A surrogate mother is a woman who carries and delivers a baby on behalf of a couple. That makes surrogacy a multifaceted arrangement with a number of medical and legal implications, both for the surrogate mother and the parents. And those implications don’t even include the tricky task of finding a surrogate mother to carry the baby.
“The surrogate can be a person that the couple knows and they recruited themselves, like a sister, or somebody from the family, or a childhood friend,” explains Elena Trukhacheva, MD, MSCI, who is the medical director of Reproductive Medicine Institute in Chicago. “Most of the time, a surrogate is recruited by the surrogacy agency. And the couple uses the surrogacy agency kind of as a middleman, to navigate the process and protect them, to some extent.”