Let’s check If you can become a Surrogate.
First, do you fit the requirements?
Surrogacy is not for everyone. There are legal and medical requirements, some of which are determined by your location and circumstances.
Below are some of the typical requirements which can vary, though not generally by much:
- Resident of a surrogacy-friendly place e.g. most of the United States outside of Michigan, Louisiana, and Nebraska.
- Between the age of 21-44
- Have had at least one successful full-term pregnancy and at least one biological child of your own that you are actively raising or have raised to adulthood.
- Have had no major pregnancy complications in the past. This includes postpartum depression.
- No more than 4 C-sections, less is preferred generally (or in some cases required).
- Healthy BMI/lifestyle and doesn’t smoke or use certain legal or illegal drugs.
- A supportive/safe environment including a steady income/stable finances and a stable home.
- Willingness to undergo background checks and psych/medical evaluations.
- Willingness to take fertility medications as needed.
- Willingness to forgo dangerous activities during pregnancy.
- Willingness to abstain from sexual activity as needed during critical stages of embryo transfer/development.
Matching with Intended Parents
Whether using an agency or using a self-matching site like SurrogacyPlace.com, you’ll need to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in a surrogacy journey. This is especially true as you begin communicating your requirements to potential matches. You should match with candidates that have values that are similar to yours. This includes views on number of embryos to transfer, views on abortion, thoughts on vaccines, compensation level, and what type of birth plan you’re most comfortable with. You’ll also need to decide on the level of involvement you’re looking for from Intended Parents e.g. Do you want your IPs present at doctor’s appointments? Do you want to keep in touch after the birth of their child(ren)?
After matching, you will authorize the transfer of your medical records to the Intended Parent(s) Reproductive Endocrinologist. He/she will look at your past pregnancy history and do a formal in-person evaluation. In most cases, you’ll also have to undergo a psychological evaluation to determine whether or not you’re in the right state mentally for a surrogacy journey. A licensed psychologist will examine why you want to be a surrogate and evaluate any potential red flags with respect to lifestyle.
All surrogates must have their own legal representation with their attorney fees paid by the Intended Parent(s). Your lawyer along with the attorney representing your IP(s) will negotiate terms including compensation level, birth plan/preferred hospital location, travel restrictions as you approach fetal viability, contingency plans in the event of unexpected complications or emergencies, and the establishment of the IP(s)’ parental rights.
If you are a gestational carrier, after medical and legal are behind you, you’ll begin a medical protocol to prepare your body for embryo implantation. If you are a traditional carrier, the process will be to prepare your body for (IUI) intrauterine insemination. You will take medications designed to regulate your menstrual cycle and thicken the lining of your uterus to prepare for embryo implantation. After your body has properly responded to the regimen of hormones and medications, the embryo transfer process will occur.
Pregnancy and delivery of your surro baby!
If the embryo transfer results in a pregnancy, congratulations to you and to your IP(s)! During pregnancy, you will be monitored by your usual OB-GYN and receive medical care as you would any of your own pregnancies. If the pregnancy goes well, you will delivery a child(ren) to your Intended Parents who will become the immediate legal guardians of the child(ren). There truly is nothing in the world that can describe the feeling of providing a child to those that need your help.