The decision to become a surrogate mother in Delaware is something that you’ll have to consider carefully, but for those who feel that it’s the right choice, they’re able to positively affect countless people. Taking on the task of being a surrogate mother in Delaware is something that no woman takes lightly, but it’s also an incredible experience and an opportunity to help people to become parents.
Interested in how to be a surrogate mother in DE? These seven steps will walk you through it:
Step 1: Decide Whether or Not You’re Ready to Become a Surrogate in DE
There’s an amazing outcome of being a surrogate mother — Delaware families will be able to finally have the child they’ve been waiting for and dreaming of. But the process to become a surrogate mother in Delaware requires your full commitment, and it’s not small.
Becoming a surrogate in DE takes at least a year, on average, and there are physical, emotional and mental considerations you’ll need to take into account. Your time, career and family will all be affected by your surrogacy journey.
If you’re married, your spouse will need to confirm their own commitment to your decision to pursue surrogacy. This is required by Delaware surrogacy law as well as most surrogacy professionals to acknowledge that your spouse claims no parental rights over the intended parents’ child and also because your spouse will be your primary emotional support throughout the surrogacy process.
It’s also important to reflect on why you want to become a surrogate. Compensation shouldn’t be your primary motivator, although it’s reasonable to be fairly compensated for the time and effort you put forth. If the desire to help create families is the reason why you feel drawn to being a surrogate, then this role is probably going to be a great fit for you.
Step 2: Choose Which Type of Surrogacy and Surrogacy Professional
Delaware surrogacy law does not address traditional surrogacy, so while it’s not strictly prohibited, it’s also not protected or welcomed like gestational surrogacy is. This is because of the increased legal and emotional risks involved in traditional surrogacy, where you would be the biological mother of the child. The fertility clinic would combine your egg with sperm from a donor or an intended father through IUI or IVF. Most surrogacy programs and agencies won’t complete traditional surrogacy because of its risks.
Under the state’s “Gestational Carrier Agreement Act,” gestational surrogacy is legal, regulated and welcome in Delaware. You are not biologically related to the child you would be carrying for the intended parents. Instead, an embryo is created using egg and sperm from donors or intended parents through IVF in a fertility clinic, and is then transferred to your uterus for you to carry.
For your safety, as well as that of the intended parents and the baby, you should always work with a professional instead of attempting the surrogacy process on your own. There are two types of surrogacy professionals you can choose from in Delaware:
This type of professional matches you with intended parents who have already been screened. They handle most, if not all, of the services required to complete your surrogacy process. They act as the point of contact and manage everything for you.
This professional completes the legal process. They sometimes provide searching or matching services, or they can sometimes give you tips about searching for possible intended parents by yourself. They act as a standalone service.
Step 3: Meet the Screening Requirements to Become a Surrogate Mom in DE
Once you’ve established the method in which you’re approaching your surrogacy process, you’ll need to next meet the surrogate mother requirements. Delaware surrogacy professionals will have varying requirements, but there are also requirements set forth by the state that you’ll need to meet. These requirements often include:
By law, Delaware surrogates must have completed a medical evaluation and have previously given birth. Surrogacy professionals also have these requirements, and will also usually ask that surrogates have no prior complications with their past pregnancies, be smoke- and drug-free, have a healthy BMI range of about 19 to 33 and more. You can learn more about the health requirements needed in the process to be a surrogate mother in DE here.
There are several legal requirements that those who are learning how to become a gestational surrogate in DE will need to be aware of. Applicants, by law, must be at least 21 years old. There are also several legal requirements within Delaware surrogacy law dictating how your surrogacy contract must be executed. Surrogacy professionals will also usually ask that you not currently be receiving any government financial assistance, that you be a permanent resident of the U.S. and more. Learn more about the legal process of how to be a surrogate mom in Delaware here.
The emotional requirements of being a gestational carrier in Delaware are in place to make sure you’re prepared for the emotional experiences of surrogacy. Delaware surrogacy law requires that you must complete a mental health evaluation. Surrogacy professionals also look for surrogates who have a strong support system of people at home who are encouraging of your surrogacy decision. Learn more about how to create an emotional support system when learning how to become a gestational surrogate in DE here.
Step 4: Choose the Intended Parents
One of the most anticipated moments of learning how to become a surrogate mother in Delaware is finding the right intended parents to carry for. Partnering with intended parent(s) you connect with is important when you become a surrogate mother. Delaware families are counting on you, and you on them. There are several different way you can find intended parents:
Work with someone you know:
One of the reasons why many women are curious about how to become a surrogate mother in DE is because they personally know someone they want to help have a baby. For this, all you’ll need to do is call a surrogacy professional to ensure you’re eligible to become a surrogate and to complete the legal and medical processes.
Match through a surrogacy agency:
Perhaps you don’t have any intended parents in mind, but you feel drawn to help someone complete their family. A surrogacy agency will show you profiles of waiting parents. These people are signed on with the agency and have already been screened, so you can match with them.
Search for intended parents on your own:
If you’re becoming a surrogate without an agency in DE, you can work with an attorney to search for intended parents via advertisements, word-of-mouth or personal connections.
Step 5: The Legal Surrogacy Contract Phase
If you’ve connected with intended parents, you’re ready to begin the legal process together. Delaware law states that you must complete this stage before you can begin any medical processes. You, your spouse (if married) and the intended parents will all need to be involved. The two parties will also need separate legal representation.
Together, you’ll create a surrogacy contract, which will cover important topics like compensation, the legal parental rights of the intended parents, how you would all want to handle potential situations like pregnancy complications and more. Your contract will need to be signed by everyone (including your spouse, if applicable) in the presence of two witnesses who are not parties to the agreement.
With that completed, you can move on to the next steps to becoming a surrogate in DE.
Step 6: The Embryo Transfer Processes
If you’ve completed the health requirements and medical screenings needed as a surrogate mother, Delaware professionals have confirmed that you are healthy enough to handle the regimen of medications, fertility treatments and procedures that lead up to the embryo transfer.
Multiple cycles of embryo transfers are sometimes needed for a healthy pregnancy to be established. However, when the doctor has confirmed that you’re stably pregnant, you’ll be able to go to your preferred OBGYN to receive regular prenatal care. Throughout your pregnancy, you’ll likely stay in contact with the intended parents about the progress of their baby as you all wait for the baby’s arrival.
Step 7: Welcome the Baby with the Intended Parents
When you decide that becoming a surrogate in DE is something that you want to do, the moment you’re probably most looking forward to is when you’re able to place the intended parents’ baby in their arms for the first time. For this, you’ll usually establish your preferred birth plan with the intended parents during your surrogacy contract phase, so that everyone is prepared to travel at a moment’s notice.
One of the most rewarding things that a woman can do for another person is becoming a surrogate in Delaware. It leads to a gift that can never be repaid.
If you want to learn more about how to become a surrogate mother in Delaware, contact a surrogacy professional now for more information.