Is US surrogacy a transaction, a relationship or both?

Having close to six years’ experience as a client manager with Brilliant Beginnings, working with intended parents navigating US and UK surrogacy paths, I have seen first-hand that the motivations of US surrogates are similar to those of the surrogates we screen here in the UK.

US surrogates decide to become surrogates because they want to help someone else create a family, they want a relationship with the intended parents they help, and they love the idea of an ongoing friendship if one develops organically.


Intended parent and surrogate relationships are similar in the UK and US

Our US pathway clients have incredibly similar relationships with their surrogates as our UK pathway clients. Facetime, Zoom and WhatsApp all ensure steady communication throughout.

Here in the UK, if you’re in Brighton but matched with a surrogate in Scotland, your relationship would likely look very similar to that of our US pathway clients, given the distance.

Covid has helped us all to feel more comfortable online and this in turn has strengthened our US teams and the opportunities for closeness.


US surrogacy being cold and transactional is a myth

It is a myth that US surrogacy is cold, transactional and that US surrogates are either poor or entirely motivated by being paid.

The compensation US surrogates receive, while steadily increasing, isn’t enough to entice them to go through all the treatment, pregnancy, and birth, to commit to a process that has such a profound impact on their families. Their motivations are just as altruistic as UK surrogates, and it really is all about helping parents to achieve their dream of becoming a family.

We recently asked a US surrogate to break down her compensation at the end of her journey to a daily rate. From starting treatment to 6 weeks post birth (she birthed twins vaginally, to term) her compensation amounted to less than 1 USD a day. This puts paid to the allegation that US surrogacy is purely ‘transactional’.

Just like with the UK, US surrogacy involves a strong relationship and healthy dose of altruism at the core.


By Esther Ezquerro

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