Interested in learning how to become a surrogate mother in Arkansas? The step-by-step guide below will walk you through what being a surrogate mother in Arkansas takes, so you can decide if this path is the right one for you.
Becoming a surrogate is one of the most amazing things that a woman can do for another person. Think it might be right for you? Here are the seven steps of how to be a surrogate mother in Arkansas:
Step 1: Decide If Becoming a Surrogate in AR is Right for You
If you ultimately decide to be a surrogate mother, Arkansas families who have been waiting for a child can benefit from your willingness to help. But the process to become a surrogate mother in Arkansas is not an easy one and not every woman will be eligible.
To be a surrogate in Arkansas, you will need to fully commit to the process physically, emotionally and mentally — often for at least one year. You would be making some sacrifices to your time, family and career.
Because of this, your family would need to support your decision, especially your spouse, if you’re married. The support of your spouse is necessary for legal purposes, as well as practical and emotional reasons — they’ll need to confirm that they have no parental rights to the child you’d carry for the intended parents.
You should also consider your motivations to become a surrogate. Requesting fair compensation for your time and effort is reasonable, but if monetary gain is your primary motivation, you’ll likely need to reevaluate your surrogacy decision. If, however, your main motivator for becoming a surrogate in Arkansas is to help others to have children, you’ll probably make a wonderful surrogate mother.
Step 2: Choose Your Surrogacy Path
Decided that you’re ready to become a surrogate mother? Arkansas has two different types of surrogacy to consider next:
- Traditional surrogacy: While this type of surrogacy is legal in Arkansas, most surrogacy professionals will not complete this process because traditional surrogates are the biological mothers of the children they carry, so there are additional legal and emotional risks involved.
- Gestational surrogacy: This type of surrogacy is also legal in Arkansas, and it’s the more common method. Gestational surrogates are not biologically related to the baby they carry for the intended parents. Instead, an embryo is created through IVF using sperm and egg from donors or the intended parents in a fertility clinic, and is then transferred to your uterus to carry.
For everyone’s safety, it’s important that you work with a professional throughout the surrogacy process, even if you already know and trust the intended parents. There are two types of surrogacy professionals in Arkansas you can choose from:
- Surrogacy agencies: Also called a surrogacy or matching program, this professional matches you with waiting intended parents who have already been through the screening process. Agencies complete all of the services you’ll need and coordinate everything on your behalf.
- Surrogacy attorneys: This professional completes the legal process, and although they can’t always help you with searching or matching, they can sometimes give you tips about finding potential parents on your own, or they can refer you to more professionals who can help.
Step 3: Meet the Requirements to Become a Surrogate Mom in AR
Once you’ve determined how you’d like to move forward with your surrogacy plan, you’ll need to make sure you’re eligible to become a surrogate in Arkansas through your preferred professional. While the requirements of each professional can vary slightly, most will include the following:
There are a number of health requirements involved in the process to be a surrogate mother in AR. You’ll need to have given birth at least once, have had no prior pregnancy complications, have a BMI range of about 19–33, be smoke- and drug-free and more.
There are also several legal requirements involved in how to become a gestational surrogate in AR. You must be a permanent U.S. resident, not currently be receiving any financial assistance from the government, submit to a background check and more during the legal process of how to be a surrogate mom in Arkansas.
There’s a psychological screening process involved in being a gestational carrier in Arkansas that’s meant to prepare you for the mental and emotional processes of surrogacy. One of the preferred elements of how to become a gestational surrogate in AR is having a strong support system of people who encourage your surrogacy goals.
Step 4: Match with Intended Parents
The next step in learning how to become a surrogate mother in Arkansas is often one of the most anticipated steps — finding the intended parents you’d like to carry for. There are three different ways you can do this:
Partner with someone you already know:
A common reason why women learn how to become a surrogate mother in AR is because they know someone who needs their help to have a baby. In this situation, you’ll need to contact a surrogacy professional to confirm your eligibility, and then to complete the legal and medical steps.
Find a match through an agency:
If you aren’t already partnered with intended parents, a surrogacy agency or program can connect with you with profiles of waiting parents you could potentially match with. These are all people who have already been screened and approved.
Look for intended parents on your own:
You’ll still need to work with an attorney if you’re becoming a surrogate without an agency in AR. You would search for intended parents on your own, usually through ads, personal networking and more, so you would need to use caution.
Step 5: Create Your Surrogacy Contract
If you’ve matched with intended parents, you’ll next need to complete the legal process alongside the intended parents (and your spouse, if you’re married) before you take any medical steps. Both parties will need their own individual surrogacy attorney.
A surrogacy contract will be created, which covers important topics like surrogate compensation, the legal parental rights of the intended parents, what would happen in the event of pregnancy complications, the risks that everyone accepts and more.
When the contract is finalized, you can all proceed to the next steps to becoming a surrogate in AR.
Step 6: Complete the Embryo Transfer
By meeting all the health requirements as a potential surrogate mother, Arkansas professionals have deemed you healthy enough to begin the medications and fertility treatments that precede the embryo transfer.
Embryo transfers take place at the fertility clinic established in your contract. Sometimes multiple cycles of transfers are needed to achieve a stable pregnancy, but once a doctor has confirmed this, you can receive regular prenatal care from your preferred OB-GYN.
As your pregnancy progresses, you can stay in touch with the intended parents about the growth of their baby, and share your excitement together in anticipation of the baby’s arrival.
Step 7: Celebrate the Baby’s Arrival with the Intended Parents
The last step of becoming a surrogate in AR is usually the most exciting for everyone involved. In preparation for the baby’s arrival, you can create a birth plan when you establish your surrogacy contract, so that you can discuss where and how you’d like to deliver the baby, and the intended parents can talk about how they might travel to be with you when you’re in labor.
Becoming a surrogate in Arkansas is one of the most rewarding and special ways that a woman can help someone else. If you think you’re ready to learn more about how to become a surrogate mother in Arkansas, contact a surrogacy professional now.