In terms of giving a priceless gift to another person, there is nothing more important that you can do than become a gestational surrogate. To be the bedrock for the growth of a tiny human, to give others the opportunity to start or continue a family, to help people who are out of options otherwise, is the most selfless of gifts. For this and many other reasons, women all over the world choose to become a gestational surrogate.
If this is something that you’re considering, we urge you to contact us with any questions you have about gestational surrogacy. Here, we’ll explore some of the more common questions and answers about gestational surrogacy.
If you’re considering gestational surrogacy, you may feel overwhelmed by questions. You have perhaps heard a lot of different things about it from other women you know who have been surrogates. Perhaps you’ve even heard some horror stories (and you may have some misgivings.) We’ll discuss some of the greatest concerns women have about surrogacy here.
Are You Considering Gestational Surrogacy?
The most important question for a woman to consider is why you are considering gestational surrogacy. It’s particularly essential because you want to be personally motivated beyond the compensation and the parents’ desires. If your sister wants you to carry her child because you have a few kids of your own but you can’t find any joy in that for yourself, don’t allow yourself to be pushed or pressured into making that decision. Surrogacy is a considerable investment of time, energy, and health and surrogates who do best are those who can find great personal joy in being a surrogate.
In terms of compensation, it may be very generous. You may think, wow, I could really use that money. (Who couldn’t?!) It is an excellent motivator, but surrogates who get the most out of the process attest to the fact that it’s really not about the money. It’s about how they feel about the process and how it serves their needs and those of the intended parents. It’s about giving a gift they could never have without you. It’s about bringing a new life into the world to start a new family; it is, ultimately, about giving the gift of life.
Top 10 Questions To Ask Yourself About Surrogacy
All surrogates are different, because all women are different. Every potential surrogate should ask themselves some important questions before taking on the journey of surrogacy.
- Why do I want to be a surrogate?
This is of course the most important question to ask yourself before starting down the surrogacy path. Again, the compensation is really nice, and it can certainly be helpful, but it is far from the only reason you might consider becoming a gestational surrogate. Many feel that their time, energy, physical and emotional well-being, and more are worth considerably more than any payment could possibly defray.
That being said, there are many worthy reasons beyond money. Some surrogates are helping a family member start their own family. Some surrogates feel so strongly about the gift of motherhood that it is vital for them to be able to help others have that gift. There are many reasons to choose to become a gestational surrogate, finding those that work best for you is essential to a healthy surrogacy.
- How is my health?
Surrogates must have a good health history and a record of healthy pregnancies and deliveries. Additionally, you need to avoid recreational drugs and alcohol, live a healthy lifestyle and of course, be a non-smoker. You need to be able to support an extremely healthy pregnancy and delivery.
- What is my C-section history like?
Women who have had more than 3 C-sections are not generally eligible for surrogacy because of their increased risk. Caesarean sections are especially risky during a woman’s pregnancy and her delivery.
Is it okay if people look into my background and history?
Becoming a gestational surrogate usually involves in-depth personality testing, background checks, psychological profile interviews and can seem quite intrusive. Make sure you’re okay with people looking into your past. It is, after all, for the health of your pregnancy and delivery. If you’re not okay with this, being a surrogate is probably not for you.
- Have I had at least one child?
To be a successful gestational surrogate, you must have had at least one prior healthy pregnancy and delivery and be raising your children in your own home. Surrogate pregnancy presents its own unique challenges that are impossible to gauge without having previously had a healthy baby. Some agencies also require that you presently have at least one child still living at home.
- Am I gainfully employed?
Most surrogacy agencies will not accept candidates for surrogacy who are receiving government assistance. Additionally, having your own source of income ensures that you are in a stable living situation.
- Do I meet the basic qualifications?
Essentially, a gestational surrogate must be between the ages of 20 and 42, have regular menstrual cycles, have a BMI below 30 and live a healthy lifestyle (e.g. no drinking during a pregnancy, no smoking or recreational drug use).
- How were my previous pregnancies?
Your track record of previous pregnancies should be complication-free. Additionally, consider your own discomforts during your previous pregnancies, like prolonged labor and delivery or terrible morning sickness. Going through this while pregnant with your own child is worth the effort; going through this for another person’s child is a different story entirely.
- How’s my support system?
It’s reassuring for the intended parents to know that you have a strong and healthy support system. It’s crucial for you, however, to be able to have people who you can talk to and vent, who you can call upon if you need some help managing your kids at home or getting to doctor’s appointments or just to give you a breather so that you can maintain optimally low stress levels.
- Am I emotionally ready?
