
- It is an extraordinary way to pay it forward. One of the qualities that make for an excellent surrogate mother is that she has already given birth to at least one child and had a healthy pregnancy. I own that giving birth to my first child after getting pregnant without even trying is miraculous, and I feel truly blessed. When you become a surrogate you can thank the universe for this miracle that came easily for you, that doesn’t always come so easily for others.
- My children have learned an incredible lesson in giving back to others. I apologize, there is a lot of bragging here, and I know every mom thinks their kids are the greatest thing on the planet, but in keeping with that theme my kids amaze me every day with their kindness and generosity. My children have grown up with me being a surrogate, they have had their jobs (bringing mom toast, helping mom with chores, reading my belly a bedtime story). They have loved being a part of helping our recipients to become parents, and they even boast to others that they helped their mom give someone else a baby. It’s not just my accomplishment- it’s a family process and my kids have really learned the value in helping others in a big way.
- I get to enjoy being pregnant, and after the birth I don’t have to stay up with a newborn or change diapers. Much as I cherished those precious late nights with my own sweet babies, it is really nice to get experience all of the excitement and joy of a pregnancy (and then some!) and then sit back and watch the intended parents step in to have their time of blissful sleepless nights which they have awaited for so long. So many surrogates echo this reason, that they absolutely loved being pregnant but they don’t want another baby of their own right now, and they don’t want to let that gift of fertility sit idly by.
- The compensation helped my family significantly. Let me be completely clear, I didn’t become a surrogate for the money, there isn’t a price that I could place on something so precious. But the compensation meant a great deal for my family. My first surrogacy gave us the down payment on our family home. I have also heard of surrogates using the compensation to pay off their college loans, to fund their children’s education, to care for family members with medical issues, to save for their retirement. The money isn’t the reason to do it, but it can certainly improve your family’s life. By giving the gift of a family to someone else your own family is blessed as well.
- Being a Surrogate becomes a part of your life story, one of the proudest accomplishments in your life. When people want to know what I really got out of my decision to become a surrogate, the answer is simply too big to put into words. But if I was to try I would tell you that my story as a surrogate is one that I carry in my heart every day, it follows me wherever I go, it lifts me up on even the toughest days and reminds me of what I am made of. When I think back on my surrogate births I feel invincible, and it’s that feeling that has led me to a career I love, back to college where I am excelling, to serve my community through Girl Scouting. Being a surrogate mother has made me who I am. Money comes and goes but the surrogacy shaped puzzle piece in my heart is with me forever.
If you are asking yourself if you should become a surrogate, if that desire to be a part of this miracle is in your heart, I can assure you that while it may not always be easy you will never regret it. You have the power to change the lives of others and your own in bigger ways than you ever thought possible. Surrogacy is a calling for mothers to send a message of love to the world that echoes the love we have for our own families.
I hope your journey fills you with a sense of purpose, and leaves you with the lasting joy of knowing your role in making the lives of others whole.