Surrogacy Center of Philadelphia

Popular Books On Surrogacy You Should Read

Being a surrogate can be one of the most rewarding things a person does in their life. There are many reasons to feel good about giving the gift of life to someone else, but it sure helps to get a preview of the process before beginning your journey into surrogacy.

In addition to a wide-ranging support group of caring people and professionals, books do a good job of educating those who are going through the surrogacy process for the first time.

Once you decide to become a gestational carrier, it’s wise to start searching for some books on surrogacy. Fortunately, there are plenty of great surrogacy books to choose from. 

Being a surrogate is a life-changing process, and some leisure reading can help you go through the process smoothly and enjoyably. If you’re like me, once you decide to become a surrogate, you’ll want to know as much about the topic as possible.

That’s why I suggest reading some of the following books if you have time. My reading list includes surrogacy books of all kinds, including surrogacy novels, and selections that relate interesting surrogate stories from multiple points of view. I’ve included books for intended parents as well.


It’s wise to arm yourself with as much information as possible before any major life journey, and surrogacy is no exception. Here are two of the most powerful books for surrogates.

1. “Labor of Love: Gestational Surrogacy and the Work of Making Babies”, by Heather Jacobson:

If you want an academic-style book that literally covers every aspect of surrogacy, Jacobson’s Labor of Love is an excellent read. It’s actually a full-blown study of surrogacy, and delves into how gestational carriers perceive themselves and the act of carrying someone else’s child to term.

The author goes into detail about the medical and scientific side of reproduction without getting too technical. She also has a way of writing that makes you feel invited to understand all the complex feelings and thoughts that surrogates experience from the moment they decide to take on their special task.

The reason I enjoyed Labor of Love so much is that it’s actually easy to read and covers virtually every side of the surrogacy question, politically and ethically. You’ll want to keep it as a reference once you finish.

Gestational Surrogacy

2. “Birthing a Mother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self”, by Elly Teman:

Want to dig into the emotional side of surrogacy? No other book does it in such depth as Birthing a Mother. There’s a special, unique emotional relationship that develops between an intended mother and the surrogate. What attracted me to this book was that the author truly explores the intricacies of the emotions that arise, subside, and then rise up again throughout the surrogacy process.

Women become close in a way that is almost indescribable, but author Teman understands exactly what it’s all about and does an excellent job describing it. If you are wondering whether surrogacy would work for you, this is a must-read. Too often, books on this subject leave out the intense emotions that are part of the surrogacy landscape.

It’s rare to find a book that clearly walks readers through the process and explores every possible emotional response and interrelationship between intended parents and surrogates.


Some of the very best books on surrogacy are written for intended parents. Here are two of my all-time favorites.

1. “Surrogacy Was the Way: Twenty Intended Mothers Tell Their Stories” by Zara Griswold:

When you read Surrogacy Was the Way, you’ll get a heavy dose of real-life surrogacy stories. In all, 20 intended mothers reveal the whole truth of their journeys, including the good, bad, and in between. The book gives real hope to women who, for whatever reason, discover they cannot bear children of their own. Eventually, all 20 women in the book turned to surrogacy.

I came away from this incredible book with a new appreciation for motherhood, dedication, persistence, and love. Have you ever wondered why so many women are willing to go to the ends of the earth to have a child? You’ll get at least a partial answer to that question in Griswold’s heartfelt book.

Surrogacy Was the Way by Zara Griswold

2. “Everything Conceivable” by Liza Mundy:

If you want all the details about the entire surrogacy medical process, this book has you covered. There are interviews with physicians, donors, gestational carriers, and intended parents. The best part, for me, was the personal stories from all the participants, which gives you a well-rounded view of what the process is all about.

Mundy is a professional journalist and knows how to ask questions that draw the truth out of people. You’ll be surprised at how honest and forthcoming the subjects are, and how personal the process of surrogacy is. The beauty of this book is that it delivers scientific facts and explanations, as well as the emotional side of the topic.

An Adventure With Ideas

No two readers are alike, so feel free to choose any of the above surrogacy books while deciding, and throughout your journey as a gestational carrier or intended parent. Don’t hesitate to include a couple of fiction books about surrogacy, even if you prefer non-fiction reading most of the time.

The truth is, any list of the best books on surrogacy will undoubtedly be biased in favor of the person who put the list together. So, venture out and find titles not on this list. There are plenty to choose from.

Being a surrogate is not just a physical and emotional journey, it’s also one that includes fun and interesting tasks like digging into surrogacy novels and stories that inform, entertain, and enliven your daily life during the surrogacy process.

Picture of Andrea