The decision to become a surrogate mother in Maine is not one you make lightly. If you do decide that being a surrogate mother in Maine is right for you, you’ll have the ability to change so many lives with one gift.
While everyone’s journey is a little different, these seven steps will walk you the general process of how to become a surrogate mother in Maine:
Step 1: Decide If You’re Ready to Become a Surrogate
Through your role as a surrogate mother, Maine parents can be granted the child they’ve been dreaming of and waiting for. But you’ll need to be sure that becoming a surrogate is something that you’re prepared to fully commit to. The process to become a surrogate mother in Maine usually lasts about a year. There are mental, physical and emotional tolls to the process, and your family and career would be affected by your decision, as well.
If you’re married, your spouse will need to commit to your decision to become a surrogate, as well, for legal purposes. Surrogacy law in Maine requires that your spouse be involved in and agree to the surrogacy contract. They’ll also be an important source of emotional support for you.
You should also reflect on your motivations for pursuing surrogacy. Compensation for your time and effort is fair. However, if compensation is your first thought, then you may not be a good candidate for surrogacy. A great Maine surrogate is someone whose primary motivation is to help complete families.
Sound like something you’re ready for? Then it’s time for step two.
Step 2: Choose the Type of Surrogacy and the Professional You’ll Work With
Traditional surrogacy: Maine law states that you need to be a family member of the person you want to be a traditional surrogate for. In this case, your egg would be combined with sperm from a donor or an intended father through IUI or IVF in a fertility clinic. This is the less-common type of surrogacy, as you would be the biological mother of the child. There are more legal and emotional risks associated with this form of surrogacy, so most surrogacy programs and agencies will not complete traditional surrogacies.
Gestational surrogacy: Gestational surrogacy is the more common form of surrogacy, and the process is regulated by the Maine Parentage Act of 2016. In this type of surrogacy, an embryo would be created with an egg and sperm from intended parents or donors through IVF and transferred to your uterus. This means you would not be biologically related to the baby.
It’s important that you always work with a professional rather than trying to locate intended parents yourself. This protects you, but also the intended parents and baby. There are two options you can choose from in Maine:
Surrogacy agencies: This professional will match you with pre-screened intended parents who have similar surrogacy goals as your own. They’re able to complete most, if not all, the services needed for you to become a surrogate mother in ME and take care of everything for you.
Surrogacy attorneys: This professional handles the legal steps of the process. They aren’t always able to provide searching or matching services, but they may be able to give you advice about finding potential intended parents on your own.
Step 3: Complete the Screening Process to Become a Surrogate Mom in ME
Once you’ve established who you want to work with and the surrogacy process you want to pursue, you’ll need to complete the screening process and meet the surrogate mother requirements in Maine, which include:
Maine law requires that all surrogates “have previously given birth to at least one child,” and “have completed a medical evaluation.” In addition to these state-mandated requirements, your surrogacy professional will likely have more health requirements you’ll need to meet in the process to be a surrogate mother in ME, which you can learn about here.
If you’re learning how to become a gestational surrogate in ME, state law requires that you must “not have contributed gametes that will ultimately result in an embryo that will attempt to carry to term, unless the gestational carrier is entering into an agreement with a family member.” You must also “have had independent legal representation of own choosing and paid for by the intended parent or parents regarding the terms of the gestational carrier agreement and have been advised of the potential legal consequences of the gestational carrier agreement.” Learn more about the legal requirements involved in how to be a surrogate mom in Maine here.
The Maine Parentage Act states that women learning how to become a gestational surrogate in ME must have undergone “a mental health consultation” in addition to their physical screening process. This is important for talking through and preparing yourself for the mental and emotional processes of surrogacy. You can learn more about the importance of a strong support system at home when being a gestational carrier in Maine and how to create one for yourself here.
Step 4: Match with Intended Parents
An exciting moment of learning how to become a surrogate mother in Maine is choosing the perfect intended parents to partner with. Through your decision to become a surrogate mother, Maine families are made complete. But how will you find that ideal partner for your surrogacy process? There are several different ways to choose:
Work with someone you know:
A common reason for women to want to learn how to become a surrogate mother in ME is because they already know someone who needs help having a baby and they’d like to assist. For this, you’ll just need to contact a surrogacy professional to complete the legal and medical steps, and to confirm that you’re eligible to become a surrogate in ME.
Match through a surrogacy agency:
If you don’t already have a surrogacy partner in mind, you can look at profiles of hopeful parents through a surrogacy agency or matching program, where they’ve already been screened and are waiting to match with a surrogate.
Search for intended parents on your own:
If you’re becoming a surrogate without an agency in ME through the help of an attorney, you’ll need to search for intended parents on your own. This can be done through ads, networking, personal connections and more.
Step 5: Create Your Legal Surrogacy Contract
When you’ve found the intended parents you want to carry for, you’ll first have to complete the legal stage together before you can take any medical steps. Maine surrogacy laws list what must be included during this stage.
In Maine, the law requires that you and the intended parents maintain individual legal representation. If you’re married, your spouse will also need to be a part of this process, because they’ll need to acknowledge that they have no parental rights to the intended parents’ child.
At this point, you’ll create your surrogacy contract. In your contract, you’ll all come together to discuss important points like surrogacy compensation, what would happen in the event of pregnancy complications, the legal parental rights of the intended parents, everyone’s expectations for the process and more. When you’re all happy with the final version and everything is complete, you can move on to the next steps to becoming a surrogate in ME.
Step 6: Complete the Embryo Transfer Process
You’ll have been confirmed as healthy enough for the necessary fertility medications, hormones and medical processes if you’ve met all the health requirements and completed the medical screenings. This is all done in preparation for an embryo transfer.
The embryo transfer happens at the fertility clinic designated in your surrogacy contract. Sometimes, several cycles of transfers are needed before a stable and healthy pregnancy is achieved. When a doctor has confirmed this, you can receive routine prenatal care from your preferred OBGYN.
Throughout the remainder of your pregnancy, you can update the intended parents about how their baby is doing and share in your anticipation for the big day together.
Step 7: Welcome the Baby with the Intended Parents
Undoubtedly, the best moment of becoming a surrogate in ME is when you’re able to unite the parents with their baby for the first time. Becoming a surrogate in Maine is one of the most unique and special experiences that a woman can have, and the end result is an amazing gift for someone else that can never be repaid.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a surrogate mother in Maine, or if you’re ready to begin your own surrogacy journey, contact a surrogacy professional now.