Breaking Down Hollywood’s Depiction of Being A Surrogate | EDSI

Breaking Down Hollywood’s Depiction of Being A Surrogate

You’ve probably already watched some of the television shows that cover surrogacy – and there are many of them. As we are located in Beverly Hills, California, we know a thing or two about Hollywood’s depiction of being a surrogate and what they get right and wrong about the surrogacy process. Hollywood tends to overdramatize quite a bit, and their portrayal of the surrogacy journey is no different.

Unfortunately, this overdramatization has led to many people thinking that gestational surrogacy is something that it isn’t, in many ways.  Here are some of our favorite (and least favorite) takes on being a surrogate:

Glee

Glee wouldn’t be half of what it was without leading lady Rachel Berry, who just happened to be conceived by surrogacy. Rachel’s dads, Hiram and Leroy, put an advertisement in the newspaper for a surrogate mother who came in the form of Shelby. 

While it isn’t uncommon for some people who want to adopt a baby to put advertisements in the newspaper, it isn’t common (or safe) for parents to put in advertisements for a surrogate. The better approach is to do what Glee depicted in later seasons, when Rachel became a surrogate for her friends Kurt and Blaine: engage a reputable surrogacy agency who can help ensure that the surrogacy process is completed safely for everyone involved.

Baby Mama

No one can resist a movie with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and Baby Mama is no exception. It’s a great comedy – it just isn’t a very accurate portrayal of the surrogacy process. In this movie, the surrogate (Poehler) lied to the Intended Mother (Fey) about being pregnant. In a real-world situation, the pregnancy would have been confirmed by the fertility doctor and would not have been something that she could lie about to anyone.

Another problem is that the surrogate had never been pregnant before. A responsible surrogacy agency will ensure that the surrogate meets the guidelines set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, which require that a qualified surrogate has had at least one successful pregnancy and delivery in the past. While Poehler’s character did get pregnant with her own child and in the end, she had never given birth prior to becoming a surrogate.

While this is a funny take on the topic of surrogacy (and can highlight some of the real-life pain that comes with trying to be a parent), it is not a good example of what real life surrogacy is.

Roseanne

Despite its controversies, Roseanne is a show that many people have watched. When the show returned to the air, it tried to tackle problems that many people in the United States face, including financial issues. One of the ways that Becky decided to solve some of her financial problems was by becoming a surrogate. However, in order to qualify, she had to lie about her age. In the real world, no one is allowed to be a surrogate with any reputable surrogacy agency if they have not gone through a thorough surrogate screening (including a background check and health scan) that would debunk the lie and disqualify the woman as a surrogate.

Another thing that the show got wrong was that Becky was going to be a “traditional surrogate,” meaning she would use her own eggs in the pregnancy. This does still happen, but it is not encouraged or supported by most surrogacy agencies as it can complicate the process quite a bit.

The surrogacy process is a confusing one, and it can be difficult to make a decision about whether or not it is something you should do. That is why we encourage you to do your research and really think about whether it is right. However, you shouldn’t make the decision based on Hollywood movies – even the people who use surrogates (like Kim Kardashian, Sarah Jessica Parker, Neil Patrick Harris, etc.) tend to have misconceptions before they go through the surrogacy process.

Surrogacy is an extremely rewarding experience that will change your life forever. However, you have to be willing to put in more work than just carrying the baby – you have to provide a hospitable environment for him or her. Simply put, you cannot act like Amy Poehler and eat junk food and drink soda all the time. While it may provide for some comedic fodder for movies and TV, it is a serious thing. If you are ready to get started on the surrogacy process, make sure to contact us today.