Becoming a parent is the dream for many people. Unfortunately for some, for instance, gay couples or those with fertility issues that prevent them from having a child on their own, this dream is hard to realise. Gestational surrogacy presents itself as one of the solutions to allow these couples to have a biological baby.

Which raises the question: we can easily understand why couples turn to surrogacy to have a child, but what about surrogates? What motivates them to spend nine months carrying another couple’s baby?

Money: not the primary motivation

Surrogacy may have been around for thousands of years but a large number of people are still a little suspicious about what motivates women to become gestational surrogates. Many still believe that they do so simply for monetary gain.

Of course, getting paid to carry a child for nine months can be really helpful financially. However, the financial benefits of surrogacy are hardly ever the first and only motivation. Besides, agencies make it clear: money can’t be your only reason for becoming a surrogate.

Surrogates almost always have other motivations. Some women don’t get paid at all, because they go through the process in order to help a friend or family member. For those who are compensated, they usually get between $35,000 and $50,000 per pregnancy to cover drugs, potential bed rest, hospital fees and any other medical expenses, as well as any transportation charges related to the pregnancy.

They can also use this compensation to fund their personal projects, for instance, to finance their own children’s college education or to help them to buy a new house.

Empathy and compassion

The main motivation that leads women to bear somebody else’s child, however, is simply the desire to help those who can’t have a family on their own. Perhaps because they have experienced difficulties becoming pregnant themselves or perhaps because they know someone who is infertile, these women (who are generally mothers) feel compassion for the intended parents and want to support them in their quest to have a biological baby.

Surrogates understand how devastating being infertile and unable to conceive can be. They also understand the strong wish of gay couples to become fathers. They know that infertility and the many obstacles that can prevent people from having a child can sometimes lead to depression or a separation.

This is why surrogate mothers empathize with these couples and offer to help them start a family.

Surrogate mothers enjoy being pregnant

Many surrogate mothers have their own children and have experienced uncomplicated pregnancies. Although pregnancy may feel long and arduous for some, it seems that women who choose to carry the baby of another couple enjoy being pregnant enough that they consider all the extra effort worthwhile.

The injections and the discomfort related to pregnancy (nausea, bed rest, etc) don’t appear to phase them. Seeing the baby growing and giving the gift of life to someone else, is, for these women, a source of immense joy and accomplishment.

There are as many reasons for undergoing surrogacy as there are surrogate mothers. Everyone has their own motivations but finally, thanks to these women, couples can eventually fulfill their dream of becoming parents.