Surrogacy: the experience of commissioning couples

Hum Reprod. 2003 Jun;18(6):1334-42. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deg253.


Background: Findings are presented of a study of families with a child created through a surrogacy arrangement. This paper focuses on the commissioning couples' reports of their experiences.

Methods: A total of 42 couples with a 1-year-old child born through surrogacy were assessed using a standardized semi-structured interview. Data were obtained on motivations for surrogacy, details about the surrogate mother, experience of surrogacy during pregnancy and after birth and disclosure of the surrogacy to friends and family.

Results: Couples had considered surrogacy only after a long period of infertility or when it was the only option available. Couples retrospectively recalled their levels of anxiety throughout the pregnancy as low, and relationships between the couple and the surrogate mother were found to be generally good. This was the case regardless of whether or not the couple had known the surrogate mother prior to the arrangement. After the birth of the child, positive relations continued with the large majority of couples maintaining some level of contact with the surrogate mother. All couples had told family and friends about the surrogacy and were planning to tell the child.

Conclusions: Commissioning couples generally perceived the surrogacy arrangement as a positive experience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety
  • Confidentiality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infertility
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Surrogate Mothers / psychology*