As fertility options advance, myths about their methods increase. Couples and singles unable to conceive naturally have a variety of options to find a child, as long as they have the financial means and patience to do so. Not every option works for everyone. So, it’s important to do research.
Here are a few common myths about surrogacy, adoption and in vitro fertilization.
The baby is biologically related to the surrogate. Gestational surrogacy means the woman who carries the baby is not the mother. Embryos already prepared using an egg and sperm are implanted into a surrogate’s uterus. While the baby grows inside, it does not have the genetic makeup of the woman — but, rather will be biologically related to the egg and sperm donors.
Surrogates are poor or have no choice but to have babies for rich people. Gestational surrogates are required to have already had a successful pregnancy before they can carry, and fertility organizations often go through stringent vetting processes before accepting candidates into their programs, according to Teo Martinez, CEO of Growing Generations. Martinez said his agency receives up to 200,000 applications a year, but only accept 1% of those. The women must be able to provide for themselves.
Gestational surrogates are paid over $100,000. Many believe gestational surrogates receive exorbitant amounts of money for their services, but they typically receive between $25,000 – $40,000. Carey Flamer-Powell, the founder and director of All Families Surrogacy, said the amount a surrogate makes depends largely on the state she lives in and whether she has insurance that will cover parts of her care. Flamer-Powell said it can range from $30,000 for a single child to $40,000 for multiples.
Birth mothers have to be anonymous. Birth mothers have the option to define how much contact they’d like with the child and the adoptive family. In fact, some agencies encourage birth mothers to opt for an open adoption.
Birth mothers can take the child back at any time. Some states require a several-day waiting period after birth to confirm adoption, but once legal paperwork is filed, an adopted child belongs to the adopted parents. At that point, there’s no going back.
Insurance covers IVF costs. The fertility treatments needed to achieve pregnancy often are not covered by insurance. Laws vary by state and insurance provider.
IVF is always successful. Most women have per-cycle success rates of 20-35%, according to Resolve.
Frozen is less successful than fresh. This remains a debated topic, but past research from the University of New South Wales shows that frozen embryos are just as successful as fresh embryos in IVF.