How to Find a Surrogate Mother for Your Journey
When searching for a potential surrogate (formerly called surrogate mother), several key factors should be carefully considered to ensure a successful surrogacy journey.
Health and Medical History:
One of the foremost considerations is the surrogate’s health and the health of the fetus. A comprehensive medical history review, including previous pregnancies, is essential in evaluating potential surrogates. A surrogate must be in good overall health, with no major medical conditions that could pose risks during pregnancy. A history of successful pregnancies can be indicative of her suitability.
Emotional and Mental Well-being:
Emotional stability is paramount. An emotionally resilient surrogate should have the capacity to handle the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy. A thorough psychological assessment can help identify any potential issues and gauge her readiness for the journey.
Experience and Understanding:
A surrogate with prior experience is often preferred. Her understanding of the surrogacy process and its demands can contribute to a smoother journey. This experience can encompass both prior surrogacy journeys and personal pregnancies.
Lifestyle and Values:
Compatibility in lifestyle and values is crucial. Open discussions about habits, beliefs, and preferences can help align expectations and reduce potential conflicts. Shared values can foster a stronger connection throughout the process.
Communication and Relationship:
A surrogate willing to communicate openly and establish a positive relationship is beneficial. Regular communication ensures all parties are on the same page, fostering trust and mutual understanding. Compatibility in communication styles can lead to a more pleasant experience.
Legal and Regulatory Compliance:
Ensuring the surrogate is legally eligible to participate is fundamental. Adhering to relevant laws and regulations in your jurisdiction is essential to prevent legal challenges down the line. You must work with a licensed assisted-reproduction attorney that is knowledgeable about surrogacy.
Agency or Independent Search:
Decide whether you’ll search for a surrogate through a surrogacy agency or independently. For a very high price tag, agencies can offer support throughout the process, while an independent match gives you more control over the selection and generally quicker match times. Many experienced surrogates prefer independent surrogacy. Sites like SurrogacyPlace.com are a great place to search for surrogates independently.
Listen to your intuition. A sense of rapport and connection during the initial conversations can indicate a potential surrogate who is right for your specific requirements and situation.
Ask lots of questions during matching! Take the time to interview several potentials – the right fit is essential.
Since you’ll probably be conducting your interview over video conferencing, you’ll need thoughtful preparation to ensure a productive and engaging conversation. Create a list of questions you want to cover ahead of time. You may want to ask your fertility clinic and an assisted reproduction attorney for questions to add to your list. It’s smart to start the interview with a friendly greeting and a brief introduction of yourself and why you are looking to start a surrogacy journey. Maintain good eye contact by looking at the camera rather than the potential surrogate’s video. Pay close attention to her responses. Don’t make assumptions, listen to her answers and delve deeper when needed. Avoid interrupting and give them space to express their thoughts. Use open-ended questions to encourage detailed and insightful responses. Allow the potential surrogate to share stories and elaborate on her experiences. If you don’t understand something or something seems troubling, ask for clarification. Dedicate a portion of time for the potential surrogate to ask questions about you, your family, and your lifestyle. After the interview, review your notes and evaluate suitability in an objective way. If you feel you didn’t have time to fully evaluate a potential surrogate, ask for a following up call! During matching, both sides should feel confident in their decision. Remember, surrogacy is a big commitment on both sides, you’ll want to find a suitable partner.
Here’s some sample surrogate matching questions:
- Why have you seeking a surrogate arrangement? Could you share your motivations behind your desire to become a surrogate?
- Are you interested in gestational or traditional surrogacy?
- What aspects of surrogacy do you look forward to?
- In the event that this surrogacy experience is successful, would you consider a subsequent journey for a sibling?
- What is the maximum number of embryos you’re willing to transfer at a time? If an embryo splits, are you willing to carry twins or multiples?
- What’s your expectations in terms of compensation?
- In addition to compensation, what are you expectations of additional reimbursements and benefits? E.g. lost wages, child care reimbursements, housekeeping budget, maternity clothes.
