As we discussed in yesterday’s blog post about the Top 3 Things NOT to say to a surrogate mother, surrogacy is often a taboo subject for many people. In fact, a new study (and a book) just came out from a researcher from the University of Texas at Arlington, Dr. Heather Jacobson, and she has found that surrogacy is often misunderstood by others, as well as by the industry itself when it comes to the definition of work.
In her book, Labor of Love: Gestational Surrogacy and the Work of Making Babies, we learn that “Many people have a difficult time understanding why someone would want to carry a baby for a stranger,” said Jacobson, whose interest in surrogacy stems from her studies of family formation. “I found most surrogates in my study loved being a surrogate. They were interested in helping others have a child because they enjoyed being pregnant. They saw it as something they were good at – a skill set.”
Note that in her study the surrogates were between the ages of 25 and 45 at the time of the interviews. All were paid, from $15,000 to $35,000. Most of the women were married, financially stable and all had children of their own. Most were Caucasian, but there were also Hispanic and African-American surrogates in the study. Dr. Jacobson noted that the majority of the surrogates in her study were not stay-at-home mothers, as many often assume, but worked outside of the home in what are called the ‘caring professions’—such as nursing, teaching, social services or social work.
She finally noted, “I found it interesting that surrogates are reluctant to think of this as work because they engage in a tremendous amount of labor in helping to produce a child for people who desperately want one,” Jacobson said. “They re-arrange their lives and the lives of their families, and if the pregnancy goes well, it can be a year-long investment—if there are complications, it can be a many year investment.”
What are your thoughts about surrogacy and the misconceptions that often exist? We’d love to hear more.
Read more here.
Interested in learning more about surrogacy go to our Surrogacy FAQ.