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Ep 43 | Body Autonomy For Surrogates and Egg Donors


October 1, 2021

On this episode of Fertility Cafe, Eloise dives into the topic of bodily autonomy in surrogacy and egg donation arrangements. Much of the opposition to surrogacy as a practice stems from a misunderstanding of what it means to be a surrogate today in America. Modern gestational surrogacy involves a mutually agreed-upon relationship with clear boundaries and complete respect and autonomy given to the surrogate mother. Eloise explores the nuances of bodily autonomy and offers her wisdom on how to navigate a potentially complicated but ultimately rewarding experience.

This episode covers a variety of topics including:

  • Why the characterization of surrogate as offering up “wombs for rent” is inaccurate and offensive
  • The extensive vetting, screening, and setting of expectations that occurs between a surrogate and intended parts prior to any agreement being signed
  • What is a reasonable vs. non-reasonable request for IPs to make of a surrogate
  • A surrogate’s right to make medical decisions for herself at all times, in any circumstance
  • Red flags for potential surrogates to watch out for
  • The very complicated question of termination or selective reduction and how bodily autonomy plays a role
  • How the COVID-19 vaccination has become the latest point of contention in the surrogate-IP matching process
  • What potential egg donors need to know in order to advocate for themselves and make an informed decision


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