Being a surrogate is an extremely fulfilling experience. When you become a surrogate, you help people bring their child into the world who could not otherwise become parents. As a surrogate, you’re giving the gift of life that also enables the intended parents to experience the incredible journey of pregnancy with you.
It’s through the generosity and selflessness of surrogate mothers that intended parents are able to fulfill their dream of starting or expanding their family. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering becoming a surrogate.
Traditional versus gestational surrogacy
As a traditional surrogate, you act as the egg donor and subsequently carry the baby. With gestational surrogacy, an embryo is transferred to your uterus using eggs from the intended mother or an egg donor. The type of surrogacy you choose plays a role in your journey.
Become familiar with the general requirements
Having the safest, healthiest pregnancy possible is the number one priority. For this reason, surrogates must meet general requirements. These requirements reflect the guidelines the American Society for Reproductive Medicine set in place. Potential surrogates must meet the following criteria:
- No history of pregnancy complications
- Good general health
- Healthy BMI within the normal range
- No drug use
- Financially stable
- Between the ages of 21 and 40
Surrogacy requires commitment
Before getting started, it’s important for potential surrogates to know that surrogacy is a lengthy process that requires a major commitment. From start to finish, surrogates need to pass medical and psychological exams, match with a couple or individual, complete legal contracts, take medications and injections, become pregnant, and carry the baby safely to term.
From the time of your inquiry, surrogacy can take at least one full year. As a surrogate, you must be able to commit to and be prepared for this lengthy process.
Many issues can arise
When it comes to surrogacy, many issues can arise. There’s a chance that you won’t become pregnant on the first attempt. If this happens, you’ll need to repeat the medication and embryo transfer. There can also be scheduling conflicts, issues with the sperm or egg donor, or your body may not respond as intended to the medication.
While everyone from the doctors to the intended parents works hard to get everything just right, complications are sometimes unavoidable. It’s best for potential surrogates to prepare themselves for a process that may have bumps in the road along the way.
Questions to consider
After you complete the preliminary steps, the next step is to find the right intended parents. You should consider a number of things when it comes to matching with intended parents. Here are just a few questions to ask yourself.
- How many babies are you willing to carry?
- Are you comfortable matching with an LGBT couple or individual?
- Are you comfortable with selective reduction (reducing the number of fetuses in a multifetal pregnancy)?
- Are you willing to provide breast milk following the delivery?
In order to match with the right intended parent or parents, it’s important to know where you stand on a wide variety of issues.
Surrogates must undergo medical and psychological screening
To ensure that you’re ready to become a surrogate, you need to undergo medical and psychological screening. Surrogates need to be prepared to submit to blood tests to check for illnesses and diseases. You also undergo medical tests to ensure that your uterus is healthy.
The psychological evaluation ensures that you’re emotionally prepared to become a surrogate. The screening is performed by a licensed psychologist. It’s important to know that psychologists know that people aren’t perfect. All you have to do is provide honest, authentic answers and be yourself. The goal of the psychologist is to collect meaningful information to determine your readiness to become a surrogate.
Getting started on the journey to surrogacy
For more information on becoming a surrogate and giving the gift of life, call one of our offices in Glendale or Santa Monica, California, or request an appointment using our online booking form. Dr. Vicken Sepilian and his team are eager to discuss the possibility of surrogacy with you.