Bringing new life into this world is an amazing journey. However, not everyone is able to experience this without the help of others. That’s where surrogacy comes into play. Surrogacy allows a set of parents who are unable to conceive on their own to match up with a woman that is willing to carry a child for them. The surrogate typically receives an embryonic implant and carries the intended parents’ baby to term, handing over the baby after delivery.
There are plenty of reasons that people need a surrogate and plenty of reasons to become a surrogate. Some men and women simply cannot conceive on their own and need someone else to carry their child. Same-sex couples may also need help from a surrogate. There are also people who simply do not feel they can handle the stress or discomfort and pregnancy and would prefer someone else carry the fetus to term for them. No matter the reason, there are plenty of people who wish to become parents but simply cannot do this on their own.
Before jumping at the opportunity to become a surrogate, there are many things you need to know. It may sound like a fun and rewarding process, but it can also be stressful and emotional. Follow these tips to ensure that you are as prepared as possible so that the surrogacy process goes smoothly for both you and the intended parents. If you think you are truly meant to become a surrogate, read on.
Educate yourself on the process
Before jumping on the ship to become a surrogate and have a baby for someone else, be sure you know exactly what is expected of you and how the process works. There are endless resources around to help you with the easy questions. For the more in-depth information on surrogacy, it is recommended that you take surrogacy classes. These classes give you great tips and explain the process in all aspects, ensuring you have thought of everything involved before taking the leap and becoming pregnant.
Assemble a Support Team
Surrogacy requires pregnancy, which is not always a walk in the park. In addition to the pains of pregnancy, there are a lot of emotional aspects to surrogacy. Once you begin to consider becoming a surrogate for someone else, start to put together a group of close family and friends that you can call on when times get rough. Sometimes we just need someone to lend an ear, other times a shoulder to cry on and at other times we just need some practical help with rides and such. Be sure you have people you can count on before you decide to become a surrogate and beginning the journey.
Understand the Realistic Terms of Surrogacy
Some women have the fictional impression that they’ll be earning a load of cash in nine months when they become a surrogate. That most likely will not be the case for you. For starters, most women do not earn any compensation until pregnancy is confirmed with a heartbeat and do not receive the entire payment until after the birth when the new baby is given to the intended parents. In addition, there are several things that have to be taken care of before pregnancy such as health screenings, interviews and other appointments. The entire process can take well over a year and compensation is only guaranteed if you give birth in accordance with all the rules set out in the surrogacy agreement.
Take Care of Yourself, First and Foremost
Pregnancy takes a huge toll on a woman’s body. Before becoming pregnant, many physicians recommend making sure you are healthy both physically and mentally. This means eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some doctors will even recommend a daily multivitamin or certain supplements that the fetus will need for healthy growth and development. Before agreeing to become a surrogate, be sure your body and mind are ready for the next nine months and beyond.
Keep Prospective Parents Involved
Once you’ve selected the prospective parents, or once they have chosen you, be sure to keep them involved in the journey in accordance with the surrogacy agreement. Most often, the intended parents choose to be involved in all steps along the way including doctor visits and ultrasounds. Most parents also want to have a voice in any decisions that need to be made throughout the pregnancy to ensure that baby is staying safe and healthy in the womb. Leaving the parents out of the loop is sure to cause tension and could wind up creating problems that persist through the rest of the surrogacy.
Document Your Journey
Surrogacy is an interesting journey and chances are you’ll want to remember parts of it. Grab yourself a journal and start writing! Keep track of anything and everything of importance from the first leg of the journey right up until handing the new parents their beautiful new bundle of joy. This gives you a bit of a keepsake to remember the amazing thing you’ve done and the sacrifices you’ve given to make another family complete. Another perk of documenting everything is to possibly have proof in the event there is any dispute over the surrogacy agreement.
Prepare Yourself Emotionally for Letting Go
Nine months may seem like a long time, but it really does fly by when you have a life growing inside of you. From day one, start preparing yourself emotionally for the fact that this baby in your womb will not be going home with you after birth. It’s often valuable to see a counselor to ensure you can handle the feelings of loss and separation before even agreeing to surrogacy, but it may be helpful to continue counseling sessions during pregnancy and after birth. Growing a baby is an intimate process and you need to make sure your mental health can handle letting go of the baby after birth.
Once you’ve done your research and feel confident that surrogacy is right for you, jump right in! This can be such a rewarding journey and there are plenty of prospective parents looking for someone like you to give them a baby they cannot create without your help.