Becoming a surrogate is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. If you have a child, you know what joy and happiness they bring into your life. Pregnancy comes easy for many couples, but others aren’t so lucky. You can help bring the gift of life to families that can’t have children on their own. Read on for a list of 10 things you need to know when you’re considering becoming a surrogate.
Requirements for becoming a surrogate are simple and clear. These stipulations are in place to promote the health of all parties involved. To become a surrogate, you must meet these qualifications:
- Age between 21-39
- BMI (body mass index) under 32
- Non-smoker and must not use drugs
- Reside in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Nevada, Texas, Oregon, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Washington State,
- Have had at least one pregnancy with no complications
- Not receiving any type of government assistance
2) Application Process
If you meet the qualifications above, you can apply to become a surrogate. This online application is free and will ask you questions about your health, habits, and other personal information. If your application is approved, you will receive an email explaining your next steps. Family Creations representatives are also available to answer any questions you have along the way about becoming a surrogate.
Approved candidates will then fill out their online profiles. Intended parents view these profiles to help them decide on a surrogate. A Family Creations representative will also call you to perform an interview, in which they will learn more about you and explain more of the process to you.
3) Physical and Mental Screenings
It is important that you are in good physical and mental health to become a surrogate. You will need to meet with a therapist who will do a psychological evaluation. The intended parents will choose a doctor who will perform your physical evaluation. These typically consist of a full physical, disease screening, drug and nicotine screening, and other tests. If you’re married, your partner may also be required to undergo disease screenings. You must be cleared by the doctor to move forward in the surrogacy process.
4) Meeting with the Intended Parents
A meeting will be facilitated between you (and your partner, if applicable) and the intended parents. During this meeting, you will have the opportunity to get to know each other and figure out if you are a good fit for each other or not. If all goes well, you can move forward with the process of becoming a surrogate.
5) Case Manager
You will be assigned a case manager. Your case manager will help you throughout the entire process. They will refer you to a lawyer that is experienced with parenting services. They will help coordinate your doctor’s visits and ensure you are on track with your and the baby’s health.
The medication process takes about 4-6 weeks. The series of medicine is self-injectable, so you will need to give yourself shots on a daily basis. This will help synchronize your menstrual cycle with the intended mother’s cycle, as well as thicken the lining of the uterus for acceptance of the embryo.
7) Embryo Transfer
The embryo transfer is a fairly simple and non-invasive procedure that likely won’t require anesthesia. A catheter is used to guide carefully selected embryos into the uterus. An ultrasound is then performed to ensure the embryo was placed properly. After the embryo is deposited, surrogates will need bed rest for up to two days. Twelve days after the procedure, you will take a blood pregnancy test. The embryo transfer may have to be repeated a second or third time.
As with any pregnancy, you will need to attend multiple doctor visits. First, you will see a fertility specialist regularly. After about 8-10 weeks, you will attend regular maternity visits with an obstetrician. If all goes well and as planned, you will have a healthy, normal pregnancy throughout all three terms. If complications occur, don’t fret. Your case manager and skilled doctors will be there to give advice and form proper treatment plans and procedures. Embryos are often inserted in doubles, and this can result in twins. If this occurs, your intended parents will be blessed with two bundles of joy.
9) The Birth
When the big day comes, you get to give the parents their own little bundle of joy. Since surrogates are required to have had at least one child previously, you can understand the gift of happiness that you have made possible by bringing this child into their lives. The parents will take their newborn home that day.
The best bonus to being a surrogate is the satisfaction you get from helping others and giving them a child to love. But that’s not the only bonus. Surrogates are monetarily compensated for their time, travel, efforts, and the physical hardships that accompany pregnancy. Becoming a surrogate can mean the difference between being able to stay at home with your child or not.
Becoming a surrogate is a big decision. Take plenty of time to discuss the process with your partner or other family members. There are many families out there who can’t have a child on their own, but you can help them achieve their dreams of expanding their loving family. Once you’ve thought it over, get started by filling out an online application with Family Creations.