Becoming a surrogate is a wonderful gift to a couple or individual who cannot have a baby without your help. It’s an opportunity not only to help bring a new life into this world but also to help complete a family.
Surrogacy arrangements can take many different forms, and if you are thinking about becoming a surrogate to help complete a family, you may be unsure about how the process works.
In this step-by-step guide, we provide all the information you need before starting your surrogacy journey.
Surrogacy is not for everyone, and the first step in any surrogacy journey is to thoughtfully consider whether or not surrogacy is right choice for you.
Becoming a surrogate can be a long and emotional process. It is a big commitment, as it requires you to commit to another family for a year or more. And beyond the time commitment, bringing new life into the world, while incredibly rewarding, can be an emotionally complex process.
At this early stage of the process, you need to make sure you understand what is involved. You will need to feel comfortable having many medical procedures, and simply getting through surrogate approval process can be emotionally taxing in itself.
We recommended researching surrogacy laws, consider its pros and cons, and even get in contact with some surrogacy specialists to better understand if this choice is right for you.
Find Out If You Qualify
Surrogacy can be a very rewarding experience. However, to ensure a safe and effective process, there are some qualifications women need to meet to become a surrogate. Keep reading to learn more about the most common surrogate requirements and see if you qualify.
Age Range: Surrogates may be between the ages of 21 and 45, but some fertility clinics may have different requirements.
Previous pregnancies: At least one uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery is required.
General Health: While surrogacy can be exciting, it’s important to remember that the process is still a medical procedure. In order to make sure this procedure goes as smoothly as possible; surrogates are required to be in good physical health.
BMI Range: Typically, surrogates should have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 32.
Support network: She should have the support of her family and close friends.
No Drug or Cigarette Use: Potential surrogates cannot use illegal drugs, smoke cigarettes, or abuse alcohol.
Location: Living in a surrogate-friendly state in the United States
Match With Intended Parents
Matching with your prospective parents is probably one of the most exciting steps of the journey!
Finding the right intended parents is an extremely personal process. You need to be sure that you share the same values and expectations with your prospective parents.
You need to decide what types of prospective parents you would like to help, the type of relationship you would like to have with them, and the form of surrogacy you would like to complete.
Undergo Medical and Psychological Screening
Screening evaluations typically consist of a medical evaluation and a psychological evaluation.
Once matched, you will meet with a licensed psychologist to assess you. Surrogacy can be an emotional experience, and this evaluation is done mostly to make sure that you are emotionally ready to do what is required, and to be sure you are making an informed decision before beginning the surrogacy process.
This will be completed at the intended parents’ designated fertility clinic. The evaluation includes a blood test that screens for any illegal substances and STDs, as well as a gynecological exam. The reproductive specialist will determine if other tests are necessary.
One of the most important steps in any surrogacy process is the legal contract. Each contract is different depending on the personal circumstances of the intended parents and the surrogate.
The surrogacy contract will outline the specific legal rights and obligations of all parties involved.
Keep in mind that the surrogate and the intended parents should have individual legal representation to protect their rights.
Once you have been cleared medically and psychologically, and the surrogacy contract is signed, you will begin your medications. When your body is ready, the physician will transfer the embryos to you.
About two weeks after the transfer, you will go for a beta test to confirm pregnancy. From there, you’ll have an ultrasound at about week six for confirmation of heartbeat.
As your pregnancy continues, the fertility clinic will decide when is the best moment to release you to your obstetrician to continue your prenatal care and begin the routine appointments and checkups.
When the due date is approaching, it’s time to work on the birth plan, which is an exciting milestone to ensure everyone has common expectations for the delivery of the baby.
Without surrogates like you, couples that are struggling to complete their family would have little hope of raising a child of their own. Becoming a gestational surrogate has been described as one of the most powerful and rewarding choices a woman can make.