By Robin von Halle

The television show, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” had its fall premier a few weeks ago with its lead female character, Sweet Dee, wanting to be a surrogate.

Baby Mama” created the perception that all surrogates are uneducated and desperate. This show took it all to a whole new level.

The plot has Sweet Dee answering an ad published by a couple looking to have a baby. (I am not going to get into why finding a surrogate on your own is not the wisest choice, but, if you want to learn more check out: Do-It-Yourself Surrogacies – Step Carefully.) Her motivation: compensation and what the intended parents could do for her.

When she first met with the intended parents she called them “rich yuppies” and asked if they would be willing to “double down” on the price if she would commit to having twins. She also played on the couple’s emotions to get what she wanted. By the end of the show Dee’s brothers came by the couple’s house to start a bidding war for her womb.

This is wrong in so many ways.

First of all, surrogacy is not a “rich person’s” game. In fact, in the nine years that we’ve been matching intended parents with surrogates, few have pursued it without making significant financial and personal sacrifices.

Secondly, in our experience, the women who decide to become surrogates are smart, mature, well-rounded individuals who just want to help someone create a family. Compensation is secondary, and is intended to reflect the time and medical procedures the process entails. Frankly, someone like Sweet Dee, who is clearly desperate for money, wouldn’t pass the battery of psychological tests that is part of the surrogacy vetting process.

Surrogacy is a legitimate and valuable option for family building in our society today. It’s too bad that a stereotype that adds sunshine to Philadelphia casts unnecessary clouds on the process.

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