Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Surrogate Is Not A Birthmother

This past week it was announced that Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban welcomed a new member to their family. Wait, I didn't know that Nicole was pregnant. Oh, she wasn't pregnant, their child was carried and delivered by a surrogate. That's right, the baby is their biological child ... his sperm, her egg .... but was carried by another woman. I have read a lot about this and I am not sure why they chose to use a surrogate, but then again it is none of my damn business why they chose to go this route. That is between them, and only them.

I am writing on this subject because after reading an article in which the author went ape shit because of the term that Nicole chose to use for the woman who carried their child. The term was Gestational Carrier. So now, in this touchy world of adoption and things like adoption there is another name for a surrogate. I always thought surrogate was a little cold, but gestational carrier is just out right frigid. Yeah, I know that this woman carried someone else's baby so they could expand their family, but can we please just decide on one name for them and stick to it? Why is it that we need to keep changing the names of women who carry children and do not raise them? Why all the names? I am digressing because this is not what I meant to write about, perhaps another blog post is coming to wait I already wrote about names!

SO, here is the thing. This article kept referring to this "gestational carrier" as the birth mother. No. She is not a birth mother, she is a surrogate. There is a big difference in the two roles, just as there is a difference in the names. Surrogate willingly carry children for other people and get paid for it. Birth mothers sometimes willingly carry a child for someone else, but it was not their intent to get pregnant just for someone else. Surrogates often get paid, sometimes handsomely, to carry a child for someone else. Birth mothers do not get money to carry a child, at least there is no written contract for money to be exchanged after the baby is born. Surrogates welcome the opportunity to have babies for others and I have even read of some that are considered "serial birthers" because they have done it so many times. Birth mothers sometimes do not welcome the thought of having a child and then not raising it. (I cannot speak for all birth mothers out there, but I know some feel that way.) And most importantly, surrogates know that once the baby is born, there is a good chance that they will have nothing to do with the baby for the rest of their life. Birth mothers have to live life as a crap shoot, maybe they will get the contact that they want or maybe they will have to wait a lifetime to see or get to know that child, no guarantees for their hearts.
My point is this: Women who choose to carry children for others and get paid for it are not the same thing as a girl/woman who finds herself pregnant in an inopportune time of her life. The surrogates pregnancy is planned, the birth mothers is not. Choosing to place your child with another family out of love is NOT the same as choosing to get paid to have someone else's baby.

Thank you, I have said my peace.


Holly said...


A Life Being Lived said...

Soo true....while I completely acknowledge that a surrogate grows and nurtures a child, and births that child, it is a financial transaction and a planned pregnancy from the beginning. It is NOT the same as being a birthmother. I am sure surrogates feel a connection to the children that they carry but it is not the same at all as a birthmother who chooses adoption due to circumstances of an unplanned pregnancy.

Meg and Ken said...

So true!