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Previously on this blog, we explored some of the top reasons to become a surrogate mother for parents struggling with fertility issues. Now that you have decided to take the leap and make the transition from prospective mother to expectant mother, it is important to make sure that you have the best advocacy for your own well being possible. At Open Arms, we pride ourselves on offering our surrogacy families complete and thorough support during the antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum experience.

Because of the significant variations in surrogacy law from state to state, it is vital that both the surrogate and the biological/adoptive parents consult an attorney well versed in this legislation. While some states do not recognize parental rights solely based on biological indicators, therefore prohibiting or severely inhibiting surrogacy contracts, others are quite receptive and provide highly specific guidelines for these contracts to be written up. Many of the donor families have already consulted an experienced attorney as part of the preparation for starting assisted reproduction, but it is imperative that there be good communication between both parties in the contract to prevent discord and/or legal liability. Your dedicated patient navigator will assist both you as the woman who chose to become a surrogate and the biological parents finding a qualified professional to help with this.

At Open Arms, we strive to pair the perfect family with the perfect surrogate. This is why on your intake paperwork, we asked you to complete a psychological evaluation determining your readiness to participate in the process, and to ascertain your moral, cultural and religious leanings regarding prenatal traditions. If a surrogate’s fundamental belief system is in conflict with the biological parents, it is a recipe for disaster. There are too many cases of surrogates being sued by the biological parents for how they interact with the prenatal healthcare system to make this an area we don’t need to prevent.

By providing a thorough and well facilitated effort to align similar belief systems and health practices, we here at Open Arms make your decision to become a surrogate relatively painless. Your dedicated patient advocate will be available to you through our patient portal anytime, to address questions and concerns you may be having about the pregnancy or the pending delivery of the baby. We will work in concert with you and the prospective parents to develop a birthing plan that is inclusive to everyone and strive to assure a positive labor and delivery experience.

We also follow up with our surrogates for a lengthy period after the delivery and transition of the infant to his or her new family. To become a surrogate takes a lot of commitment, and unlike most new mothers, the baby does not come home with you. The hormonal shifts, postpartum recovery and transition back to “normal daily life” come much more easily to the biological parents than the surrogates. Our treatment, team guided approach to every aspect of your mental and physical recovery from the birth process will continue until you are whole.

Our nursing staff and clinicians will assist you as you navigate the Human Resource paperwork mountain that comes with requesting FMLA. Our psychologists and counselors will help you work through the stages of the grieving process, and give you coping skills to deal with explaining to well intentioned but ham handed well wishers who may not understand your decision to become a surrogate. Our financial advisors will help you plan a budget for your medical leave, and assist you with handling the hospital stay and associated medical bills as they arrive.

When you decided to become a surrogate mother with Open Arms, we didn’t just accept you. We accepted your entire family. You’ve already had an uncomplicated delivery and have custody of at least one child before you came to us. You are between 21 and 40, and have a BMI less than 30% before the pregnancy. But your partner may have concerns about the what ifs in the process, and we are prepared to help you through this too.

Our private online support group for surrogate mothers within our agency is an essential service that we are honored to provide. Meet other mothers who are going through similar challenges, and get peer advice that will help deal with family stressors as they come up. The forum is moderated by a trained surrogacy advocate, and will always be a reliable source of advice and support on the surrogacy journey.

Many expectant mothers in traditional labor and delivery situations have a significant amount of anxiety about not surviving the LDRP process. Open Arms gives you and your family peace of mind, with every surrogate that completes the required paperwork and follows all of the established treatment plan being offered a $250,000 life insurance policy free of charge. This gives many partners and loved ones peace of mind that you have really thought everything through, and will make your labor/delivery experience more positive overall.

When you decided to begin the journey and become a surrogate mother, you began a journey that will transform dozens of lives with a single, selfless act. While there are financial benefits to the surrogate and their family, most of our surrogate mothers are proud to have been able to give the gift of a baby to a family who has struggled to conceive on their own. From the reviews page on our website: “Quelled every reservation we had about going the surrogacy route. Her team works with the best women both on staff and as surrogates. We will all have a lifelong connection from going through this journey together.-Carissa A.”

We look forward to assisting you on the journey to become a surrogate mother. Please feel free to contact us through our website, browse the surrogacy requirements in full, or complete the online application to start your conversation. You will be so glad you did, because we will be there for you every step of the way–with wide, Open Arms.

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