Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Surrogate
Surrogacy is an incredible journey, but it’s not without difficult moments and trying times. While deciding if surrogacy is right for you, do extensive research to make sure you’re prepared for every aspect of surrogacy. Choice Surrogacy is here to help you discover the joys and inherent challenges of surrogacy by explaining everything you need to know.
Before Becoming a Surrogate
Before you can become a surrogate, you’ll need to ask yourself important questions to determine if you’re ready for this commitment.
- Do I have a strong support system to help me during this journey? It’s essential (and often required) to have a solid foundation of support from your family and friends to help you manage any stress you may feel from time to time. If you are in a committed relationship, it’s paramount to have open discussions with your partner to make sure they support this decision.
- Am I done having children of my own? To become a surrogate, it’s mandatory that you’ve had one successful pregnancy. As with any pregnancy, possible complications can hinder your ability to have future children. Make sure your family is complete before becoming a surrogate.
- Will I be able to manage the new responsibilities that come with surrogacy? Surrogacy will require you to go to a series of doctor appointments, take various medications, regularly communicate with your surrogate agency and the IPs, and many other obligations. At times, your body and time may not feel like your own, which is a lot to sacrifice. Be 101% sure you can manage every part of surrogacy.
- What kind of Intended Parent(s) am I willing to be a surrogate for? Your personal preferences will be a factor in deciding who your IPs will be, whether it’s single parents, couples, members of the LGBTQ+ community, or international applicants. Be completely open and honest about what you want and expect from this partnership.
- Can I mentally and physically handle any potential disappointments? Complications are possible for any pregnancy. With IVF, there are additional chances of failed pregnancies. Make sure you’re mentally prepared to handle potential disappointments, as well as the physical implications your body will go through.
This is a life-changing decision. Not only for you, but for the Intended Parent(s) as well. Take as much time as you need to consider and discuss surrogacy with yourself and family members.
Applying for Surrogacy
The basic requirements for surrogacy are:
- 21 – 38 years old
- A non-smoker and does not use drugs
- Healthy weight with a BMI in the normal range (BMI requirements may vary)
- Have previous healthy pregnancies with no complications
- Be financially stable without any form of public assistance
Surrogacy is not legal in all 50 states, so it’s important to research what your legal obligations will be, especially if you live in a different state than the IPs.
If you meet the requirements for your specific agency, you’ll then go through extensive medical and mental screenings to ensure you’re of sound-mind, with no history of chronic mental illness, and that your body is physically healthy enough for pregnancy.
Should you pass, you’ll be approved to become a surrogate. Next, your profile will be created with detailed information to appropriately match you with IPs.
Being Matched with the Intended Parent(s)
Some agencies prefer to match IPs with surrogates by cross-referencing all applicants, while other agencies allow the IPs to choose a surrogate. Regardless, IPs and surrogates will always meet before anything is finalized to make sure it’s a good fit for all. Do not move forward if you have any reservations or are uncomfortable with your match.
The medical element of surrogacy is extensive. In the beginning, you will go through fertility treatments to regulate your menstrual cycle and make your uterus as fertile as possible for incoming embryos.
With IVF, fertilized embryos from the IPs will be implanted into your uterus. Please remember that an embryo implantation may not be successful the first time. It often takes several embryo transfer attempts to achieve a successful surrogate pregnancy. If a pregnancy does fail, stay open and honest with the IPs. You’re all in this together, and mutual feelings will be shared whether it’s disappointment or joy.
One of the main concerns women have about surrogacy is whether or not they’ll have emotional ties to the baby/babies. Not all women are the same, but as long as you have a clear understanding of the process and a good relationship with the IPs, you’re more likely to not develop extra personal feelings. However, hormones may make you feel otherwise at different points during or after your pregnancy. It’s all completely normal – during these times, lean on your support system and reach out to experienced surrogates who have been in your shoes.
Life After Surrogacy
Your role as a surrogate will vary depending on what was agreed upon at the beginning of this journey. Some surrogates will be a part of the baby’s life, while others won’t. Either way, it’s easy to say life won’t completely go back to normal right away. Your body will go through an adjustment period post-pregnancy, and you’ll hopefully have created long-lasting bonds with the Intended Parent(s).
From applying to delivery, the surrogacy journey can take anywhere from 14-24 months. Times will vary the most when it comes to matching you with IPs.
Become a Surrogate for Choice Surrogacy
Surrogacy is an incredible opportunity that allows women to give the gift of life to others, but it isn’t for everyone. Remember to take your time with this decision and reach out to forums or surrogacy support groups to talk through this process with experienced surrogates. If you’re ready to start this amazing journey, start an application with Choice Surrogacy at any time. We look forward to welcoming you to our community of wonderful women.