One of the biggest decisions you can make that has the ability to positively affect countless other people is whether or not you’re ready to become a surrogate mother in Rhode Island. The decision of being a surrogate mother in Rhode Island, of course, requires careful consideration.
Ready to learn more about how to be a surrogate mother in R.I.? These seven steps will help you to decide whether or not you’re ready to begin this journey:
Step 1: Decide If Becoming a Surrogate in R.I. is Right for You
The ability and desire to become a surrogate in Rhode Island is amazing. By being a surrogate mother, Rhode Island couples can have the family they’ve been dreaming of. But surrogacy isn’t the right path for every woman. First, you should understand the realities of the process to become a surrogate mother in Rhode Island.
By becoming a surrogate, you would need to fully commit to the process for at least a year. Your time, body, emotions, career and family will all be greatly affected by this choice. If you’re married, your spouse must also confirm their commitment to your surrogacy contract, for legal purposes.
What are your motivations for becoming a surrogate? It’s fair to request compensation for your time and effort, although monetary gain should never be your primary reason for pursuing surrogacy. If, however, your main goal is to help families have the children they’ve been waiting for, then you’ll likely make a great surrogate.
Step 2: Choose Which Type of Surrogacy and Professional
Traditional surrogacy: Although there are no surrogacy laws in Rhode Island that specifically prohibit traditional surrogacy, this process is much more complicated and much less common than the other type of surrogacy in Rhode Island.
All surrogacy cases in the state are presented to the Chief Judge of Family Court in Providence. Traditional surrogacies in Rhode Island have usually legally been treated as adoptions, as the surrogate is the biological mother of the baby. She would therefore need to wait a minimum of 15 days before she could give her consent to the intended parents adopting her baby. Compensation for traditional surrogacies in Rhode Island have been prohibited by the Judge — again, because they’re legally viewed as adoptions. Few surrogacy professionals will complete a traditional surrogacy because of the legal and emotional risks involved, so these are very rare.
Gestational surrogacy: Again, there are no laws in Rhode Island governing this type of surrogacy, but the Chief Judge has ruled very consistently in gestational surrogacy cases in Rhode Island. Because you would not be biologically related to the baby, it’s easy and commonplace for the Judge to grant the intended parents parentage orders, and compensation is permitted for gestational surrogates in R.I. Gestational surrogacies in Rhode Island are fairly common and welcomed.
It’s important for everyone’s safety that you always work with an experienced professional rather than trying to complete the surrogacy process on your own. There are two types of surrogacy professionals to choose from in R.I.:
Surrogacy agencies: These professionals match pre-screened intended parents and surrogates. They’re able to take care of most, if not all, of the services you’ll need to complete the surrogacy process in full. They also act as a single point of contact.
Surrogacy attorneys: These professionals complete the legal steps. They’re generally a standalone service, but they may be able to offer you some tips about looking for intended parents on your own, or they may refer you to a professional who is able to provide you with the additional services you’re looking for.
Step 3: Complete the Screening Process to Become a Surrogate Mom in R.I.
When you’ve decided how you’re going to approach the surrogacy process, you’ll next need to check that you meet the surrogate mother requirements. Rhode Island professionals are responsible for setting their own requirements, so they can vary somewhat, but they’ll usually include the following:
You’ll need to complete a medical evaluation and screening process to ensure that you’re healthy enough to complete the physical process to be a surrogate mother in R.I. The preliminary criteria will ask that you have previously given birth with no prior complications, be smoke- and drug-free, have a BMI range of about 19 to 33 and more.
Some of the legal requirements for those learning how to become a gestational surrogate in R.I. will include an age restriction (usually 21 to 40 years old), that you be a permanent U.S. resident and more. There will also usually be some detailed steps that you’ll need to follow when creating your surrogacy contract, but your surrogacy attorney will walk you through the legal process of how to be a surrogate mom in Rhode Island, so don’t panic.
The purpose of the emotional requirements of being a gestational carrier in Rhode Island is to ensure that you’re mentally and emotionally ready for the experiences ahead. You’ll need to complete a mental health evaluation, have a strong emotional support system to encourage you as you learn how to become a gestational surrogate in R.I. and more.
Step 4: Match with the Intended Parents
There are several ways in which you can find the right intended parents to carry for in the process of learning how to become a surrogate mother in Rhode Island. Choosing the right intended parent(s) to partner with is one of the most exciting steps when you become a surrogate mother. Rhode Island families will need to be able to trust you, and you’ll need to be able to trust them, so a sense of connection is important. There are three ways you can find the right family:
Partner with someone you already know:
A common reason why women are interested in learning how to become a surrogate mother in R.I. is because they already know someone who needs their help to have a baby. The first thing you’d need to do in this situation is to call a surrogacy professional to make sure you’re eligible to become a surrogate and then to complete the legal and medical steps.
Find a match through an agency:
Even if you don’t already have a waiting family in mind, you may still be drawn to help. A surrogacy agency can show you profiles of waiting parents who have already been screened and are signed on with the agency. You could choose to match with one of those hopeful parents.
Look for intended parents on your own:
You would need to work with an attorney to complete the surrogacy process if you’re becoming a surrogate without an agency in R.I. Your attorney may or may not be able to help you match with intended parents; if not, they may refer you to an additional professional or provide some suggestions for searching for a match on your own. This can be done through advertising, personal connections or word-of-mouth. You’ll usually be responsible for screening potential parents.
Step 5: Draft and Finalize Your Legal Surrogacy Contract
If you’ve found your surrogacy match, you can begin the legal process. This will need to be completed before you take any medical steps.
You and your spouse (if you’re married) will need a surrogacy attorney separate from the intended parents’. You’ll create a surrogacy contract together that discusses important points like compensation, the legal parental rights of the intended parents, the risks you all agree to, how you’d all want to proceed in situations like complications with pregnancy and more.
Once this contract is finalized and signed by everyone, you can move on to the next steps to becoming a surrogate in R.I.
Step 6: Complete the Embryo Transfer
If you’ve passed all the necessary health requirements and medical screenings, you’ve been confirmed as healthy enough to proceed. You’ll prepare for an embryo transfer with a regimen of medications and fertility treatments.
Sometimes, multiple cycles of embryo transfers are needed for a healthy and stable pregnancy to occur, but once the doctor has confirmed this, you can receive regular prenatal care from your OB-GYN. As the pregnancy progresses, you can share updates about the baby’s growth with the intended parents as you all prepare for the excitement of delivery day.
Step 7: Celebrate the Baby’s Arrival with the Intended Parents!
From the first moment you decide that becoming a surrogate in Rhode Island is right for you, the experience of being able to unite the intended parents with their baby is probably the moment you look forward to the most. In preparation of this special shared experience, you’ll likely want to create a birth plan with the intended parents when you establish your surrogacy contract together, so that everyone is as prepared for that day as possible.
Becoming a surrogate in Rhode Island is one of the most challenging and rewarding things that a woman can do for someone else, and the end result is something beautiful.
If you’d like to learn more about how to become a surrogate mother in Rhode Island, contact a surrogacy professional now.