Becoming a surrogate mother is a selfless act that allows women to help others achieve their dreams of having a family. It is a complex process that requires physical and emotional dedication, but for many women, the rewards of helping create a family are worth it. If you are considering becoming a surrogate mother, there are many factors to consider, including the legal and medical aspects of the process, as well as the emotional impact it may have on you and your own family.
What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a process in which a woman (the surrogate) agrees to carry a baby for another person or couple (the intended parents) who are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy themselves. There are two types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational.
- In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother is artificially inseminated with the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm, and she carries the baby to term and gives birth. In this case, the surrogate is the biological mother of the child.
- In gestational surrogacy, the intended mother’s or a donor’s egg is fertilized with the intended father’s or a donor’s sperm through in vitro fertilization (IVF), and the resulting embryo is then transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. In this case, the surrogate is not biologically related to the child.
How Can I Become A Surrogate Mother?
Screening Requirements For Surrogates
There are certain screening requirements that a woman must meet in order to become a surrogate mother. Some of these requirements may vary depending on the specific surrogacy agency or fertility clinic involved, but common screening requirements include:
- Age: Most surrogacy agencies require that a surrogate is between the ages of 21 and 40, although some agencies may allow women up to age 45 to become surrogates.
- Physical and Mental Health: Surrogates must undergo a thorough medical and psychological evaluation to ensure they are physically and mentally healthy enough to carry a pregnancy to term.
- Reproductive History: Surrogates must have previously given birth to a child without complications, and they must not have any medical conditions that could affect their ability to carry a pregnancy to term.
- Lifestyle: Surrogates must lead a healthy lifestyle, free from drugs, alcohol, and smoking. They may also be required to maintain a certain body mass index (BMI) to ensure they are physically healthy enough to carry a pregnancy.
- Legal History: Surrogates must undergo a background check to ensure they have no criminal history that could pose a risk to the child or intended parents.
The screening process for surrogates is designed to ensure that the surrogate is physically and mentally capable of carrying a pregnancy to term and that she is a good fit for the intended parents. It is important for both the surrogate and intended parents to fully understand and agree to the terms of the surrogacy arrangement before proceeding.
Medical Requirements For Surrogates
Some of the medical requirements for surrogates include:
- Comprehensive medical screening: The surrogate must undergo a comprehensive medical screening to evaluate her overall health, including a physical exam, blood tests, and a review of her medical history. The screening process may also include an evaluation of the surrogate’s reproductive health, such as a pelvic exam and a uterine evaluation.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment: In most cases, the intended parents’ embryo(s) are transferred into the surrogate’s uterus via IVF. This involves a series of medical procedures, including hormone injections to stimulate egg production in the intended mother or an egg donor, egg retrieval, fertilization of the eggs with the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm, and embryo transfer into the surrogate’s uterus.
- Prenatal care: The surrogate will need to receive regular prenatal care throughout the pregnancy to ensure that the baby is developing properly and that the pregnancy is progressing normally. This may include regular ultrasounds, blood tests, and other medical exams.
- Medications: Surrogates may need to take medications to prepare their uterus for embryo transfer and to support the pregnancy. These medications may include hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.
- Delivery: The surrogate will deliver the baby via vaginal birth or cesarean section, depending on her medical history and the preferences of the intended parents.
Legal Requirements For Surrogates
Surrogacy involves complex legal considerations, and there are certain legal requirements that surrogates must meet to ensure a successful and legally-binding surrogacy arrangement. These legal requirements may vary depending on the state or country where the surrogacy is taking place, but some common legal requirements for surrogates include:
- Surrogacy agreement: The surrogate and intended parents must enter into a surrogacy agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the surrogacy arrangement. This agreement typically includes information about compensation, medical care, legal rights and responsibilities, and the intended parents’ right to make medical decisions on behalf of the child.
- Legal representation: Surrogates are typically required to have their own legal representation to ensure that their rights are protected throughout the surrogacy process. The intended parents will also have their own legal representation.
- Parental rights: Surrogates must agree to relinquish any parental rights to the child and to allow the intended parents to become the legal parents of the child. This may involve a legal process such as adoption or a pre-birth order, depending on the laws of the state or country where the surrogacy is taking place.
- Background checks: Surrogates may be required to undergo a background check to ensure they have no criminal history that could pose a risk to the child or intended parents.
- Medical insurance: Surrogates must have medical insurance that covers the costs of the pregnancy and delivery. The intended parents may be responsible for paying for any uncovered medical expenses.
In conclusion, surrogacy is a complex process that involves various screening, medical, and legal requirements. It is important to note that the specific requirements for surrogates may vary depending on the surrogacy agency, fertility clinic, or state or country where the surrogacy is taking place. Therefore, it is important to conduct your own research and consult with professionals in the field to fully understand the requirements and implications of becoming a surrogate or pursuing surrogacy as an intended parent.
- Surrogates (2023): https://surrogate.com/surrogates/becoming-a-surrogate/how-can-i-become-a-surrogate-mother/
- Surrogate Health Requirements: Everything to Know Before Starting (2023): https://www.southernsurrogacy.com/surrogates/surrogate-requirements/surrogate-health-requirements/
- How to Qualify to Be a Surrogate Mother with Southern Surrogacy (2023): https://www.southernsurrogacy.com/surrogates/surrogate-requirements/