Being a gestational surrogate is an intensely emotional process. It’s essential to understand that going through a pregnancy for someone else isn’t the same as doing so for yourself; it carries its own emotional ups and downs. There is a very valid concern you may feel about bonding to the baby during pregnancy, and not want to give it to its intended parents. Surrogacy is a huge commitment, and devoting time and energy to considering your emotions beforehand is vital.
The Process: An Overview
The gestational surrogacy process involves a number of steps, the first of which is deciding that you want to be a surrogate. Whether you have decided to become a surrogate for a friend or family member or a stranger, there are legal as well as medical logistics to work out. Because of this, most surrogates and intended parents use the services of an agency specializing in bringing together surrogates with intended parents. Surrogacy agencies assist in several steps of the process, which can include:
- Deciding to become a surrogate/use a surrogate.
- Preparing for surrogacy. In this step, you may choose a surrogacy agency to assist you in your surrogacy. You may elect to use a surrogacy attorney instead, but bear in mind that surrogacy agencies offer the legal expertise of their retained attorney(s) as well as matching services, all of the medical support, and more.
- Finding a match, if you don’t already have one. It’s essential that both the surrogate and intended parents feel good about the match. The closeness of their relationship will be decided between them, but having a relationship that works for all parties is crucial.
- Completing the legal requirements. This includes signing all contracts, assessing the possible risks, and compensation. An agency will provide you with an attorney they have retained for this specific purpose. For a gestational surrogate, this will also be the step that ensures your monthly payments for expenses begin.
- Starting the fertilization and embryo transfer processes. This is where the medical procedures involved with surrogacy really take off. It’s vital to the health of the surrogate’s pregnancy and the intended parents’ child she is carrying that the surrogate follow all doctor’s orders precisely.
- Delivering and welcoming the new baby! Once the baby is born and everyone is discharged from the hospital, the relationship between the surrogate and intended parents may progress or diminish based on the needs of all included parties. What won’t diminish is the priceless gift a surrogate gives to the intended parents.
What To Watch Out For
- Research, research, research. Find out how much surrogacy services in your area run in terms of compensation. Check out the reviews and information on your chosen agency given by previous clients on various platforms.
- Have a signed agreement in place before starting ANY medical treatment.
- Beware of a last-minute “switch” in surrogacy arrangement, especially if you are told the intended parents changed their minds. (This process is generally quite costly, and you’re carrying the parents’ baby, so this almost never happens.)
- Stay local if possible, and work with a local agency or attorney if you can so that you can meet in person.
- There is no such thing as a dumb question, so ask them all. Make sure the agency you choose doesn’t try to hurry you or make you feel like you have to make a decision quickly. If they do, please seek out another agency. The agency you work with must have your best interests at heart, and that includes answering any and all questions you may have.
- If for any reason your gut feeling is off, or you just don’t have a good feeling about it, find another agency. Always trust your gut.
Above & Beyond Surrogacy
At Above & Beyond Surrogacy, we specialize in finding gestational surrogates their ideal match with intended parents. Above & Beyond Surrogacy is founded by a five-time surrogate mother herself, so we truly understand the process from a first-person perspective. Additionally, we have 20+ years of experience in child development and education, provide extensive personal support to our surrogates, and ensure that gestational surrogate mothers are 100% comfortable with their intended parents. We won’t proceed without making sure you are absolutely certain this is the right decision for you. After all, we only want to impart the benefits of gestational surrogacy that we have found so rewarding to you.
While becoming a gestational surrogate is a serious decision that requires the utmost care in making, it’s a joyous and beautiful occasion as well. Throughout your pregnancy you will know that you are giving a family who otherwise would not have it a brand new life, greater hope for growth, and more happiness than they would ever know otherwise. You’ll be financially compensated, of course, but the true joy of surrogacy comes when you see the intended parents hold their baby for the first time. You simply won’t believe your eyes.
We work to ensure your ultimate assurance and comfort through a process than many feel may be fraught with complications. We are your advocate and your support, and we assure you that you will never feel like you’re just a number at Above & Beyond Surrogacy. Your safety, security and satisfaction are our first responsibility.
Are You Ready?
Do you think you’re ready to become a gestational surrogate? Offering the gift of a child to parents who cannot have children, whether due to medical reasons, sexual orientation, or other reasons, is the opportunity of a lifetime. As Mother Teresa said, “The greatest good is what we do for one another.” There is truly no greater gift than the gift of life.
Please feel free to contact us at any time with any questions you have or to begin the process of becoming a gestational surrogate! We are always here to help in making one of the most important decisions of your life. We look forward to hearing from you.