Responsible Surrogacy

Information regarding the ethical aspects of the process

Different countries and even different agencies working in the same country, provide surrogates with different living environments. In some cases, the surrogate lives at home throughout the pregnancy. In other cases, an apartment or small room is rent to accommodate her – and in other cases surrogates stay at a facility run by the clinic.

Choices regarding the surrogates accommodation are not always trivial. During the course of the pregnancy, surrogates are required to visit the clinic for routine examinations, similar to those conducted in every normal pregnancy. Some of the surrogates live very far from the clinic, making these visits very uncomfortable, especially during the late stages of pregnancy (in India, for example, surrogates sometimes reside in other countries, such as Nepal, and if proper accommodation is not provided for them, they must travel many hours very frequently). Another important consideration is the family and the immediate social environment of the surrogate. Some surrogates prefer to disengage from their environment during the process and even conceal it as much as possible. On the other hand, some surrogates continue to work in the vicinity of their homes (or as housewives) and prefer to stay in their homes.

A key consideration for many is the proximity to their partners and children, and therefore agencies which offer accommodation for the surrogate sometimes suit it for her entire family. For many parents, the accommodation of the surrogate in a shared facility, supervised by the clinic, allows peace of mind, given the highly supervised medical conditions, as well as access to high quality food and medicines, which should be optimal for pregnancy. On the other hand, this option may significantly diminish the surrogate’s freedom to live her life during her pregnancy in the manner she sees fit. For example, some facilities prohibit the surrogate to leave for any activity other than doctor’s appointments or precoordinated family visits, forcing surrogates to stay in the facility for the majority of her day.

As mentioned above, different countries and different agencies implement different accommodation standards. We suggest providing the surrogate with all available options and letting her choose what is best for her. However, the different options influence the cost of the process majorly.

  • In cases where the surrogate would be accommodated in an apartment far from where her home is, you may want to make sure that her family (or at least some other source for social support) can also be accommodated there. The issue is especially important in cases where the surrogate is housed in a country other than her own.
  • In cases where the surrogate would be housed far from her family – and sometimes even if she stays at home – the extent by which she will be able to take care of her family and household is likely to change dramatically. We suggest ensuring that there is someone looking out for the family in the absence of the mother. Also, it is suggested to make sure that the distance from her family does not de facto prevent the surrogate from meeting her family due to the distance and travel expenses.
  • If the surrogate were to be housed in a clinic operated facility, we recommend confirming that she still will be entitled to meet his family and leave the place unattended as often as she wishes.
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