Being a surrogate is one of the most giving and rewarding jobs that exist. However, surrogacy isn’t for everyone. Furthermore, you shouldn’t jump into surrogacy without first conducting some research. If you’re considering becoming a surrogate, ask yourself these questions first.
Would I qualify for surrogacy?
If you’re considering being a surrogate through an agency, there are standard requirements that almost all agencies have. The first step is to see if you’re eligible to become a surrogate. Most agencies require that you’ve successfully given birth before (without several cesareans), you’re within a certain age range (usually early 20s to late 30s or early 40s), are financially independent, and within a set body mass index (BMI) range. Using illegal substances is also out of the question. If you’re considering becoming a surrogate outside of an agency, it’s still recommended to keep this information about yourself in mind.
Must have had uncomplicated pregnancy(ies) and at least one (1) healthy delivery.
You must be between twenty-one (21) and forty (40) years of age.
A Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 30.
Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
Must have a valid driver’s license.
May not currently reside in any of these following states: Nebraska, Louisiana, Michigan, and New York.
Has a support system from family and friends. If married or partnered, the spouse/partner must also be willing to participate and cooperate however necessary.
Financially stablility without the prospective surrogacy income.
Must live a generally healthy, responsible lifestyle.
Must be willing to travel for IVF process. Please note, these trips often include overnight stays. A typical embryo transfer trip takes three (3) to four (4) days. Your travel expenses will be paid for or reimbursed.
May not use illegal drugs (including marijuana, even if you live in one of the legal states), smoke cigarettes, or abuse alcohol. This applies to both you and your partner/spouse (unless your partner/spouse holds a valid medical marijuana card).
Surrogacy: The Right Reasons
While surrogates are amply compensated, this shouldn’t be the sole reason one chooses to become a surrogate. You should also have the desire to help intended parent(s) build their family and emphasize with their current struggle. Have an honest reflection on what your motivations are for being a surrogate. If you would find it fulfilling to give couples their greatest wish of parenthood, surrogacy may be a good choice for you.
Do I have a strong support system?
The decision to become a surrogate is a choice that is ultimately yours to make. Still, it’s important to have a support system in place for when you’re exhausted and need assistance as well as for emotional comfort. It’s recommended not to become a surrogate until you’re done having your own children, so a discussion with your partner on this topic is essential. Your significant other may also want to talk about how surrogacy might affect your own children. Consider whether or not you would have an adequate support system during the pregnancy.
Am I ready for the commitment of being a surrogate mother?
Familiarize yourself with the surrogacy process. After being deemed a qualified surrogate, a matching process begins with intended parent(s). Then, there is typically a medical screening and legal discussions. This is all before the pregnancy begins. You can expect to have all the physical demands any pregnancy includes as well as more frequent appointments and injections. Continual communication is also required. Only become a surrogate if you are both mentally and physically prepared to commit to the entire process of surrogacy.
What qualities do you want in intended parents?
As a surrogate, you will bring a special joy to whoever parents the child you birth. Surrogacy is a two-way process where the intended parents and surrogate should support and respect each other. Ask yourself what you’re looking for in your intended parents. Do you have a preference in working with a heterosexual or same-sex couple? Does it matter what state or country the intended couple lives?
It’s crucial to decide ahead of time what you will do physically. Are you willing to transfer multiple embryos? How do you feel about selective reduction or termination? Knowing how you feel about these topics makes it easier to determine if you’re prepared for challenges that may arise with surrogacy. Then, when the time comes, these answers will help pair you with like-minded couples.
Becoming a surrogate is a noble act. It is extremely rewarding. However, it’s not a decision to take lightly. Think carefully about your reactions to the questions above. It takes a special type of woman to act as a surrogate. For guidance you can talk to your family, a mental health professional, or a surrogacy attorney, but remember it’s most important to look inside yourself to determine if surrogacy is the right choice for you.