Am I being unreasonable to want to get paid to be a surrogate?

(200 Posts)
Geanie Tue 26-Mar-13 18:03:33

I have already been a surrogate once, I didn't get paid a penny, not even for any expenses. The parents of the baby didn't pay anything towards the pregnancy, which I was fine with at the time as I had a good job and I didn't feel that I needed any reimbursements.

I have been contacted by quite a few people asking if I am planning on doing another surrogacy soon as they are looking for a surrogate.
I do straight surrogacy and there aren't that many of us in the UK so there are always a lot of people out there looking for a straight surrogate.

I definitely want to be a surrogate again, however, since my last surrogacy I was made redundant and am now self employed doing whatever I can to earn and get by, and to be honest I am really struggling.

I use quite a few surrogacy forums online and have noticed quite a lot of UK surrogates are now asking for a specific amount of 'payment' for their part as a surrogate.

I know that it is not allowed to be paid for surrogacy in the uk, but a surrogate is allowed to be paid 'Reasonable expenses' and they are pretty easy going when it comes to what those reasonable expenses are for as long as it is under a certain amount, usually around £15,000.

When we went through all the legal stuff after my last surrogacy I was told that they don't usually even question or check up on anything under £10k, as that is considered the standard amount.

I have thought about it quite a lot and I don't see why I shouldn't be able to benefit from this, I mean realistically I am going to be giving the parents a child, and pregnancy is hard. I don't see why, as long as I am upfront about it, I cant ask for a certain amount towards my 'expenses' during the surrogacy.

I'm not looking to make a profit or buy fancy gadgets or go on holiday. I would just use the money to help pay my rent and bills during the pregnancy.

So would I be unreasonable to do this?

(I have NC for this BTW. Pom bears, the MN scarf, bum sex at centre parks on a friday, and so on.)

EverythingsBeachy Sun 31-Mar-13 20:16:03

YANBU YANBU!!! Bloody autocorrect. You are definitely not being unreasonable! Not YABU, doh!

EverythingsBeachy Sun 31-Mar-13 20:08:16

Op, YABU. Especially as you are self employed. If you were in permanent employment you would qualify for fully for maternity leave, even if you always intended to give the baby up. So you would loose out that way iyswim.
, that you wouldn't get that paid time to recover from childbirth

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Thu 28-Mar-13 13:36:09

I dont think.i could be a surrogate but i have donated eggs, my recipient had twins smile they are not my children.and never will.be. I dont feel a connection as a mother to the eggs i gave. My babies are the five dp and i have created together.

Binkybix Thu 28-Mar-13 13:35:42

Totally makes sense, and now that I am pregnant for the first time I think I can empathise a bit more with that feeling than I used to.

Just to be clear, am not saying I think one way of thinking is right and one wrong, just pondering on whether that influences how one feels about the whole issue of surrogacy.

Maryz Thu 28-Mar-13 13:35:04

Yes, I think some people feel the biological link is much more important than the "nurturing" link.

When I was going through ivf we had the conversation about donating embryos to offset costs. In those days, we could only donate the whole embryo, not the egg. I decided I couldn't bring myself to donate an embryo, as somewhere there would be a child running around that could be dh's and mine - either a full brother or sister to a child we had, or even worse a child we could have had, but didn't if our ivf didn't work.

But at the same time we decided that we could donate an egg OR donate sperm, just not together as an embryo if that makes sense.

My eggs wouldn't be a baby, they would just be an egg. They would need the father's sperm to make them a potential baby, which would therefore be a baby that I would/could never have had.

FairyJen Thu 28-Mar-13 13:30:31

I'm with hdee here. I love my children because they are the creation I me and dp. My attachment is through raising them iyswim not through having eggs.

Obviously with my own pregnancy I was attached but as a surrogate I see it very clearly that I'm storing baby for someone else. Hope thatakes sense!

HDEE Thu 28-Mar-13 13:21:45

I don't have any biological pull towards my eggs whatsoever, which is why I found both egg donation and surrogacy so easy.

In my head, my children are those created by me and my husband. The children I create for other people with my eggs, aren't mine, because they aren't my husband's, if that makes sense.

Binkybix Thu 28-Mar-13 11:42:50

Interesting.

I wonder if the division between those who judge it as selling a baby, and those who don't is how strongly people feel about the biological connection being the overriding thing that defines parenthood?

Personally, I think of the biological link as being quite strong so think I would struggle to donate eggs. That's not to say I would condemn people who do it because I can understand that's not how they feel.

I had always thought that the 'expenses' thing was a bit of a fudge to allow some payment without explicitly calling it a payment tbh, and don't have a problem with that.

OP - am in awe of you being able to do this for someone else.

FairyJen Thu 28-Mar-13 11:09:17

nikki whereabouts do you live?

