Deep in the Heart: Why Surrogacy is a Labor of Love

Gestational surrogacy can be considered one of the deepest kinds of love, according to University of Texas at Arlington professor Heather Jacobson.

Jacobson, a family sociologist, recently studied the topic of surrogacy and published her findings in her book, Labor of Love: Gestational Surrogacy and the Work of Making Babies.

She says the number one reason women choose to be surrogates is because they love pregnancy.

"In some ways, they kind of are doing it for themselves because they enjoy it so much. They really enjoy pregnancy!" said Jacobson.

Gestational surrogates are women who carry a baby, created from someone else's egg and sperm, for a family unable to get pregnant on their own.

"She's just the oven," Jacobson said.

The work of a surrogate, however, isn't easy, as they can go through rounds of in vitro fertilization, countless doctors appointments, psychological evaluations and long legal processes.

"I had surrogates that I interviewed who went though the IVF procedures and cycled through medicine for three years before they achieved a pregnancy for their intended parents," said Jacobson

It's why she calls surrogacy a labor of love.

"It really is a love of family and a love of babies and a love for helping someone else achieve their dreams, also a love of the pregnancy experience," said Jacobson.

There is no hard number of how many women become surrogates because it's not federally regulated and first-time surrogates are paid between $25,000-$30,000, according to Jacobson.

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