Becoming A Gestational Surrogate
There are many factors impacting a couple’s ability to conceive and carry a child, unassisted. Modern surrogacy provides options for such couples. Volunteering to become a surrogate, so that others may experience the joy of parenthood is a gracious act and can be both emotionally and financially fulfilling. However, if you are considering becoming a surrogate, you should know a few things before taking this step. This guide will explain the process of becoming a gestational surrogate and what to expect.
What Is A Gestational Surrogate?
There are two types of surrogacy. The first type is called traditional surrogacy. This type of surrogacy involves the surrogate mother providing her egg and carrying the baby. This means that the surrogate would be the baby’s biological mother, which can complicate things legally and emotionally and is in large part why traditional surrogacy is no longer a common practice.
Instead, gestational surrogacy has become the significantly more common type of surrogacy. With this method, the gestational carrier does not provide her egg. Instead, the embryo is created using the egg and sperm from the intended parents or donor material, then implanted into the surrogate.
As the egg does not belong to the gestational carrier, the surrogate is not biologically related to the baby and simply carries the child for the intended parents.
Benefits Of Becoming A Surrogate
Being a surrogate comes with many benefits, both financially and emotionally.
On an emotional level, being a surrogate can be incredibly fulfilling. You are helping an individual or a couple to grow their family and lead fulfilling lives. Knowing you’ve had such a meaningful impact on someone’s happiness can be an enriching experience.
On a financial level, surrogates receive compensation for their time and effort. After all, you’ll have to carry the baby for nine months, which is an enormous undertaking. Most programs offer surrogates a base compensation of at least $50,000, plus reimbursement of all medical and travel expenses related to the pregnancy.
The Financial Aspects Of Being A Surrogate
Aside from the compensation for your time and effort, you’ll also get reimbursement for related medical and other surrogate-related costs. That said, several factors determine how much a surrogate will receive.
For example, if you’ve had experience as a surrogate, you will likely be compensated more because you’ve proven reliable. Additionally, your location will affect your compensation amount.
For example, if you live in an area where the cost of living is higher, the odds are your compensation will also be higher.
Understanding The Requirements To Become A Surrogate
Not everyone can be a surrogate. To become a surrogate, you need to meet specific requirements. These vary from program to program, but some general criteria apply everywhere.
These criteria help ensure the surrogate’s and the baby’s physical health and that the surrogate is responsible enough to commit to the process and is mentally capable of dealing with the emotional aspects of the process.
We use the following criteria to qualify our surrogates at KindEOS:
- Be between 21 and 40
- Have one or more children of your own
- Had no more than five vaginal deliveries or three cesarean sections
- Have no history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Have private health insurance
- Are a non-smoker
Legal Considerations For Surrogacy
There are a lot of legal considerations to bear in mind when it comes to surrogacy. Prospective surrogates should understand at least the basics of the legal issues involved, so as to make an informed decision.
To start, any surrogate or intended parent, will want to make certain that they are working with a licensed attorney who can provide legal advice and review your surrogacy contract, ensuring your interests are protected throughout the process. Your surrogacy program will have a vetted list of trusted, specialized attorneys for you to consider.
Adherence To A Healthy Lifestyle
Before embarking on the surrogacy journey, it’s essential to ensure that you live a healthy lifestyle and have taken steps to ensure your physical and mental readiness for the process. These steps include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol consumption and drug abuse, and getting enough sleep.
All these things will help ensure your body is ready for surrogacy and can help minimize any potential risks associated with carrying a baby to full term.
Find Emotional Support
When becoming a surrogate, you must have a reliable and supportive network of family and friends. Your family and friends also need to be on board with your decision and understand the implications of surrogacy.
Being a surrogate can be an emotionally taxing experience, so having a solid support system can be invaluable and help ensure you get the emotional support you need.
What Are The Pre-screenings And Assessments Involved?
To become a gestational surrogate, you must undergo an extensive pre-screening process. These assessments ensure that you’re mentally and physically healthy and can be relied on to be responsible and committed to the process.
These assessments include the following:
The psychological assessment involves a series of tests and interviews with a psychologist or social worker to ensure you are emotionally fit. This assessment will evaluate your mental health, emotional stability, and ability to cope with the demands of pregnancy.
If you have specific mental health conditions, becoming a surrogate may not be advisable, notably if you rely on medications that could cause harm to the baby.
You’ll also be required to take a physical exam and provide your medical history to your doctor. Doing so will help ensure that you are healthy enough to carry a baby and that you don’t have any conditions or diseases that you could transfer to the baby. As a result, you can handle the physical demands of pregnancy and any potential risks associated with the procedure.
In addition to the psychological and medical screenings, you’ll also need to undergo a background check. The background check includes verifying your identity, checking for criminal records, and verifying your financial status. These checks help to ensure that you are responsible and reliable enough to become a surrogate and can be trusted to carry and deliver a baby.
Additionally, be honest and upfront about any potential issues that could arise during the background check, as this will help ensure your surrogacy process goes smoothly.
By being upfront about potential issues, you allow us to work with you to find solutions and ensure that you are the best candidate for surrogacy. However, if you’re not transparent or you give false information, most programs, KindEOS included will, in most instances, disqualify you from the process.
Pregnancy and Delivery: Making Sure You’re Cared For Throughout the Journey
One of the reasons why it’s so crucial that you find a reputable surrogacy program to work with is that they will provide you with the care, resources, and support you need throughout the surrogacy process, whether you’re the surrogate or the intended parent.
A good program will help support the surrogate and intended parents through pregnancy and delivery, ensuring that both the surrogate and the baby remain in good health.
As the surrogate, the following program measures will make sure that you are cared for throughout the process:
Your and the baby’s health is essential, so surrogacy programs will provide you with all the necessary prenatal care. This includes regular check-ups with a doctor or midwife, ultrasounds and other tests to monitor the baby’s development, and access to resources to address any possible questions or concerns from you.
In addition to taking care of your physical health, the program will provide mental health resources throughout the pregnancy. This includes support groups, individual counseling sessions, and other resources to help you feel supported during this process.
Surrogacy programs want to ensure you get all the necessary nutrients to keep you and the baby healthy. They may provide you with nutritional advice and guidance throughout the pregnancy to assist in doing this. Their advice may include a list of foods to eat, supplements to take, and tips on how to stay healthy.
In some cases, the program may even provide you with a nutritionist or dietician to help guide you through the nutrient-rich foods you should eat during pregnancy. Doing so will ensure you and the baby get all the nutrients you need to stay healthy and deliver successfully.
Postpartum Recovery And Care
Once the baby is born, you’ll need time to recover and adjust. Your surrogacy program will provide you with postpartum recovery and care services, such as a postpartum doula or midwife, to help with your physical and emotional needs during this time.
In addition, the program may provide you with access to mental health resources, including counseling and support groups to help you cope with the changes in your life.
Get Started On Your Surrogacy Journey Today
The surrogacy journey can be a gratifying experience for everyone involved. By choosing a reputable clinic-associated program like KindEOS, you’ll have access to the resources and support you need to ensure you and the baby stay healthy throughout the process.
You can ensure your journey is successful and rewarding with the proper guidance, care, and support.
Are you ready to start your surrogacy journey? Consider filling out our prescreen to determine if you qualify.