Many Minnesota couples face obstacles when trying to have children and turn to surrogates. For some, other types of assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) (fertilization of an egg outside the womb using their own sperm and egg), are not an option. Surrogacy is also a standard method for same sex couples to build families.
But many people don’t know how surrogacy works for intended parents and surrogates. Popular myths on the internet and elsewhere only fuel that uncertainty. If you or someone you love are considering surrogacy, it’s crucial to get the facts.
Debunking widespread misconceptions
Here are four common myths regarding surrogates and intended parents:
- Surrogates are related to the baby they carry
Surrogates are not typically genetically related to the babies they carry. “Gestational” surrogacies are the most common arrangements. This means the surrogate is not biologically related to the baby they carry. Instead, the egg is typically provided by the intended mother or an egg donor, and the resulting embryos are then transferred into the surrogate’s uterus for gestation. There is, however, a far less common type of surrogacy commonly referred to as “traditional” surrogacy which does use the egg of the surrogate which is then typically fertilized using the sperm of the intended legal father.
- Surrogates can change their mind and keep the baby
Properly drafted surrogacy agreements are clear statement of the intent of the parties as to the ultimate legal parentage of the resulting child. They are not necessarily legally binding, determinative contracts in all states. No matter in which state a surrogate lives or gives birth, despite the existence of a written agreement, some sort of judicial order must be issued confirming the final legal parentage of the resulting child. Generally speaking, no surrogate can successfully contest the legal parentage of the intended parents as long as th,,e surrogate is not also the woman who provided the egg. This, too, may vary from state to state. Consulting an experienced attorney specializing in surrogacy is crucial for intended parents and surrogates. Legal issues aside, the reality is that the overwhelming majority of surrogates don’t regret their decision but instead look forward to the intended parents’ profound joy when seeing their child for the first time.
- Surrogates are only interested in the money
While surrogates are usually compensated for carrying a child, most do it primarily out of kindness and a strong desire to help other people grow their families. Surrogates providing their services through reputable agencies are also thoroughly screened and must meet high standards to be considered for the role, including, among many other requirements, already having had one healthy pregnancy and delivery. Here are some of the other requirements for Minnesota surrogates.
- Women who turn to surrogates want to avoid pregnancy
We’ve all heard about celebrities who choose surrogates to carry their child to avoid gaining weight or other body changes. Outside of celebrity gossip, however, the vast majority aspiring parents who consider surrogates have very real infertility problems or may have physical or mental health conditions forcing them to take medications that can lead to unsafe pregnancies.
Addressing the legal needs of surrogates and intended parents
Many issues must be addressed when considering surrogacy. Crafting a legal plan with the help of a knowledgeable assisted reproduction law attorney can address gaps in Minnesota surrogacy law and identify any risks that can arise during the process. An experienced lawyer can protect your rights and ensure that all your questions are answered based on facts and current laws.