By (embryologist).
Last Update: 03/06/2019

Surrogacy is perhaps the most emotionally charged reproductive process. Besides the future parents a pregnant woman is involved. She will be in charge of gestating and giving birth to the child of the intended parents, who are the ones who start this treatment to have their child.

It is not easy to understand the reasons why a woman undergoes a reproductive treatment and a pregnancy to fulfil the desire of another person or couple. The reasons are as diverse as the people who do it. Usually their personal experiences usually play a very important role.

In this article, we will look at the main motivations.

Solidarity for carrying a child of other people

In nowadays society, money plays a more important role than we want to believe. This is why we often struggle to understand as to why a woman is willing to provide herself to gestate a child for other people for less than the pleasure to help.

The main motivation of many pregnant women is of economic nature. However, there are others who dismiss the importance of the money and undergo this process altruistically; they generally receive financial compensation though as reimbursement of expenses arising from pregnancy.

Anyway, money is not the most important factor. There are other motivations for many expectant mothers which we will comment below:

Acknowledging the received help

The expectant mothers are usually women who already have been mothers thanks to another women who donated their eggs. As a result, they have already been able to create their own family and therefore, they feel the necessity of “returning”, in some ways, the huge favor they received.

Witness of other people´s suffering

Today, many couples who have fertility problems. In particular, an estimated 15% of the population of reproductive age face obstacles to achieve natural pregnancy.

Being a witness of suffering the inability to form a family can make us feel empathic and trigger the need to do something for them or for other people in the same situation.

This is what happens to many pregnant women who either have experienced the frustration of infertility themselves or in a family member or close friend

LGBT-Rights activists

Thanks to the donation of semen female homosexual couples are nowadays able to start their own family. Be it through artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF), lesbian couples are able to experiment on maternity.

In search for paternity in mens case, however, they depend on female assistance because they obviously don´t have an uterus necessary for carrying a baby.

Many people believe in equal rights for homosexuals and strongly believe that two men are just as capable of raising a baby. This is why a lot of women would like to become surrogate mothers for these couples. Their motivation is to advocate for equal rights and diverse families.

Social acknowledgement

For some of the women social acknowledgement and personal satisfaction of helping others make them feel good about themselves. There are communities in which solidarity has a great deal of value, where helping others is encouraged and rewarded with admiration.

Many people enjoy the feeling of being needed and, especially, becoming someone so important to others.

Enjoying pregnancy

A woman’s condition during pregnancy is very special. During the months of gestation, the hormonal situation and the physiological changes derived from it can provoke new feelings in the woman.

For some women, this extraordinary situation of the organism can be annoying or uncomfortable, but for many others this is a situation of great satisfaction and well-being. There are women who like being pregnant because they feel happier and more comfortable in their bodies.

Many of them affirm that the moment of greatest happiness in their lives was pregnancy. That’s why they wish to repeat it, but they no longer want to have more children.

Economic motivation

Generally speaking, the economic compensation surrogate mothers receive is not so generous as for a woman to undergo this process solely and exclusively for economic reasons.

The economic motivation is usually directly proportional to the economic capacity of the pregnant woman and the impact that the consideration may have on her life. If this money is equivalent to the salary of many years (as in India) the economic motivation is usually the deciding factor.

If, on the other hand, the compensation simply corresponds to the payment of pregnancy-related expenses, although it would be an incentive to consider, it is not the fundamental motivation.

FAQs from users

Can religion be an impediment for a woman who is interested in surrogacy?

By Andrea Rodrigo (embryologist).

Most religions are not in favor of the unnatural pursuit of pregnancy. Surrogacy is another process of assisted reproduction, so if a woman has strong religious beliefs, she should not undergo this process. She ought to seek other ways to help.

Can a woman help her sister by being her nephew’s surrogate?

By Andrea Rodrigo (embryologist).

It will depend on the country in which the subrogation process takes place. There are countries whose legislation prohibits the pregnant woman from being related to the future parents. On the contrary, there are other countries in which subrogated pregnancy is only allowed in family members.

By Andrea Rodrigo (embryologist).

There are countries such as Russia, Ukraine or the United States that allow commercial surrogacy, i.e. the pregnant woman receives financial compensation that goes beyond the costs of pregnancy. In other places such as Canada, only altruistic subrogation is allowed and therefore, the woman who gestate only receives the reimbursement of pregnancy expenses up to a maximum established by law (currently the Canadian maximum is approximately 22,000C$).

What does a surrogate mother in the United States earn?

By Andrea Rodrigo (embryologist).

The amount of money a surrogate mother receives in the United States depends on the State where the process is taken place and on the individual situation. In any case, the quantity will be at around 20.000-40.000$.

Our editors have made great efforts to create this content for you. By sharing this post, you are helping us to keep ourselves motivated to work even harder.

Authors and contributors

 Andrea Rodrigo
Andrea Rodrigo
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information about Andrea Rodrigo

Find the latest news on assisted reproduction in our channels.