What Movies and TV Gets Wrong About the Surrogacy Process
The inner workings of surrogacy are still relatively unknown to a lot of people. You may know what surrogacy is, generally, but if you’ve never gone through the surrogacy process of knowing someone who did, you may not know exactly how it works. You probably aren’t going to research something you have no reason to. You aren’t going to fact-check a movie or tv show you watched if you have no interest in the subject. People see movies for entertainment, not to learn, right? If Hollywood misrepresents a group of people, it’s not a big deal; it’s just for entertainment and not taken literally, right? Hollywood has so much power to influence and educate through the entertainment it provides via movies and tv. They also have the power to, unknowingly or not, spread misinformation and unintentionally teach hurtful and inaccurate information. If you’re new to the surrogacy world, ignore the marquees and talk to the real experts.
Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Oklahoma is here to shed some much-needed light. We work hard to educate those who work with us and spread our knowledge as far as we can reach, but it’s not always enough. Not only is it crucial to continue to teach people about OK surrogacy so more people will want to become surrogates, but there’s also a lot of damage control that has to be done. If you’re considering becoming a surrogate mother, want to know more about how surrogacy actually works, or how to become a surrogate in Oklahoma, we’re here for you. We’re always here to answer questions and debunk myths.
Why Is It A Big Deal If the Surrogacy Process Isn’t Portrayed Correctly?
It’s just for fun and entertainment, so why is it such a big deal if surrogates and surrogacy aren’t portrayed entirely accurately? You may not even know how movies and TV affect you. You can say you only take the nonsense Hollywood spews with a grain of salt, but subconsciously you’ve locked some of it away already. We all have random facts or information that come out, and we’re not 100% sure where it came from or when we learned it. Imagine how much random incorrect information we just have floating around in our subconscious.
Imagine you know nothing about competing in Olympic water polo (probably not too hard to imagine). You go see the newest blockbuster movie about a woman who has no water polo experience that sneaks into the Olympics by various means, and wackiness ensues. You walk away thinking, “wow, it’s easy to get into an Olympic water polo team.” That information may be the first and only knowledge about Olympic water polo you get. This is essentially what happens when Hollywood chooses to botch stories of surrogacy. People live with so many assumptions about how surrogacy works and what surrogates are like.
What Are Some Examples of Hollywood Getting the Surrogacy Process Wrong?
It’s great to have your underrepresented community in the spotlight, but it ends up being a double edge sword. We love the recognition but hate the representation. Hollywood isn’t some villain on a mission to make people hate surrogacy, they just know what sells, and oftentimes, deformation sells big. While they can get some things right, it’s pretty clear that they had no intentions of making this a learning experience. Here are just a few examples of how movies and tv get surrogacy so wrong.
Surrogates Can’t Just Walk In Off The Street And Decide To Give It A Try
If you want to become a surrogate mother, be ready to be in it for the long haul. Before you can become a surrogate, you have to apply and be accepted. There are requirements that all women wanting to become surrogates have to meet—things like being the proper age, weight and BMI, financial status. All women wishing to be surrogates also undergo deep background checks, health screenings, mental health screenings, and psychological evaluations. Intended parents want the person carrying their baby for nine months to be a sound mind and healthy enough to carry to term with little to no issues.
Surrogates Can’t be First-Timers
To be a surrogate, you must already have at least one child of your own. A previous healthy pregnancy is necessary to know your fertility and anything that might come up during pregnancy. You want the best chance at success, especially since you’ll be carrying someone else’s baby. These measures are implemented to ensure both the surrogate mother and intended parents have the best experience possible with surrogacy. You wouldn’t let someone babysit your child if they had never interacted with a kid before. It makes sense that you’d feel safer entrusting your baby’s growth to someone who isn’t new to the rodeo.
A Family or Friend Probably Won’t be the Surrogate
Tv shows like to tug on the heartstrings by having the intended parents ask a sister or close friend to be their surrogate. In reality, this is often not realistic. While families do tend to go to those closest to them first when looking for a surrogate, with all of the requirements and background checks, it typically doesn’t work out. Additionally, a family member as the surrogate could cause some unwanted drama.
Surrogacy is not a Quick Thing
Depending on which side of it you’re on, the entire OK surrogacy process can take at least a year and sometimes as much as two years. From the application, all of the qualifications and background checks, matching with parents, and of course, the pregnancy, it’s not a short process. If you want to become a surrogate, make sure you can carve out that time it takes. You should also plan on having to travel to the intended family’s chosen IVF clinic at least twice. It’s not particularly time-consuming, but it is a lengthy process.
OK Surrogates are Never on Their Own
Some depictions of surrogacy imply that once the egg fertilization and implantation are done, the surrogacy agency disappears into the night, leaving the surrogate and intended family to their own devices. This could not be more wrong. When you work with a reputable agency like Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Oklahoma, you’re never on your own. We walk with you through every step. We want to support the surrogate and protect the rights of them, the parents, and the baby.
Is There Any Hope For A Positive Representation For Surrogates?
Without hope for improvement, where would we be? Advocates are working hard to get better representation in tv and movies. With celebrities choosing surrogacy and putting their stories out, as well we more and more film companies are bringing experts on to make sure the production reflects and represents in an accurate and positive light. So, for now, we keep that hope alive that the surrogacy community will have a representation in media they’re proud of someday. The best thing we can do is teach those around us the facts that we know and encourage others to research and fact-check. With the internet at our fingertips, a quick Google search of “ can a crazy person be a surrogate?” will shut down the train of misinformation immediately. Good representation starts with advocacy. Enjoy movies for what they are, but know that you know better.
Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Oklahoma is a surrogacy and adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and a leader in the community. We assist both intended parents and gestational carriers (surrogates). Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized experience to all involved in the Oklahoma surrogacy process.
Toll-free: 800-898-6028 | OKC Local: 405-755-1999 | Tulsa Local: 918-447-7777 | Text: 405-310-8790 | Email
Meet the Author: Michelle Brugioni is a practiced, well-versed college-educated writer and avid coffee drinker. She has ten years of experience as a freelance writer and has written for an alarmingly wide range of clients and publications. She has written on topics like life science, biopharmaceutical company acquisitions, dealing with anxiety, and creative drinking games.
As a fearless writer and masterful researcher, each time Michelle is approached with the question, “Can you write this?” she responds confidently with, “When do you need it?”