No woman makes the decision to become a surrogate mother in New Hampshire lightly and without careful consideration. So we’ve made it easy for you to learn everything you need to know about the process of being a surrogate mother in New Hampshire before you make your decision.
Becoming a surrogate is an amazing way that you could positively affect an untold number of people through a gift that can never be repaid. But is it the right path for you? Learning more about the seven basic steps of how to be a surrogate mother in NH may give you some more insight:
Step 1: Decide if You’re Ready to Commit to Surrogacy
Being a surrogate mother isn’t right for every woman, of course. How will you know it’s right for you? Educate yourself about the process.
The process to become a surrogate mother in New Hampshire requires your full commitment for, on average, about a year. Becoming a surrogate will affect your time, your family and your career in addition to your physical, mental and emotional states.
If you’re married, New Hampshire surrogacy law requires that your spouse confirms their commitment to your surrogacy decision and participates in some of the legal steps. Your partner will also be important for your emotional support during your surrogacy journey, so they’ll need to be ready to encourage you.
Reflect on your primary motivator to become a surrogate. Compensation is reasonable and common for a surrogate’s time, effort and sacrifices, but you should reevaluate surrogacy if compensation is your foremost motivator. However, if your main goal is to help people become parents and to help families who have been waiting and longing for a child, then you’ll likely make an ideal surrogate.
Step 2: Decide on the Type of Surrogacy and Professional
If you’ve decided that you’re ready to start the surrogacy process and become a surrogate mother, New Hampshire has two options for surrogacy and surrogacy professionals that you’ll next need to choose from:
This type of surrogacy is not directly addressed in New Hampshire surrogacy law, meaning it’s not strictly prohibited, but it’s also not protected or welcome in the state like gestational surrogacy. That’s because there are more legal and emotional risks associated with traditional surrogacy, which involves the surrogate as the biological mother of the baby. In the fertility clinic, your egg would be combined with sperm from an intended father or donor using IUI or IVF. Almost no surrogacy programs or agencies complete traditional surrogacies, so if you plan on taking this route, you will likely need to complete the process independently.
New Hampshire’s gestational surrogacy laws are clear and well-regulated, and this type of surrogacy is welcomed and common in the state. You would not be biologically related to the baby you’d carry for intended parents. In a fertility clinic, an embryo would be created from egg and sperm from intended parents or donors with IVF, which would then be transferred to your uterus to carry.
It’s important that you always work with a professional rather than attempting the surrogacy process on your own, for your safety and for the safety of the intended parents and the baby. For that, you can choose from two different types of surrogacy professionals in New Hampshire:
These professionals are often also called surrogacy programs, and can match you with intended parents who have already been screened and who have similar surrogacy goals to your own. They handle all of the services required to complete the New Hampshire surrogacy process and serve as the primary point of contact, managing everything for you as well as the intended parents.
These providers complete the legal stage of surrogacy. They’re often a standalone service, but they may be able to offer help with searching or matching, or they may be able to refer you to a professional who is able to complete those other services.
Step 3: Complete the Screening Requirements to Become a Surrogate Mom in NH
When you’ve determined what surrogacy professional you want to guide you through the process, you’ll now need to make sure you are eligible to become a surrogate mother in New Hampshire by meeting the necessary requirements. There are state-established requirements for surrogates in NH, and there are also additional requirements set by your surrogacy professional, which can vary somewhat. These requirements will usually include:
In terms of health requirements, the state of New Hampshire legally requires that prospective surrogates:
- Have already “given birth to at least one child”
- Have “completed a physical medical evaluation, in substantial conformance with the guidelines set forth by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, relating to the anticipated pregnancy”
In addition to those state requirements, most surrogacy professionals will require that your previous pregnancies be free of any complications, that you be smoke- and drug-free, have a healthy BMI range within about 19–33 and more in order to begin the process to be a surrogate mother in New Hampshire.
