Becoming a surrogate mother is a very important decision to make that will have an important impact on the lives of many people. Helping a person or couple to fulfill their dreams of having a child by carrying it for them is a wonderful gift to give. But before you make this commitment you should be aware of several important factors that go along with applying to be a surrogate mother. First, an agency will need to decide if you fit the right criteria by not only being physically healthy but mentally ready for a pregnancy that after the birth, you will have to give the child away to the family. Ask yourself why you want to be a surrogate mother and make sure you understand the full process.
Why Do You Want to Become a Surrogate Mother?
Perhaps you were inspired by another surrogate mother to do the same for a person or family you have never met or maybe you want to do it to help out a close friend or family member who is unable to become pregnant. But really think about this decision and give yourself plenty of time to decide by not rushing into a commitment as large and important as this.
Understand the Application Process
Each state will have different surrogate laws and you need to be sure to understand the laws of your state in order to understand the process. The process of applying to an agency is pretty similar wherever you go. The basic application is to see if you qualify at all as far as age, current health, and the history of your past pregnancies. Sources such as Center for Surrogate Parenting help you to learn more about becoming a surrogate.
Typically, qualified mothers include those who meet the following criteria on the most basic level:
- At least early 20s as the minimum age
- Has given birth to at least one baby
- Has not had more than two C-sections
A surrogate mother should also understand pregnancy and childbirth risks as well as be both physically and mentally ready to carry another person’s child. Along with necessary background checks and visits to an OBGYN, a woman can begin the process of meeting with a person or a couple to see if they would like her to carry their child.
If a woman does not pass the basic qualifications, the agency will let her know as soon as possible. If a woman is suitable to be considered, she will continue with the application process.
The Steps of Being a Surrogate: Before, During, and After
Before a surrogate mother becomes pregnant by in vitro fertilization, there are different steps she will need to take. To ensure that the pregnancy is successful, a doctor might do a practice (mock) embryo transfer to ensure that the embryos are able to be placed into the uterus and perform a uterine cavity exam to do an ultrasound and examine the uterus and cervix. You will need to discuss with the person or couple how many eggs will be placed during the IVF. Typically no more than two are placed at a time if a surrogate is unsure that she will be able to handle multiple pregnancies.
About two to six days after an egg is retrieved, the embryo is ready to be transferred to the surrogate through a catheter syringe into the uterus. A mild sedative may be used and afterwards there might be
some discomfort including bloating, cramping, constipation, and tenderness. If you experience any intense pain after the in vitro fertilization, get in touch with your doctor so he can check things over.
During the pregnancy, your relationship with the person or couple will grow as you share the experience of the baby’s development. Continuously meet up as the pregnancy progresses to keep each other updated including OBGYN visits and anything else that may come up as far as the baby’s health.
Before the baby is born, you and the person or couple will need to decide how much you will be part of the child’s life. Express your feelings of whether or not you wish to be part of their life and how often you wish to visit the family if it is frequently, once in a while, or just keep in contact through email. Every surrogacy will be different but either way you will be helping to start a family and that is a wonderful gift to give.