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How to Become a Surrogate Mother
A surrogate mother is a woman who legally agrees to carry the baby of an individual or couple who is unable to bear children. This decision is a huge commitment and not one to take lightly, but it is the greatest gift you can give someone who desperately wants to bring a child into this world.
If you have decided to give this gift to another person or couple but want more information, read on. Here is a step-by-step overview to help you start your journey to becoming a surrogate mother.
Agency or Privately
You have a couple of choices when you decide to help someone have children. You can either do it through an agency or privately.
A surrogacy agency is a business that assists intended parents and surrogate mothers. They handle all the medical screenings for you, interviews with intended parents, and legal matters. Some go further and also schedule doctor's appointments.
The downside to going through an agency is that it can be very time-consuming and expensive. The screenings and matching process can take up to a year, more than many surrogate mothers are willing to wait.
Private surrogacy, also known as independent surrogacy, is when you do not work with an agency. This option is especially attractive if you already know the intended parent or couple, like family or friends.
Even if you haven't committed to helping someone, you can still find intended parents using facilities like online surrogacy databases. Such databases provide a much faster method of finding a match without the lengthy screening process.
The best part of independent surrogacy is that it is entirely transparent, which means you have complete decision-making power in all parts of the process. You and the intended parent or couple can customize a legal contract and schedule doctor's appointments accordingly. This option is also less expensive for intended parents.
There are specific requirements you need to fulfill to be a surrogate mother. These are listed below:
- Be between the ages of 21 - 40 as this increases the chance of a successful pregnancy.
- Have at least one previous child, as this proves you can carry a baby full term.
- Be in good health, which is vital for you and the baby.
Timeline for a Surrogate Mother
If you choose to go through an agency, the entire process from signing up to delivering a baby can take anywhere from 12 - 18 months. If you decide to pursue surrogacy privately, this time can be cut down by half.
Step 1: Screenings and Interviews
After filling out the application forms, hopeful surrogate mothers like yourself first go through interviews, medical screenings, psychological evaluations, and pre-approval from the IVF clinic to ensure they are physically and emotionally ready to carry a baby.
Step 2: Matching Intended Parents
Once you have passed all the screenings, the process of meeting and matching with intended parents begins. This part is often the longest part of the process, but it is essential to find intended parents that fit your preferences. Things can only move forward when both sides are comfortable with each other. There is no fixed period for this, but generally, you match within the first six months.
Step 3: Signing Legal Contracts
Once you are matched with a parent or couple and before the IVF process begins, legal contracts are signed. These documents can sound complicated, but you will sit with a lawyer who will sit down with you and go through each aspect. Many issues need to be discussed, such as what happens if there is a miscarriage. What is the birth plan? Will the mother provide breast milk? And so on.
Step 4: Starting IVF
The IVF process can begin, which differs from getting pregnant naturally. You will take hormone medication and be monitored regularly before an embryo is implanted. Many surrogate mothers find this part more challenging, so you must have a support system to help you get through this. How many embryos are planted, and the number of attempts made all depend on the legal contract signed with the intended parents.
Step 5: Pregnancy
After the embryo implantation, you will take a pregnancy test. If you are pregnant, you will start seeing a gynecologist (OBGYN) for the remainder of your pregnancy. Typically, doctors schedule monthly appointments. Intended parents are always encouraged to accompany their surrogate mother to make this whole process a positive, meaningful experience.
Step 6: Delivery
Once the baby is delivered after 36 – 40 weeks of pregnancy, your job is done. Now, it is your time to recover while the intended parents take care of the baby. Many surrogate mothers continue their relationship with the intended parents and baby, but that is entirely up to you.
Becoming a surrogate is quite a process, but there is no doubt that the women who become surrogate mothers are truly extraordinary. Many say it all comes down to the moment you hand a bundle of joy over to a person or couple, and they finally become parents. This magical moment makes all the effort worth it. So if you are ready to make a dream come true, join us at Surrogate Finder, and let's get started.
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