Because surrogacy is still an emerging concept in the world of family planning, you might not know what surrogacy questions to ask before beginning your journey. On the other hand, maybe you have plenty of questions on surrogacy but aren’t sure where to turn for answers.
Whatever the case may be, there are no right or wrong questions to ask. To get the answers and support you need, reach out to a surrogacy professional today.
In the meantime, maybe we can help. Below we’ve listed seven questions about surrogacy you should consider before becoming a surrogate and their answers.
1. Why do you Want to Become a Surrogate?
If you’re considering becoming a surrogate, one of the first surrogacy questions you should ask yourself is why you’re considering surrogacy. Many people choose to become surrogates because they have the altruistic desire to help people have a child. Surrogates have children of their own and want to use their reproductive ability to help a couple struggling with infertility, a hopeful single parent or an LGBT couple have a child that is biologically related to them.
Surrogates also typically love being pregnant enough to want to dedicate up to a year of their lives to carrying a child for someone else. There are some harmful stereotypes that claim some women become surrogates for compensation. This is almost always untrue. While the compensation is an undeniable benefit, it should never be the main driving factor in your decision.
If you want to make a couple’s or person’s dreams of having a child of their own come true, contact a surrogacy professional today.
2. What are the Benefits and Risks of Surrogacy?
This is an important question about surrogacy to consider. With a process as complex as surrogacy, there are many pros and cons that you should be aware of before committing to the process.
What qualifies as benefits of surrogacy will vary depending on your situation and your own set of values. But there’s no denying that the benefits are numerous. Here are just a few:
- You give the gift of a child to a couple or person. This is an opportunity that might not have been possible if it weren’t for you.
- You create a lasting bond with the intended parents. After carrying their child, you will be forever bound by your surrogacy journey. Many surrogates form close friendships with the intended parents they help.
- If you enjoy being pregnant, you get to experience this again without taking on the responsibility of another child.
- You will be financially compensated. Since you are providing a service that requires a lot of your time and physical and emotional energy, you will be compensated. You will receive a base pay in monthly installments as well as reimbursements for any surrogacy and pregnancy expenses.
With any physically demanding process like surrogacy, there are risks involved. Many of these are risks that you would see with any pregnancy. These include:
- Physical side effects of pregnancy such as morning sickness, frequent urination, back pain, swelling, heartburn, etc.
- Minor side effects from the fertility drugs, such as bruising or soreness at the injection sites, and in rare cases, allergic reaction.
- Mood swings and difficult emotions due to pregnancy hormones and/or postpartum depression. Your surrogacy professional can help you navigate these emotions through counseling covered by the intended parents.
3. What are Surrogacy Requirements?
In order to become a surrogate, there are a number of requirements you must meet. Surrogacy is emotionally and physically demanding, and not everyone is equipped to be a surrogate. These requirements ensure that all surrogates an agency works with can safely and successfully carry a baby for someone else.
These requirements can include:
- You must have a child of your own
- Must have had at least one successful pregnancy
- Between the ages of 21-38
- A BMI of 19-32
- It has been six months since your last birth
- No felony convictions
- Must be off anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication for 12 months
These requirements may vary depending on the agency you work with, but their purpose is the same: to protect the safety and wellbeing of you, the intended parents, the surrogacy professional and the baby.
4. How do I Find Intended Parents?
If you don’t already have a person or couple in mind that you want to carry for, a surrogacy agency can match you with intended parents that fit your goals and preferences. You will be able to review intended parent profiles until you find the couple or person you want to carry for.
Once you find a match, you will be able to get to know the intended parents through a conference call, video chat or in-person meeting arranged by your surrogacy professional. This is a great time to ask any questions about surrogacy you may have about their surrogacy goals and expectations to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
5. Can I be a Surrogate for a Friend or Family Member?
Yes! As long as they meet the requirements and successfully complete the screening process, then there’s nothing preventing you from carrying for someone you know. This is done through a process called identified surrogacy. Even though you already have a match in mind, a surrogacy agency can still help you through the process.
You should make sure that you are both on the same page about this decision. Becoming a surrogate for someone you know will change your relationship with them forever. It’s important that you are confident that this change will bring you closer together and not drive a wedge between you and them.
6. What is the Medical Process for Surrogacy Like?
The answer to this common question about surrogacy will be different for every surrogate because different bodies have different needs. Before you can begin the medical process, there are set steps you will take. First, you will need to undergo medical screening to ensure that you are healthy enough to carry a child.
If this is successful, you will be able to move onto fertility treatments and medications. These medications will prepare your body for the embryo transfer. You will then undergo the embryo transfer procedure at the fertility clinic of the intended parent’s choice.
Once a pregnancy is confirmed, you will continue fertility treatments during the first trimester of your pregnancy to keep everything running smoothly. Once you’re in your second trimester, it will be like any other pregnancy.
7. How Much Does a Surrogate Get Paid?
The answer to this common surrogacy question will vary depending on your specific situation and the surrogacy agency you work with. While compensation should never be your primary motivation for becoming a surrogate, it is definitely a useful benefit. You will receive surrogate compensation in two ways:
- Base pay
- A monthly allowance
You will have a base pay paid to you in monthly installments. This money will be yours to spend however you want. Many surrogates put this money towards financial goals such as paying off debt, a down payment on a house or just caring for their family.
You will also receive a monthly allowance paid to you by the intended parents. This money is meant to cover surrogacy costs and pregnancy expenses. You will be able to discuss your financial preferences with the intended parents until both parties reach an agreement.
If you didn’t find your question here or need more information, contact a surrogacy professional today to get answer to frequently asked surrogacy questions.