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Seven Things the Media Gets Wrong About Surrogacy in the USA

1. Forgetting about the happy families created through surrogacy.
Intended parents, surrogates, and the wonderful children brought into this world because of their love are real people. Articles talking about the dangers of surrogacy are not only misleading but hurtful to the individuals who are proud of their amazing families.

2. Sensationalizing tragedy instead of making a positive impact.
Journalists have a responsibility to report an accurate reality. It breaks our heart every time we read a case about a family stuck in a foreign country unable to come home with their family. It breaks our heart when we hear that a surrogate wants to keep a child who is not hers to keep.

These heartbreaking stories could be used as opportunities to educate people about surrogacy, and the importance of research.

Imagine if every article about a tragic story in surrogacy explained how thousands of families have gone through successful, beautiful surrogacy journeys. Perhaps changes would come about, such as a call for insurance companies to cover aspects of surrogacy. This would surely bring access to so many couples who can’t have children of their own, and can’t take on the cost.

3. Failing to discuss the real motivations of surrogates.
Many articles skip over the beauty and the selflessness behind becoming a gestational carrier.

The amazing women who come to Shared Conception wanting to help another family are astounding. While the media generally focuses on compensation, there are many steps between thinking about becoming a surrogate and matching with intended parents to become a gestational carrier. The women who make this selfless, generous choice are often inspired by personal experiences where they’ve seen people close to them struggle with fertility. Other women have a strong desire to help the LGBT community.

While many women do extensive research before applying, we pride ourselves on providing surrogates with as much information as possible so they are able to make the best decision.

4. Failing to mention the importance of screening surrogates.
Working with a surrogacy agency, such as Shared Conception, is valuable in part because of the extensive surrogate screening process. Several factors are considered before accepting surrogates into our surrogacy programs.

5. Reporting on traditional surrogacy as if it’s the standard.
Traditional surrogacy, an arrangement in which the surrogate becomes pregnant through artificial insemination and thus contributes her own genetic material, was standard over a decade ago, but today very few agencies will arrange traditional surrogacies. The majority of today’s surrogacy arrangements involve gestational carriers, meaning the surrogate has no genetic relation to the child. Articles reporting on traditional surrogacy rarely make this distinction.

6. Reporting on independent surrogacies as if they are the standard.
While independent surrogacy arrangements can go well, many surrogates and intended parents choose to work with a surrogacy agency instead because they realize it’s the safest option. Yet press coverage of surrogacy relies heavily on independent surrogacy stories, which gives the false impression that finding a surrogate through online advertising or word-of-mouth is the norm. Surrogacy agencies are widely used and highly respected as a safer option than working with an independent surrogacy.

7. Using harmful language.
Many headlines use terminology like “womb for rent” or refer to gestational carriers as “breeders.” This language is inconsiderate to the community of families closely tied to surrogacy. Surrogates are women who are selfless and generous, who want to help other families in need of assistance to have children. These reports make the assumption that women are somehow being misinformed about the surrogacy process, or that they only want to make money. While in fact, most agencies will not accept women with financial uncertainty. Plus, women who apply to become surrogates heavily research the process beforehand.

If you have any questions about the surrogacy process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Shared Conception is happy to answer any and all of your questions.


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