The number of babies that have been born from surrogacy has grown dramatically over the past decade. The number of gestational surrogacies has grown from about 700 in 2004 to over 1,400 in 2010. Notably, Florida, due to its relatively welcoming stance on surrogacy, has seen a particularly large increase in surrogacies.
Fueled by the Internet
The popularity and accessibility of surrogacy has been partially fueled by the internet. Hundreds of surrogacy agency websites, blogs, and chat rooms have provided prospective parents (often called intended parents) a huge amount of information about surrogacy.
However, like many things on the internet, there is almost as much misinformation as there is useful information. As surrogacy is relatively unregulated and has become a large industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars, some fraudsters have entered the industry to take advantage of desperate prospective parents.
Since the cost of hiring a surrogacy agency can range from $85,000 to $115,000, unsuspecting prospective parents can be prime targets for thieves and liars. In Florida, prospective parents should be sure to work with reputable intermediaries, such as a surrogacy attorney, to facilitate the surrogacy process.
Changes in Perceptions of a Family
The rise in surrogacy may also be fueled by a societal change in perceptions about family. People traditionally considered natural birth or adoption as the only two options to have a child. As surrogacy technology has improved and gained wider acceptance, its popularity has exploded.
Many couples dream of becoming biological parents and surrogacy is an option for those who cannot conceive with in vitro fertilization (IVF) or with hormone therapies.
There are other factors that have influenced the interest in reproductive technology. First, the issue of infertility, and how to treat it, has become better understood.
Infertility may affect up to ten percent of women across the U.S. People who suffer from infertility can better understand and possibly overcome those issues with reproductive technology given the tremendous medical advances in reproductive medicine over recent years.
Infertile prospective parents have become more determined to have biological children of their own now that they understand their options and know that various medical options exist to help them achieve the dream of raising their own biological child.
Second, couples marry later in life and concentrate on their careers early in life, and start having children later also. As such, it can unfortunately become more difficult to conceive, leading prospective parents to turn to adoption, IVF, or surrogacy.
Beware of Unscrupulous Surrogates or Agencies
As noted above, the fact that the cost of a surrogacy can reach over $100,000 makes desperate prospective parents look for shortcuts or informal ways to reach a surrogate to save money.
Some prospective parents try to reach surrogates not through an agency, but through the internet. Prospective parents should be wary of prospective surrogates they meet online.
These prospective surrogates may just be pretending to show interest in a surrogacy as a way to cheat the couple out of money. Also, even some surrogacy agencies may be less than reputable.
It is important to do your research before jumping into any reproductive issue, whether it is about surrogacy, adoption, or other reproductive matters. It is also wise to work with experienced professionals who can provide much-needed advice and guidance during such an important time.
Contact the Law Offices of Aliette H. Carolan for questions on adoption, surrogacy and other reproductive law questions in Florida at 305-358-2330.