Some of the most common reasons for using a surrogate to have a child are medical in nature.
These reasons typically include:
- Female infertility
- Structural issues with the uterus
- Pre-existing conditions that make pregnancy dangerous
- Vital medications that are harmful to pregnancy
- A history of being unable to carry full term
However, there are also many non-medical reasons why someone might pursue surrogacy.
All same-sex couples require some degree of third-party reproductive help to have a child. Because men don’t have eggs or uteruses, same-sex male couples who want to have a biological child must do so using both an egg donor and a surrogate. Thanks to high-profile individuals such as Ricky Martin, Anderson Cooper, and Neil Patrick Harris, surrogacy for gay couples has become a prominent subject for LGBT family-building.
Although cultural stereotypes often depict women as the only ones who hear the ticking of the biological clock, men also have a natural drive to have children and create a family. In recent years, the number of single men taking matters into their own hands and pursuing single parenthood by choice is growing. Just like with same-sex male couples, for single men to have a biological child, they will need the help of an egg donor and a surrogate.
Previous Traumatic Pregnancy
Some women who choose to use a surrogate have already experienced pregnancy and birth themselves but have been traumatized by the experience – either physically, emotionally, or both. Severe complications such as postpartum hemorrhaging or preeclampsia, as well as stressful events like needing an emergency C-section or having a newborn go straight to NICU, can lead to postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Like all forms of PTSD, postpartum PTSD can cause a wide range of symptoms, including flashbacks, intrusive thoughts or memories, nightmares, elevated levels of anxiety, panic attacks, and avoidance of anything associated with the original traumatic event. Although postpartum PTSD is temporary and treatable, it can lead to ongoing PTSD, even with treatment. For women who are grappling with severe pregnancy-related PTSD, pregnancy and giving birth may become too emotionally and mentally arduous to repeat. In some cases, this can lead to using a surrogate.
While surrogacy is generally used by those who are unable to conceive for one reason or another, some women who can physically conceive choose to use a surrogate for personal reasons.
Sometimes referred to as “social surrogacy,” this trend mainly centers around women with careers that make the actual state of pregnancy exceedingly difficult. This includes a wide range of professions, from professional athletes to high-level executives. While some women in these professions choose to continue their careers while being pregnant, some now choose the option of using a surrogate.
Whether because of a medical need or not, surrogacy can be useful in a wide variety of circumstances. To learn more about the path to parenthood via surrogacy, contact Fertility Source Companies.