How Can I Become a Surrogate Mother?

Learn about the screening, medical and legal requirements involved in the surrogacy process — to help decide if surrogacy is right for you.

When you become a surrogate, you are making a life-changing decision — not only for the intended parents you are helping but also for yourself. Surrogacy is one of the most amazing gifts you can give to another couple or individual, but it is also a long and sometimes challenging process that requires strength, selflessness and commitment. This leads many women to wonder: Is this the right path for me? Am I ready to begin the process? How do I become a surrogate mother?

If you are considering surrogacy, this guide will walk you through the screening, medical and legal requirements to help you decide whether you are ready to begin the surrogacy process.

Screening Requirements for Surrogates

Women looking for information on how to be a surrogate should first understand the initial requirements for prospective surrogate mothers. After contacting a surrogacy professional, the first step to becoming a surrogate is to meet the agency’s qualifications and pass its screening requirements. This screening process helps protect the health and safety of the surrogate as well as the baby and ensures you are physically and psychologically ready for the surrogacy process.

Surrogate requirements vary by agency, but according to standards set by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the general qualifications for becoming a surrogate may include:

If you meet your surrogacy professional’s general qualifications for surrogate mothers, you can proceed with the screening process. The surrogate screening process will vary depending on the agency you work with, but it will often include the following elements:

While the screening process may seem laborious, it is important for everyone involved. You can take comfort in knowing that intended parents will also be screened to ensure they too are ready for surrogacy.

Medical Requirements for Surrogates

Because your health is so central to a successful surrogacy, it will be closely monitored throughout the entire surrogacy process, from the time you are screened until the delivery of the baby. As a surrogate, you will be required to undergo several medical tests and procedures and take fertility medications throughout the process.

The medical requirements for surrogates can be thought of in several stages:

Throughout these medical processes and your entire pregnancy, you will maintain regular communication with the intended parents. If you are both comfortable, they may want to be present for doctor appointments so they can experience all of the excitement of the pregnancy along with you.

Legal Requirements for Surrogates

One of the most important requirements in any surrogacy arrangement is the legal contract. Every surrogacy agreement is different depending on your circumstances and your relationship with the intended parents. Your specific legal rights and obligations will be outlined in your contract.

Prior to beginning any medical procedures, you and the intended parents must agree to and sign the contract, which will clearly outline all of the legal aspects of the surrogacy, including:

In most cases, the intended parents’ attorney will draft the contract. You will then review the contract with your own attorney to ensure that all of your requests have been included. Once all necessary revisions have been made and both parties agree to the terms of the contract, you and the intended parents will sign the paperwork and the contract becomes legally binding. At that point, you can begin receiving payments and prepare for the embryo transfer.

Surrogacy laws vary by state and the legal process can be complex, so it is important to work with experienced legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected. It is highly recommended that you obtain your own attorney to represent your interests throughout the process.

I Want to Be a Surrogate Mother. Now What?

If you meet the qualifications to become a surrogate and are ready to commit to the required legal process and medical procedures, you are ready to take the preliminary steps in the surrogacy process:

Once you have created your surrogacy plan, you will be ready to be matched with prospective intended parents and begin the legal and medical processes. With the right legal, medical and screening preparation, you will be well on your way to becoming a surrogate mother.

Are you ready to become a surrogate? Want to learn more about the surrogacy process? Contact a surrogacy professional now for free information with no obligation.

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