Well, we can already hire people to do our cleaning and shopping, and you can even get a virtual assistant to manage your social media accounts, so why not outsource your pregnancy too?
According to Grazia, women in America with no known fertility issues are outsourcing childbirth through the use of ‘social surrogates’. Yes, forget too posh to push: we’re now too busy to push, too.
In the quest to continue ‘having it all’, including maintaining the stellar career and, for some, the perfect body, as well as getting the family they’ve always wanted, women are apparently searching for surrogates to do the, err, heavy lifting for them.
A US doctor recently claimed to know of at least 2000 women who were looking to outsource their pregnancies.
Saira Jhutty, PhD, who runs a surrogacy program in the US, explains that there are a growing number of women who don’t want pregnancy to interfere with their career path or ruin their bodies. ‘These women are scared of being pregnant,’ she says.
Want a baby but don’t want to sacrifice your career? (Picture: Ben Kayam)
One unnamed 37-year-old married woman, who runs her own wedding photography business, explains her decision to use a surrogate to Grazia: ‘My profession is very fickle and there’s also the physical aspect of my job’, she says, so ‘as much as I liked the idea of having a family, when I looked at my bookings I realised that no matter when I had my baby it would impact on my career’.
She and her husband have now picked out a surrogate, through an agency, and have already undergone two rounds of IVF to produce enough eggs to start the process – which is costing them almost £88,000.
She accepts that it’s an expensive route and others will struggle to understand her decision, but believes it is worth it to keep her business going.
She hopes to spend time with her surrogate so she doesn’t miss out on the key pregnancy milestones and plans to tell friends she opted for surrogacy ‘for medical reasons’.
She is adamant she wants to be a mother, though, saying: ‘I want to have a child that looks like my husband and me, and see what we’ve created together… even if someone else is doing the hard part and giving birth.’
Some experts see nothing wrong with the rise of social surrogacy - Professor Lori Andrews of the Chicago-Kent College of Law in America argues: ‘Women are leading different lives today.They postpone child-bearing, don’t have a husband or choose alternative methods such as surrogacy to avoid derailing their careers.’
But others only condone the use of surrogacy for medical reasons. The British Medical Association has published these guidelines for doctors on the matter: ‘We are sceptical about social surrogacy.
‘Surrogacy is a serious step, fraught with emotional risk and legal pitfalls. If natural childbirth is possible, it is infinitely preferred.’