NikkiLaLa Thu 28-Mar-13 10:53:13

Katy it's clear from your post that you have never gone through the heartache of infertility because if you had you would see what wonderful gifts surrogacy and egg/sperm donation are. Surrogates are not "selling" a baby they are giving someone something so precious, that they could not through no fault of their own give themselves. We have fertility problems and have been trying for #2 for 4.5 years, if someone offered to help me today for £15K I would take their help.

Op not unreasonable at all you are doing an amazing thing x

flowery Thu 28-Mar-13 10:36:12

No, you don't get SMP when self-employed, unless you are employed by your own limited company.

And you don't get your former salary guaranteed for a period of time if you are employed anyway, unless your employer offers enhanced maternity pay.

You get Maternity Allowance if you are self employed, and the only difference between that and SMP is the first 6 weeks - instead of 90% of salary you get the basic rate of about £135 per week, which is the same as SMP once the 6 weeks are up.

whistleahappytune Thu 28-Mar-13 10:33:15

Well, yes you can get the government statutory maternity payment (though I'm not sure it's for 39 weeks) which is a pittance. But what you don't get, as you do if you are employed is your former professional salary guaranteed for a period of time.

christinarossetti Wed 27-Mar-13 22:23:37

You are entitled to mat allowance if you're self-employed. It's £100 odd a week for 39 weeks.

Hardly enough to live on without another full time wage coming in.

flowery Wed 27-Mar-13 20:33:18

You can absolutely get Maternity Allowance if you're self employed.

whistleahappytune Wed 27-Mar-13 20:05:14

Er... no. When you are self-employed, basically you are working for yourself. That means no paid holidays, no sick days and no maternity allowance. Unless you pay for it... yourself.

OddBoots Wed 27-Mar-13 13:43:34

Not even Maternity Allowance?

whistleahappytune Wed 27-Mar-13 13:41:58

Odd it's very different when you're self-employed. There is no maternity leave. Period.

OddBoots Wed 27-Mar-13 13:38:43

Any woman giving birth is entitled to maternity leave regardless of the situation, it's been the intended mothers who have had a bigger battle to get time off when their baby is born.

DontmindifIdo Wed 27-Mar-13 13:26:53

Actually, good point, if you were employed not self employed are you even entitled to time off on maternity leave to recover? I stopped at 36 weeks with DS, with this baby I'm stopping work at 34 weeks, ifI have a c section that's 6 weeks at least recovery time, possibly longer. What are you entitled too if the family who are receiving the baby don't pay for this?

forevergreek Wed 27-Mar-13 13:02:27

I would agree.

As a professional loss of earnings from say 36 weeks until 6 weeks post birth (approx 10 weeks), would be quiet a high expense in itself. Add 2 weeks on for loss of earnings from appointments etc. That's 12 weeks. If op earns £500 a week that's £6000 alone, £1000 a week would be £12000 earning loss due to appointments and the equivalent of maternity leave.

Add a couple of thousand for maternity clothes/ supplements/ extra transport use if usually walk etc and you are at the £15k figure.

If we ever needed surrengency I would have no issue paying 15-20k for ' expenses'. I would much rather the person carrying my child to be was able to afford taxis at 38 weeks or afford good nutritious food.

MummytoMog Wed 27-Mar-13 12:12:01

As an egg donor, I'm getting paid expenses. I will have to take time off work, possibly pay for childcare during egg collection (as I will have to be taken home by DH afterwards) and there's a bit of travel too, so I think it's fair. I also think it's fair to be paid to be a surrogate. Being pregnant is a fecking mare (I speak as someone who had 'easy' pregnancies) and I would find it very difficult to go through that just for the satisfaction of helping another couple. I would donate eggs without the expenses, but that's far less of a commitment.

chris481 Wed 27-Mar-13 12:03:14

A quick response, I haven't read the thread.

I'm aware that official policy (and hence the law) in the UK does not allow egg donors or surrogates to do these for profit. However in many other countries it would not be illegal.

I have no problem with it being done for profit, and if you want to fudge the definition of expenses that's fine with me.

Of course my opinion and that of everyone else here is irrelevant. All that matters is what is right for you and what you can legally get away with.

In at least one Asian country I can think of where payment is allowed, if I remember correctly an egg donor was £1000, so I don't think £15,000 is a lot for a surrogate. I expect the figures are several times that in the USA.

KindleMum Wed 27-Mar-13 11:40:09

I would pay a surrogate if I used one and I don't think the sums mentioned are unreasonable. Most people I know who've done IVF have spent £15k on it and not conceived. I think some of them would have used a surrogate if it was easier to do and paying for it would probably make it easier.

For me, I've had 2 pregnancies, conceived with ease both times, and my children would have to be starving before I'd be a surrogate, no matter what the pay, I hated pregnancy. Fair play to those who can do it for others.

Medal Wed 27-Mar-13 11:31:21

HDEE, that might be unusual you weren't asked to justify expenses, we were the first time but not the second so prob depends on who you get for a court reporter. Well done on being a surrogate four times, thank goodness for people like you flowers

iclaudius Wed 27-Mar-13 11:26:50

I'd pay a surrogate
I'd want to pay her
15k not enough

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