Over the last decade, there have been many positive and progressive changes within the world of gestational surrogacy. As challenges to family-building continue to lessen, it makes it so much easier for those within the surrogacy community. While we’re thrilled about any progress that makes family-building more inclusive, there is still definitely room for improvement. Surrogacy advocates across the country have worked so hard to make the process as streamlined and accessible as possible; their work is admirable and greatly appreciated, but we know that it is not finished.
As a surrogacy agency, we have thought a lot about the kind of progress we would like to see in the surrogacy world. We have a lot of hope for what the upcoming months and years can bring for intended parents and surrogates across the country. As a reflection on the current state of surrogacy in the US, we have compiled a collection of steps we want to see taken across the country. We know that advocates and lawmakers are working hard to ease the burden of modern family building, but for many, the wait is simply too long. Our list highlights some of the most pressing difficulties that remain in parts of the country for many couples wishing to become parents and many women hoping to become surrogates.
1. Clear Laws That Allow and Protect Gestational Surrogacy Contracts
In the U.S., laws regarding surrogacy arrangements vary widely from one state to another. If you reside in a state that is considered to be surrogacy-friendly, such as New Jersey, New York, or California, your path to parenthood or surrogacy will be straightforward. However, if you live in a less surrogacy-friendly state, such as Arizona or Indiana, there will be several challenges to contend with throughout the surrogacy journey. Reputable, established surrogacy agencies like Reproductive Possibilities have experience working with intended parents and surrogates within states that are less friendly, and we have successfully navigated these journeys countless times.
However, if state laws were consistent across the country, consisted of clear language that made gestational surrogacy legal, and protected the rights of all parties, it would be a huge development. The path to becoming a parent or surrogate would be significantly easier, and there would be less confusion and stress for all parties when first entering into a contract. Intended parents would feel confident that the law advocates for their family planning journey; surrogates would know that their rights, wishes, and earned compensation are protected as well.
2. Improved Representation of Surrogates and Surrogacy Arrangements in the Media and Pop Culture
On the rare occasion it’s mentioned at all, gestational surrogacy storylines in movies and television continue to be plagued by misconceptions and incorrect assumptions. Surrogacy is too important of a topic to still suffer from widely broadcasted misinformation. When television shows or films use surrogacy as some sort of gag for a quick joke or a throwaway line, it dampens what it means for the people whose lives have been changed by working with a surrogate, not to mention the harm that can stem from misinformation. It would also be ideal if surrogacy storylines were represented with some degree of accuracy, which they often are not. If surrogacy was shown in a more accurate light, it would mean a great deal to those who have already had a surrogacy journey to see themselves represented on the screen, while giving hope to others who haven’t started yet.
3. A Greater Awareness of Third-Party Reproduction Overall
One of the reasons why the media and pop culture misrepresents surrogacy, egg donation, and sperm donation so often is because our collective cultural awareness and understanding of third-party reproduction are so low. Unless you are directly part of the infertility, single parenting, or LGBTQ+ family communities, or know someone who is, it’s unlikely for you to have a full understanding of the different ways families can be created.
If there was better representation in the media and pop culture, it could potentially educate others about what third-party reproduction was really about. With improved representation comes increased awareness, which ultimately creates a higher level of support for those pursuing surrogacy.
Reproductive Possibilities has high hopes for future families made through third-party reproduction, as well as the incredible surrogates and donors that help make these families possible. As part of our dedication to making it easier for others to have a child with the help of a gestational surrogate, we are always happy to extend our knowledge and support to anyone who has questions about the process, whether you’re thinking about becoming a surrogate or wish to find a gestational carrier.
Want to learn more about surrogate compensation, requirements, or costs? Get in touch with Reproductive Possibilities and we will assist you no matter where you are in your journey. We look forward to hearing from you!