Social worker Lindsey Miller was a little uncertain when she was asked to assist families with the legal and social dynamics of surrogate births in her former hospital. "At first I was skeptical because I didn't really understand it," she says. "But after meeting the families, hearing about their struggles with infertility and seeing them with a new baby, I came to support the practice."
Like many Americans, Miller was initially wary of surrogate births because they sounded a little too much like science fiction. But couples across the nation are finding that surrogacy is a viable option when they have difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term, but don't want to adopt because they want a biological child. According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, in fact, U.S. surrogate birth rates have more than doubled in the last decade.
By definition, surrogacy is "the practice by which a woman becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby in order to give it to someone who cannot have children." If that sounds simple enough, it's not. There are a couple of different methods by which surrogacy can occur.
If you're interested in pursuing surrogacy, it's recommended that you find an agency to help you. The agency will set you up with a gestational surrogacy arrangement rather than a traditional one, and provide you with guidance for the process. According to Circle Surrogacy, you can expect to pay $80,000 to $120,000 to cover the legal, agency and medical fees for the pregnancy and birth. The protections provided by an agency are well worth the cost.
Once you've counted the cost and made arrangements to protect yourself legally and financially, you may find that surrogacy is a good option for your family. Indeed, the practice is increasingly providing many couples with the opportunity to love and nurture a child who is genetically their own.
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