Dear Honest Surrogate...

People choose surrogacy for many reasons. They could be suffering from infertility. They might be a gay couple. They might have an illness or disease that prevents them from carrying their own child. There are many reasons and some are not obvious. Don’t assume you know the reason someone is using surrogacy.

Dear Honest Surrogate: My neighbor is a single woman. She just told me she is using a surrogate to have a baby. I have never heard of single women choosing surrogacy. Is this common? How does this work? I am worried about offending her but I am so curious about it all in a nonjudgemental way. -Curious neighbor

Dear Curious: Yes, there are a lot of single women choosing surrogacy as a way to create their family. They may not have found a partner that they want to create a family with and might not be able to carry their own child for many reasons or they simply don't want to carry their own child. There are multiple ways this can work. She could be using a traditional surrogate. A traditional surrogate is a woman who carries a baby, that is genetically related to her, for someone else. She is either artificially inseminated with donated sperm or her egg is combined with donated sperm through IVF and then transferred into her. She could also be using a gestational surrogate. A gestational surrogate is a woman who carries a baby, that is not genetically related to her, for someone else. Your neighbor could be using her own eggs, inseminated by donated sperm to form an embryo via IVF (in vitro fertilization) or she could be using a donated embryo. The embryo is then transferred into the surrogate with hopes that it will start to grow!

If you are curious about surrogacy. Most people will not mind questions as long as you are courteous in how you ask them. Surrogacy is a new concept for many and it's ok to have questions!