The New Hampshire-mandated legal requirements for women who are learning how to become a gestational surrogate state that they must:
- Be “at least 21 years of age”
- With her spouse or partner (if applicable) “have undergone legal consultation with independent legal counsel regarding the terms of the gestational carrier agreement and have been advised of the potential legal consequences of the gestational carrier agreement”
New Hampshire surrogacy laws will also guide how your surrogacy contract must be executed. In addition to those requirements, most surrogacy professionals will ask that anyone learning how to be a surrogate mom in New Hampshire be a permanent U.S. resident, not be currently receiving any financial assistance from the government and more.
New Hampshire law requires that, for those learning how to become a gestational surrogate, you must have:
- “Completed a mental health consultation”
Additionally, surrogacy professionals typically require that women who are interested in being a gestational carrier in New Hampshire have a strong emotional support system at home, like friends or family, a partner or spouse who encourages your surrogacy decision and a child you are raising in your home.
Step 4: Match with Intended Parents
An exciting moment for anyone learning how to become a surrogate mother in New Hampshire is the day you find the right intended parents to carry a baby for. Connecting with intended parent(s) who you feel are the right partners for you is important to successfully become a surrogate mother. New Hampshire families are looking for a surrogate they can trust, and you’ll need to feel like you can trust them, as well. There are three different ways you can find intended parents you feel are right for you:
Partner with someone you already know:
A common reason why many women are interested in how to become a surrogate mother in N.H. is because they already know someone they want to help and carry a baby for. In these situations, you’ll just need to call a surrogacy professional to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements to become a surrogate, and then to complete the legal and medical steps.
Match through an agency:
If you don’t have intended parents you’d like to work with, but you’d love to help someone by being a surrogate in N.H., a surrogacy agency or program can show you profiles of waiting parents. These are people who are signed on with the agency, have already been screened and are waiting for a match — potentially you.
Search on your own:
If you’re considering becoming a surrogate in New Hampshire without an agency, you would partner with a lawyer to find intended parents using ads, personal networking or word-of-mouth.
Step 5: Complete the Legal Surrogacy Contract
Once you’ve matched with intended parents, you’ll proceed to the legal stage together. In New Hampshire, you, the intended parents and your partner or spouse (if applicable) will all need to be involved in this process. Individual legal counsel is also needed for each of the two parties.
Your surrogacy contract must be finalized and signed before you can begin any medical steps to becoming a surrogate in N.H. This contract discusses important topics like the legal parental rights of the intended parents, surrogate compensation, the risks that each party agrees to, what you would all want to do in the event of things like pregnancy complications and more.
There are laws in New Hampshire that carefully detail the minimum that must go into a gestational carrier agreement. In addition to those state-required protections for surrogates and intended parents, your attorneys will help both parties to tailor your contract so that it acts as a roadmap and protects you all.
Step 6: Complete the Embryo Transfer Processes
The health requirements and medical screenings for surrogates are an important way for professionals to verify that you’re healthy enough to safely handle the medications and medical procedures that lead up to the embryo transfer process.
Sometimes multiple cycles of embryo transfers are need to achieve a healthy pregnancy, but when a doctor has confirmed that a pregnancy is stable, you can receive regular prenatal care from your preferred OB-GYN. As your pregnancy progresses, you can keep in touch with the intended parents about how their baby is doing, and you can share in the excitement and anticipation of the journey.
Step 7: Welcome the Baby with the Intended Parents
One of the most meaningful moments of becoming a surrogate in N.H. is when you’re able to unite the intended parents with their child for the first time. That moment is why so many women choose to become surrogates in New Hampshire.
In preparation of that day, you’ll typically outline your preferred birth plan with the intended parents when you create your surrogacy contract together. This will help everyone to be prepared, and the intended parents can be ready to travel on short notice if need be.
Becoming a surrogate in New Hampshire is one of the most fulfilling experiences that a woman can have and one of the most important gifts she can give to another person. Interested in learning more about how to become a surrogate mother in New Hampshire? Contact a surrogacy professional now.