Your Guide to Altruistic Surrogacy

As a hopeful intended family, you want to achieve the lifelong dream of parenthood but may be discouraged by the costs associated with surrogacy. As a prospective surrogate, you may want to give the gift of carrying a baby for a family in need but don’t know the best way to help. 

While you are in the early stages of your research, have you considered altruistic surrogacy?

Altruistic surrogacy is when a surrogate does not receive compensation for carrying a baby to term, beyond reimbursement for medical- and pregnancy-related costs. Although most altruistic arrangements are made between family members and close friends, there are situations where a carrier has made the selfless decision to pursue an altruistic surrogacy for intended parents in need of help. 

This guide explains the advantages of altruistic surrogacy, the process, and some of the pros and cons of choosing this life-changing option. Anytime you have questions about altruistic surrogacy or anything surrogacy-related, you can fill out this form to get more information from a trusted surrogacy professional. They will be able to answer any questions you may have and help you determine what the best path for your surrogacy journey may be.

In the meantime, continue reading to learn what altruistic surrogacy is and how it may be the right choice for you.

What is Altruistic Surrogacy

Although there is no specific altruistic surrogacy definition, it is generally described as an arrangement between a surrogate and intended family in which no additional compensation is included beyond that of the reimbursement for medical bills and pregnancy-related costs. This arrangement is agreed upon and put into the surrogacy contract so that all parties are on the same page and have the same expectations as the surrogacy progresses. 

Altruistic surrogacy is the alternative to “compensated surrogacy,” which includes medical bill reimbursement and additional compensation for the carrier.

Altruistic surrogacy is generally less expensive than pursuing commercial surrogacy, given the fact there is no additional compensation included. In most altruistic surrogacy situations, the surrogate is a friend or family member who is selflessly choosing to help the intended parents achieve their dreams of parenthood.  

Although there is no added compensation, intended parents can still plan on reimbursing or covering the following services and fees that are associated with surrogacy. These fees will vary depending upon the agency you choose, your surrogate’s needs, cost of living, and the state laws implemented. Typically the fees include:

  • Medical expenses, dependent upon which type of surrogacy (gestational or traditional) is chosen
  • Agency fees
  • Donation fees if an egg donor or sperm donor is required
  • Legal fees
  • Matching services if the surrogacy is not an identified surrogate
  • Miscellaneous fees associated with the pregnancy

The Altruistic Process

Generally speaking, the surrogacy process, whether altruistic or compensated, will remain the same. The main difference is the lack of additional compensation. The majority of altruistic surrogacies are considered an “identified surrogacy,” which means the intended parents and surrogates have already found their match before working with a surrogacy professional or have a match in mind when beginning the process. 

Although an identified surrogacy puts intended parents and surrogates ahead in the surrogacy process by eliminating the “matching” step, it is not required to pursue altruistic surrogacy. If you are a surrogate with the goal of helping a family achieve their dream of parenthood, and compensation for carrying a child to term is not important to you, speak with a professional about becoming an altruistic surrogate.

A surrogacy professional will be able to find intended parents for you, so you can get your surrogacy journey started. 

Pros and Cons of Altruistic Surrogacy

Surrogacy is life-changing  for everyone involved. Intended parents achieve a lifelong dream that may not have seemed possible, and surrogates achieve the emotional reward of making that dream happen. Although the experience is designed to be a positive decision for everyone involved, it’s still essential to weigh the pros and cons before making any decisions. Below, you will find some of the positive and negative impacts altruistic surrogacy can have on intended parents and carriers. 

Altruistic Pros

  • Altruistic is not as expensive as commercial surrogacy.
  • In most cases, altruistic is an “identified surrogacy” which provides a stronger sense of trust and understanding between the intended parents and the surrogate.
  • More states allow altruistic surrogacy than compensated surrogacy, which gives both intended parents and surrogates a better chance of completing this amazing opportunity.

Altruistic Cons

  • Although possible, the likelihood of finding an altruistic surrogate through matching services is low. Because most situations are identified surrogacies, intended parents may experience longer wait times finding a surrogate with the same goals in mind. Most altruistic surrogates are close friends or family members of their intended parents.
  • Emotional risks are higher in altruistic surrogacy, as oftentimes, the surrogate feels underappreciated or pressured into agreeing, given the fact most situations are family members or friends. This can create tension and have an overall impact on the relationship during and after the surrogacy.
  • Because there is no additional compensation included, many intended parents feel a sense of debt to the surrogate. Given the fact the carrier has committed a year of her life to helping selflessly, intended parents will sometimes feel as though they can never repay or properly show their appreciation for.

When it comes to making such an important decision as to the type of surrogacy you will pursue, you want the best information, resources, and professionals by your side. Doing so will help you make an educated decision on which path is the best for you to achieve your surrogacy dreams.

Altruistic surrogacy may not be the right choice for everyone, but it may be the right decision for you. Fill out this form to get more information and speak with a professional about the advantages of altruistic surrogacy. It is your decision to make, but having the insight and knowledge from a trained professional can help guide you in the right direction, and even begin your journey if you so choose!