Surrogacy is a wonderful opportunity for couples that cannot have a child on their own. It provides them with the baby they’ve always dreamed about. In today’s society it has become increasing poplar among the LGBTQ community. This helps them complete the family they’ve already started to create. With the increasing popularity of surrogacy there also needs to be an increasing number of surrogates.
What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is when you carry a child for another couple or individual. However, when you become a surrogate it’s much more than just becoming a vessel. It is a selfless act of giving the great see gift of joy to another person and their partner. The process of surrogacy involves a lot of doctor visits. The surrogate mother would go through in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. This is how the pregnancy is achieved. IVF treatments are where the sperm and egg are combined outside of the body becoming a fertilized pair. After a successful fertilization occurs then the eggs are implanted into the uterus. The surrogate mother will then carry the pregnancy to to term, which his usually nine months or 40 weeks. They will then deliver the baby. After delivery the expecting parents will then get to meet their child you helped bring into this world.
When you make the decision to become a surrogate you have to go through a screening process. The screening process will let you know if you are an ideal candidate for becoming a surrogate mother. The purpose of this process is to make sure you are healthy enough to carry a pregnancy and psychologically inclined to do so as well. This will protect the health and safety of both you and the baby. Some of the requirements that need to be met by most agencies are:
* Falling within a certain age category. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine says, the age of surrogates should lie between 21-45.
* Have a body mass index of 30 or less. This will decease health related issues for the pregnancy.
* You can not be a smoker or a drug user.
* You need to of had, at the minimum, one successful pregnancy.
* No major complications from your prior pregnancy or pregnancies.
* You can not have a felony charge.
* You have to remain STD free for at least one year. The STDs also have to be treatable.
* No postpartum depression in your medical history.
* You will have to quit taking any antidepressants or anxiety medications for roughly one year prior to the surrogacy.
* Have the transportation and ability to travel as needed to the important doctors appointments.
If you meet the qualifications of the surrogacy agency and still decide to become a surrogate the next steps are to proceed with the actual screening process. This is an important step by step process for all parties involved. The most generalized elements involved in the process are:
* Putting in an application. This application asks you mainly about yourself and why you are choosing to become a surrogate. It will include information about your medical history as well. After submission the surrogacy specialists will be in touch with you for more information details.
* Next part of the process would be the physical examination. This exam will include meeting with the fertility specialists and having lab work ran. The lab work is imperative for a healthy pregnancy.
* After an examination you may have a social worker meet you in your home to discuss motives and reasonings behind carrying a child.
* You will be required to submit to background checks and criminal records.
* After all of this you will need to meet with a mental health professional to determine if you are mentally prepared. You will be required to understand the emotional impact of a surrogacy and be deemed mentally ready for surrogacy challenges.
Surrogacy and the Medical Requirements
The main goal of your choice to become a surrogate is to give a couple the gift of a child. In order to do so it’s imperative your body is functioning at a 100% healthy level. The entire pregnancy your health will be monitored. You will be made to go through a variety of medical screenings like STD screenings, drug usage, and other diseases that can affect a pregnancy. Your spouse or partner will also be tested as well. Your uterus will also have ultrasounds done to ensure you have a healthy uterus suitable for a baby. Among the variety of test you will also go through fertility treatments to prepare your body for the IVF treatments. After all of those necessary medical screenings and treatments are finished you will be required to go to prenatal visits to monitor the baby’s health. Sometimes the couples can be allowed to join you in the appointments which gives them room for even more excitement.
Surrogacy Legal Requirements
With the surrogacy arrangements from IVF and screening processes the most important one, by far, is the legal one. This is a legal agreement between yourself and the expecting parents. This is an arrangement that’s done before the medical procedures will begin. The contracts will include your compensation, your requirements as being the surrogate mother, any of the possible risks, and at what time the child will be given to the couple, etc. When you become a surrogate this is a mandatory thing to do.
How You are Helping the LGBTQ Community
When you have made the decision to become a surrogate for a same sex couple you are giving them something they can not achieve by themselves. You are helping a community of people who have the potential to be amazing parental figures. Just because the LGBTQ community is not a conventional same sex couple scenario doesn’t mean they cannot provide just as much love to a child of their own. There are many hardships the LGBTQ community have faced and your decision to be a surrogate mother to them is not one of them. With the legality of same sex couples adopting or having a surrogate, changing so are the needs of a big percentage of the community. Helping the LGBTQ community achieve the goal of a family life.