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pregnant woman's belly

As a health care worker, Jordan McCutcheon could get the COVID-19 vaccine anytime she wants. But the 28-year-old dental assistant turned that decision over to someone else: the parents of the baby she’s been carrying for almost five months.

McCutcheon, who lives in Marietta, Ohio, jokingly calls herself a “rent-a-womb.” As a surrogate, she says her connection to the baby currently growing inside her is nothing like the motherly love she felt when she carried her own 3-year-old twins. This is a job, and as part of that job, she signed a contract to let the baby’s parents make medical choices for her, including whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

They preferred that McCutcheon stay unvaccinated.

“This is their baby, so if that’s how they want to protect their baby, then as a parent they should be able to make that decision,” she said.

As the availability of the coronavirus vaccines expands across the U.S., demand is booming among would-be parents for surrogates who have not yet gotten the COVID-19 vaccine and are willing to stay unvaccinated for nine... see more