- Do you have surrogacy-friendly medical insurance?
- What is your projected timeline for embryo transfer/starting the surrogacy journey?
- Tell us about your history as a surrogate. Are you willing to provide references to past Intended Parents?
- Could you provide information about your previous pregnancies, including your own children?
- Do you have access to past pregnancy medical records?
- Are we on the same page regarding dietary preferences, travel restrictions, safe pregnancy protocols?
- What is your anticipated birth plan? Are you near a hospital that has a top-tier NICU? Are you looking to do a home birth?
- Are you currently on any medications?
- How do you feel about vaccinations such as Whooping Cough, season flu, and Covid-19?
- Do you take smoke, drink, or use drugs?
- Would you be willing to adhere to all healthy pregnancy recommendations provided by medical professionals?
- How do you feel about termination or selective reduction?
- How comfortable are you with managing medications and administering injections?
- Can you commit to attending all medical appointments?
- If required, could you commit to a period of bed rest and do you have a support system in place to help?
- Regarding the delivery, who would you like to be present in the delivery room?
- Have you thought about who should have the first opportunity to hold the baby?
- Are you open to pumping breastmilk? Shipping breastmilk?
- When it comes to communication and relationship dynamics, what are the expectations and desires?
- What type of updates are you willing to provide as we navigate this surrogacy journey together?
- Is the notion of maintaining contact after the baby is born something you desire?
- Are there any upcoming travel plans we should take into consideration? How often do you leave your home state?
- Are you on any sort of government assistance including food or housing assistance?
- Tell me about your spouse/family and children – do you have a support system in place for all aspects of a future surrogacy journey?
Finding the right surrogate involves a comprehensive evaluation of her medical history and general health, emotional well-being, experience, values, communication skills, legal eligibility, and your own intuition. It’s ill advised to compromise your non-negotiables to make a match work – it will generally lead to a bad surrogacy experience and a stressful journey.
If you’d like to start finding surrogacy matches, create your profile at SurrogacyPlace.com!
FAQ – How to find a Surrogate Mother
What role does the surrogate’s health and medical history play in the selection process?
The surrogate’s health and medical history are crucial aspects. A comprehensive review, including previous pregnancies, is essential to evaluate her suitability. She must be in good overall health with no major medical conditions that could pose risks during pregnancy.
How important is emotional and mental well-being in a surrogate?
Emotional stability is paramount. An emotionally resilient surrogate should have the capacity to handle the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy. A thorough psychological assessment can gauge her readiness for the journey.
Is prior experience a significant factor in choosing a surrogate?
Yes, prior experience is often preferred. It demonstrates her understanding of the surrogacy process and its demands, contributing to a smoother journey.
Why is compatibility in lifestyle and values important?
Compatibility in lifestyle and values is crucial to align expectations and reduce potential conflicts. Shared values can foster a stronger connection throughout the process.
How crucial is legal compliance in the selection process?
Ensuring the surrogate is legally eligible is fundamental. Adhering to relevant laws and regulations is essential to prevent legal challenges. Work with a licensed assisted-reproduction attorney knowledgeable about surrogacy.
Should I choose a surrogate through an agency or independently?
You can decide between using a surrogacy agency or conducting an independent search. Agencies offer support, while an independent search gives more control over selection and often quicker match times. Sites like SurrogacyPlace.com are a great place to search for surrogates independently.
How important is intuition in the selection process?
Trusting your intuition is important. A sense of rapport and connection during initial conversations can indicate a potential surrogate who aligns with your requirements and values.
What questions should I ask during the matching process?
During matching, ask questions related to motivations for surrogacy, willingness to carry twins or multiples, compensation expectations, views on termination, lifestyle considerations and travel restrictions, medical insurance, birth plan, and what support system she has in place. See above for a list of sample questions.
What should I prioritize when evaluating potential surrogates?
Prioritize health, emotional resilience, experience, values, communication skills, legal eligibility, and your own intuition when evaluating potential surrogates.