My potential surrogate mothers and their intended parents are attracted by the idea that Medicaid, or other federal programs, can assist with the costs of the surrogate mother’s pregnancy and the birth of the surrogate baby. Maternity health insurance can be quite expensive and this is a way to trim thousands of dollars away from the cost of surrogacy which can be used for other expenses, including the surrogate’s compensation.
So that begs the question: if a surrogate mother financially qualifies for government assistance, should that be used to help cover the costs of a surrogacy? The answer is absolutely NO. Under no circumstances should federal assistance be used to fund a surrogacy.
It is not the government’s responsibility to assist intended parents with the costs of their infertility treatments. Though a typical set of intended parents have put in more than their fair share of taxes over the years, and might feel entitled to receiving some benefits from all of that, it is not the remaining taxpayer’s burden to bear.
Though the surrogate mother may qualify to receive assistance, the child she carries does not. The parents of that child do not meet the income qualifications needed to be eligible for the assistance. This is the equivalent of a woman claiming her neighbor’s child is hers in order to qualify.
It is fraud. And if the government decided to, they could prosecute the surrogate mother and intended parents for fraud. This could involve hefty fines, and, if they chose to make an example of the situation may even involve jail time.
Many agencies and clinics will not work with surrogate mothers who are on public assistance. Often, they simply do not want to get involved in a situation that could become misconstrued by the federal government.
Another reason agencies choose not to work with these women is the fact that they might need the money provided by surrogacy in order to meet their basic necessities. Since so much in surrogacy is uncertain, the surrogate might go months without receiving a cent of compensation. She may also go upwards of a year and end a journey having never received any compensation whatsoever.
Add to that the fact that many see surrogacy as exploitation of the poor and agencies simply do not wish to get involved. The last thing surrogacy needs is more controversy.
Other forms of public assistance, such as WIC should also be viewed the same way. If she were not pregnant with another couple’s child, the surrogate would not qualify to be placed on WIC; therefore, she does not quality for it.
If a potential surrogate mother is in dire financial straits, surrogacy is simply not the best option for her. If a woman is currently a surrogate and finds herself in a difficult financial situation which will cause her to not be able to afford proper nutrition, the intended parents should cover these costs.
But under no circumstances should either the surrogate mother or intended parents be tempted to use the government for help. Medicaid is not a cheap way to get a surrogacy done. It’s a way to get in a lot of trouble in years to come.