Surrogacy: the experiences of surrogate mothers

Hum Reprod. 2003 Oct;18(10):2196-204. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deg397.


Background: This study examined the motivations, experiences and psychological consequences of surrogacy for surrogate mothers.

Methods: Thirty-four women who had given birth to a surrogate child approximately 1 year previously were interviewed by trained researchers, and the data rated using standardized coding criteria. Information was obtained on: (i) reasons for the woman's decision to become a surrogate mother; (ii) her retrospective view of the relationship with the commissioning couple before the pregnancy, during the pregnancy, and after the birth; (iii) her experiences during and after relinquishing the child; and (iv) how others reacted to her decision to become a surrogate mother.

Results: It was found that surrogate mothers do not generally experience major problems in their relationship with the commissioning couple, in handing over the baby, or from the reactions of those around them. The emotional problems experienced by some surrogate mothers in the weeks following the birth appeared to lessen over time.

Conclusions: Surrogate mothers do not appear to experience psychological problems as a result of the surrogacy arrangement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disclosure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Parents*
  • Postpartum Period / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Surrogate Mothers / psychology*
  • Time Factors