Become a Surrogate in Illinois
How to Reach Your Surrogacy Goals
If you want to learn how to become a surrogate mother in Illinois, you have an incredible heart – and an amazing journey ahead of you. Here’s what to know about becoming a surrogate in IL.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself: “I want to be a surrogate mother,” then you have an extraordinarily giving heart. The following information can help you learn more about how to be a surrogate in Illinois, and the seven steps needed to be a surrogate in IL:
Step 1: Decide if Surrogacy is Right for You
Spend some time learning about the process of how to be a surrogate mother in Illinois and how committing to this year-long process may affect you and your family. Surrogacy requires dedicating your time and a lot of physical, mental and emotional work.
If you’re married, your spouse will need to be equally committed to the surrogacy process, as they’ll need to legally agree to the terms of your surrogacy contract (acknowledging that they have no legal parental rights to the child you’ll carry for the intended parents), in addition to being your emotional support and helping you throughout your pregnancy.
Reflect on your motivations for being a surrogate mom in Illinois. If your primary motivation to carry a baby for someone else in IL is surrogacy compensation, then you’re not an ideal surrogacy candidate. However, if your goal is to help others to become parents and you understand what it means to commit yourself to the surrogacy process, then you’re ready to move on to the next stage of your journey.
Step 2: Choose the Type of Surrogacy and the Surrogacy Professional
Once you’ve decided that you’re ready and that you want to be a surrogate, you should understand the difference between the types of surrogacy and surrogacy professionals you will need to help you learn how to be a surrogate in Illinois.
- Traditional surrogacy, where you would be the biological mother of the child you’d carry, using your own egg and the sperm from a donor or an intended father. This method is more akin to adoption. This is the less common choice for both surrogates and intended parents.
- Gestational surrogacy, where you are not biologically related to the child, and an egg and sperm from donors or intended parents is transferred to you following in vitro fertilization. This is the most common choice for surrogates and intended parents.
Although the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act is clear to only legally protect gestational surrogacy, traditional surrogacy is not technically illegal. It’s just generally discouraged due to the increased legal and emotional risks associated with it.
There are two kinds of surrogacy professionals you can choose from:
- Surrogacy agencies, which help match you with pre-screened intended parents and usually offer all of the services you’ll need to complete your surrogacy process from start to finish.
- Surrogacy attorneys, who complete the legal stages of your surrogacy process and can usually give you recommendations for how to search for potential intended parents on your own.
Step 3: Complete the Screening Requirements to Become a Surrogate Mom in IL
Next, you’ll need to find out if you meet the requirements to apply to be a surrogate mother in Illinois. Depending on the surrogacy professional you work with, those individual requirements will vary slightly, but will generally include the following:
You’ll need to meet the health requirements and complete a medical screening process when you sign up to be a surrogate mother in Illinois. These requirements include being smoke- and drug-free, having a healthy BMI range, having given birth with no pregnancy complications at least once before and other requirements. You can learn more about the health requirements in the process to be a surrogate mother in IL here.
There are several legal requirements you’ll need to meet if you’re interested in learning how to become a gestational surrogate in IL. You must also be a permanent resident of the United States, you must not receive any state financial assistance and more. You can learn more about the legal steps of how to become a surrogate mom in Illinois here.
You’ll also need to complete a psychological screening process if you’re willing to be a surrogate mother in Illinois or anywhere in the U.S. This is to verify that you’re ready for the mental and emotional processes of surrogacy. Having a strong support system at home who encourage you in your dream of being a gestational surrogate carrier is a good indicator that you’re ready to begin your journey. You can learn more about how to create a support system when you’re learning how to become a gestational surrogate in Illinois here.
Step 4: Choose the Intended Parents You’ll Carry For
Learning how to find the right intended parents is an important part of learning how to be a surrogate mother in Illinois. If you work with a surrogacy agency, you’ll be given profiles of potential intended parents that you could choose to carry for.
If you already know who you want to partner with for your surrogacy journey, then you’ll simply need a surrogacy professional to complete the legal and medical stages of your process.
If you’re working with a surrogacy attorney and becoming a surrogate without an agency in IL, you’ll search for intended parents on your own through personal connections, online resources, etc.
Step 5: Finalize a Legal Surrogacy Contract
A surrogacy contract must be made before you can begin the medical process. Individual legal representation is needed for the intended parents and the surrogate to draft the legal contracts for Illinois surrogacy so that everyone’s interests are equally represented. These contracts cover topics like the legal parental rights of the intended parents, surrogacy compensation, social roles throughout the process and how you would want to handle a range of “what-if” situations, like pregnancy complications or if you were to become pregnant with multiples.
When everyone has agreed to the contents of the contract, you’ll be able to move on to the next steps to becoming a surrogate in Illinois.
Step 6: Begin the Embryo Transfer Processes
If you’ve met all the gestational surrogate health requirements and cleared your medical screenings, you’ll be able to start fertility treatments, hormone injections and medications leading up to an embryo transfer. The embryo transfer will take place at a previously agreed-upon fertility clinic, where you’ll need to rest for a few hours. You’ll need to continue resting for the next few days to help the embryo to successfully implant in your uterus.
It may take a few cycles of embryo transfers for a healthy pregnancy to occur, but once a doctor has confirmed that you’re pregnant, you can proceed with the surrogate pregnancy like you would with any other. You’ll attend regular prenatal checkups with your preferred OB and you can keep the intended parents updated about how their baby is growing as the pregnancy progresses.
Step 7: Welcome the Baby with the Intended Parents
The most exciting moment of becoming a surrogate in Illinois is also the most emotionally rewarding: the day when you place a parent’s child into their arms for the first time. The intended parents will usually travel to be with you once you go into labor, but you’ll talk about your birth plan and the intended parents’ involvement during your surrogacy contract stage, so you’ll have an established plan.
Many surrogates and intended parents like to stay in touch after their surrogacy journey together has ended, but even if you don’t talk often after the baby is born, you’ll always share a life-changing experience together! Coming together to create a family is an amazing and unforgettable experience for everyone involved.
“How do I become a surrogate mother?” Illinois surrogates who are willing to help others to become parents are incredible women with loving hearts. Want to learn more about how to be a surrogate in Illinois? You can apply to be a surrogate mother in IL here.