Facts About Surrogacy Every Woman Should Know

It’s a major part of the plotline in Hulu’s new series “The Handmaid’s Tale”—but here’s what it’s like IRL.


Surrogacy is officially experiencing a pop culture moment this year. We’ve seen it discussed on Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s, and more recently, it’s been thrust back into the national conversation via Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, an adaptation of Margaret Atwoods’s 1985 novel of the same name.

The show is set in a not-so-distant American future in which reproduction rates take a nosedive and fertile women are subsequently forced into conceiving children for elite couples. Of course, this totalitarian premise is far from a realistic portrayal of the surrogacy process. It does, however, beg the question: What does the real-life version of this look like?


More women than ever before are having children through medical intervention, according to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. And however farfetched Atwood’s infertile future may seem, there’s a lot to be learned about what goes down when it comes to surrogacy. Whether you’re thinking about having a child through a surrogate, becoming a surrogate yourself, or are generally curious about how the process works, here’s what you need to know:

There are two kinds of surrogates

It’s important to realize there are different definitions of the term surrogate. In traditional surrogacy, a woman is artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm (or a donor sperm). She carries the baby to term and gives it to the couple, but is the biological mother of the child, as it was her egg that was fertilized, says Marie D. Werner, M.D., of Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey. Continue…

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