If you think you may want to become a surrogate, there are several things to consider. This is a very serious undertaking. You’ll be changing the life of a family by bringing a child into the world for that family to love and care for. However, the process of getting pregnant and knowing you’ll have to give the baby up after delivery can take an emotional toll on you. The dynamics of your relationship with the parents will also help determine your experience if you decide to become a surrogate. You also have to think about how your family will react to your decision to be a surrogate. Here are some important things to resolve once you’ve made your decision.
Your Well-Being and Overall Health
To become a surrogate, it’s important that you’re in good shape, both physically and emotionally. This means you may have to make some adjustments to your exercise routine or change your diet to make the pregnancy easier and protect the health of the baby.
You should consider your age, since most medical organizations require that you’re at least 21 to go through the surrogate process. If you’re over 35, some clinics will require you to get medical screening to ensure a healthy pregnancy for you and the baby.
Clinics will also change your body mass index (BMI) to ensure you’re in the healthy range based on your weight and height. If you’ve been pregnant before, the clinic will check to ensure that you don’t want any more children for your own family. You’ll also have to confirm that you’ve had at least one healthy pregnancy from conception until delivery.
To prepare yourself mentally for surrogacy, you should speak to a counselor or therapist to explore the pros and cons of having a baby for another family. You need to make sure that the process won’t have a negative affect on you in the long run.
It’s also important to get the insight you need concerning the necessary medical steps to become a surrogate. You may have to take special medications or undergo specific treatments in addition to natural conception to ensure the surrogacy is a success.
Make Sure You Have Support
It’s crucial that you have friends and loved ones around you to give you their support and love during this time in your life. There will likely be times when your hormones are imbalanced and you may laugh or cry uncontrollably or experience highs and lows in your energy levels. You need people in your corner who will be understanding and gentle with you. Of course, you’ll have medical professionals and clinicians, as well as the parents of the surrogate child, as part of your networking during this process. But, you also need individuals you can call on any time of day or night. You’ll need loved ones to share in your difficult moments when you want to cry or need a foot rub, and to celebrate with you during the happy times, like when you feel the baby kick for the first time.
You’ll also have to deal with the people in your life who don’t quite understand why you want to become a surrogate. These people may make offensive comments and ask you personal questions. It’s important to think about how you’ll deal with these situations when they arise so you’ll have a plan in place to reduce the stress.
Even if you consider yourself independent in your thinking and actions, you should have a family member or close friend available to help you through this journey.
Your Interaction with the Intended Parents
Remember that your relationship with the parents of the surrogate child have to take shape naturally. Consider the healthy and fulfilling relationships you have in your life. This will help you set the standard for your relationship with the parents of the child. Make sure your relationship is based on trust and honesty, since you’ll have to communicate often throughout the surrogacy process.
Think about how you’d like to interact with the parents. Do you want to keep in touch with the family over the phone? Do you want to text or FaceTime them to see how everything is going with the baby? Do you and the parents prefer that the baby know who you are as he/she grows? How much do the parents plan on sharing with their child about surrogacy, and how comfortable are you with what the parents tell their son or daughter? If you have a family as well, you’ll also have to consider how involved you want the surrogate to be with your loved ones. You should also think about how involved you want the parents to be during your pregnancy. Make your desires clear concerning whether you want the parents to attend appointments and checkups with you.
Even though you can’t predict the future, you should still give some thought to how you want your family structure to look once the baby is born.
Consider the Cost of Surrogacy
Even though this is an uncomfortable topic, it’s essential that you talk about the expenses associated with surrogacy. The intended parents will want to ensure that you have all the money you need during your pregnancy to take care of healthcare costs and other expenses that will arise, since you may not be able to work for some of your pregnancy.
There’s a popular myth that the intended parents provide a fixed amount to the surrogate mother. However, most surrogates are paid a stipend based on their living situation and the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy. You can also be reimbursed for your surrogacy-related expenses, including maternity clothes, childcare costs for your existing children, treatment costs, and travel costs. The amount of money you receive depends on the specifics of your surrogacy situation, so make sure the financial terms are worked out before you choose to become a surrogate.
The Legal Implications of Surrogacy
If you want to become a surrogate, you should understand that you’ll be the legal mother of the child when the baby is born. Whether you’re related to the intended parents or not, you need to extinguish your parental rights by ensuring that the parents are on the child’s birth certificate. The parents will likely want to get this taken care of right away. Make sure you’re prepared for the swiftness of the process since you’ll likely feel an emotional attachment to the baby once you hold him/her in your arms.
These are just a few things you need to know if you want to be a surrogate mother. Each situation is different, and it’s essential that you keep the lines of communication open through each phase of surrogacy for the process to be successful. Open Arms Surrogacy will help educate you and inform you, and be with you every step of the way if you want to become a surrogate.