Before we get into the procedures and technicalities to become a surrogate
, it is only prudent to discuss the meaning of surrogacy and the instances when surrogacy may be required. Surrogacy is a form of assisted reproductive technologies. It is often a legal arrangement where intended parents get into a surrogate contract with a surrogate mother to deliver a baby for them. Surrogacy can be commercial where material compensation to the surrogate mother is involved.
Surrogacy is very necessary as it helps couples get children, especially if they cannot conceive by themselves. Some of the reasons why a couple would opt for surrogacy include:
- Where the woman is medically unable to conceive and carry a pregnancy.
- Where the risks associated with carrying a pregnancy are very high.
- Where the couple is of the same sex.
- Where the intended parent is single.
In the stated circumstances, surrogacy is one of the best methods to help the intended parents get children. Surrogacy is not only beneficial to the intended families but also the surrogate mothers. The most common motivation stated by surrogate mothers is the altruistic desire to help a childless couple. Other less commonly given reasons include enjoying the experience of pregnancy and financial compensation.
Surrogacy laws vary depending on the jurisdiction. These laws determine the legality of surrogacy and the requirements and qualifications of becoming a surrogate.
For you to be qualified to become a surrogate, you need to fulfill the following requirements that are listed below;
- You must be between 21 and 40 years old.
- Your Body Mass Index must be lower than 30.
- You must have given birth to at least one child without any complications during pregnancy.
- You must have at least one child for whom you have legal custody
- You should have a partner who approves of your commitment to helping a family through surrogacy.
- You must not be suffering from any sexually transmitted illnesses.
- You must be free from substance and illicit drug use, including alcohol dependence.
- You have to be a citizen or have legal residence in the country.
- You must be without a criminal record.
- You must be responsible and reliable.
After satisfying all the eligibility requirements, you will now follow through with the process to become a surrogate mother. The process involves medical and psychological evaluations, the contract stage, the pregnancy, and the compensation. Therefore, it is recommended that you consider finding an agency to partner with you in the journey to becoming a surrogate. It is essential that the agency is legitimate and has a good record of successfully helping women who were on the same journey of becoming surrogates.
When you decide to go through an agency, the process will include the following stages;
Application; you will be required to fill in an application form provided by the agency. The agency will consider your application expressing your intention of becoming a surrogate, and once your application is accepted, the agency will contact you to proceed to the next stages. In the application stage, some of the information you will be required to provide include; your contact information, and pre-qualification questions to determine whether you are well suited to become a surrogate
Once the agency accepts your application, the next stage is choosing your intended parents. At this stage, the agency will send you profiles of intended parents, and you will be free to choose a couple that you feel are suitable for you and your family. After that, you will contact them, either in person or in virtual meetings, depending on what is convenient for all the parties. Choosing your intended family carefully is crucial because they will be a part of your life during your surrogacy journey and possibly throughout your life.
Once you have chosen your intended parents, you will go through a series of medical and psychological screenings. The medical evaluations will be conducted at the intended parents’ fertility clinic of choice. Having an agency will be helpful, especially at this stage as it might involve making travel arrangements and booking appointments, at which point the agency would come in handy.
Upon successful completion of the medical and psychological evaluations, and you have been declared fit to become a surrogate
mother, you will move to the contracting stage. At this point, you will have an independent attorney, preferably one with experience in matters involving third-party reproduction. The attorney will represent you in making the surrogacy contract to ensure that your rights and interests are adequately taken care of under the contract.
The next stage of the process to become a surrogate
mother involves receiving treatment to enhance your fertility, to prepare your body to receive the embryo. The intended parents usually choose the fertility clinic where this process is done. At the fertility clinic, blood tests, ultrasounds, and pregnancy tests are some of the tests you will have to do. Once you are confirmed to be pregnant, you move to the next stage of the pregnancy.
Once you are pregnant, you will be at liberty to choose an obstetrician who will provide antenatal care for you. You will also get to select a hospital of choice, from where you will deliver the baby. At this point, an agency would come in handy in ensuring that the paperwork and other required procedures at delivery are correctly done.
The final step of the process is compensation. This step will vary depending on the contract entered into by you and the intended parents. It is also regulated by the laws of the jurisdiction in which you reside. In jurisdictions where commercial surrogacy is legal, and your surrogacy agreement contains provisions for compensation, you will be compensated for your kindness. Surrogate mothers have reported feeling fulfilled and happy to have helped a family get a baby. Families have also reported feeling tremendously happy and grateful to the surrogate mothers for helping them get children.
In conclusion, surrogacy is an act of kindness that is appreciated, and there is tremendous support for women intending to become surrogate mothers. The agencies are also beneficial in helping surrogate mothers through the rigorous process to become a surrogate