Renting Your Womb in an Economic Crisis: Hopeful Surrogate Mothers Increase
Back in August I blogged about the increase in numbers of women trying to sell their eggs to make money. The economy was faltering back then, and now we are in a recession, even more women are considering other means to make money.
Selling eggs can net a woman a quick $4,000, and being a surrogate mother can bring over $20,000. Most women say that they decide to become surrogates because of their desire to help other families, because they love being pregnant, because they’ve witnessed other mother’s struggles with infertility and want to do something to help. Most moms don’t mention the money. But still, $20,000 is no small sum of money and applications from women to become surrogate mothers have rocketed. But the desire to become a surrogate doesn’t mean a guaranteed check.
According to the director of one agency that matches up surrogate mothers to hopeful parents said that out of every hundred applicants, only a few are accepted. Prospective surrogates have to have the right mental attitude, have to have had at least one successful pregnancy, and have to be in good health, so they have to undergo extensive medical and psychological screening before being accepted by an agency.
Most surrogate mothers say that they are not doing it for the money. Out of several surrogate mothers interviewed, only one woman, an experienced surrogate, said that money was a factor. She said that she wanted to become pregnant again to help pay for an expensive operation her husband needs.
Regardless of the health of the economy, women still want to become mothers, so there will always be a demand for egg donors and surrogates. That is, until families stop being able to afford treatment. Hiring a surrogate mother in the USA costs at least $80,000, with around a third going to doctors and medical expenses, another third going to agencies who match up surrogates and hopeful parents, and a third to the surrogate mother.
So that leads to another issue with the economy that has also been in the news lately: outsourcing. Factories in China can produce consumer goods far more cheaply than American factories, and Indian women are prepared to be surrogate mothers for far less than American women. Hiring an Indian woman as a surrogate costs around $10,000 in total, a significant saving.
Women in India who were interviewed for an article about surrogacy were much more open about doing it for the money, as well as the ability to give happiness to a childless couple.
Is being a surrogate for the money wrong? Should surrogate mothers just want to do it for the noble reasons of helping a couple have a baby? Or, is it best to look at surrogacy purely as a womb-for-hire agreement, to emphasize that the baby really belongs to the couple who hired the surrogate, and to lessen emotional ties between the surrogate and baby?
And would you consider selling your eggs or renting your womb?