There are many different types of gestational surrogacy arrangements intended parents can use as a means to grow their families. Through gestational surrogacy, a woman can give one of the most wonderful gifts to a family. For most surrogates, the surrogacy journey is fueled by a passion to help others and a desire to see families’ wishes to grow come true. There are two forms of surrogacy that you may come across in researching the surrogacy journey. These include compensated surrogacy and compassionate surrogacy.
Before we unpack the differences between the two forms, we want to sincerely point out that all forms of surrogacy are compassionate. It takes a great deal of empathy, care, and kindness to become a gestational carrier, no matter what form is agreed upon. Let’s continue…
A compensated surrogacy is one where the surrogate is financially compensated for her time and effort in addition to being reimbursed for any costs associated with the surrogacy process. Essentially, on top of medical expenses, legal fees, travel costs, or other expenses being covered, the surrogate would also be paid an additional amount to compensate for the sacrifice, time, and energy that come along with having another person’s baby.
Under compensated surrogacy, the surrogate is not motivated by monetary compensation. Rather, she is motivated by the desire to help other families grow. These individuals have experienced healthy pregnancies, and, through their generosity, wish to assist other families that may not be able to have children on their own.
On the other hand, compassionate surrogacy involves a surrogate not being compensated for her time and energy beyond having medical expenses and similar costs associated with surrogacy covered. With compassionate surrogacy, the surrogate would be reimbursed for any expenses related to fertility treatments, doctor visits, prenatal checkups, and the entirety of the labor, delivery, and recovery process.
In many cases, compassionate surrogacy occurs between individuals who are related to or are close friends with the intended parents prior to initiating the surrogacy journey. Also referred to as a “known surrogate.” In most cases, this includes family members or even close friends of the intended parents, and some are conducted without the benefits and guidance of an experienced agency. Many of these individuals do not wish to be compensated, as they are solely motivated by wanting to help the family out of compassion. With this option, it may still be a good idea to speak with a surrogacy agency in order to identify important resources, such as legal support, and guidance of the process prior to beginning the surrogacy journey.
Which Option Is Best?
Compensated surrogacy and compassionate surrogacy — which one is better? When it comes down to it, neither option is better than the other in a general sense. Which option you choose will be dependent on your specific situation. If you are unsure which of the two to choose, consider asking yourself the following questions:
- Do I know someone, like a close friend or a family member, who is willing to become a gestational surrogate?
- Am I comfortable in trusting someone I know to become a compassionate surrogate?
- Will I feel guilty for not offering additional compensation if I opt to use a friend or family member as a compassionate surrogate?
- Am I financially able to compensate a surrogate?
- What is the type of relationship I want to have with my surrogate?
- Would I feel more confident choosing a compensated surrogate through an agency instead of a close friend or family member?
- Do I have the time, resources, and knowledge to facilitate a compassionate surrogacy?
With that being said, everyone’s situation is different. Some intended parents prefer the security that comes along with trusting an agency, while others prefer to rely on close friends or family members who are willing to help them through the surrogacy journey. Whichever surrogacy option you choose, you should feel assured in knowing that your surrogate has chosen this journey out of compassion and a desire to help.
When you work with a surrogacy agency, you will gain the additional advantage of having professional assistance throughout the surrogacy process. At Fairfax Surrogacy, we have a unique and highly thorough screening process that matches potential surrogates with their intended parents. You can feel confident in knowing that you will be matched with the right person for your surrogacy journey.
If you have any questions, or you would like to learn more about the surrogacy process, contact us today! We are eager to hear from you and answer any questions you may have about your surrogacy journey.