What Does It Take to Be a Surrogate?
Surrogacy is not right for every woman — but for those that it is, surrogacy can be a life-changing journey full of joy and accomplishment. Here, find out what will make you a successful gestational carrier.
Being a surrogate is a selfless choice that leads to a beautiful journey — but, it’s not right for everyone.
If you’re considering becoming a gestational carrier, you should familiarize yourself with the requirements of this journey. Being a surrogate brings some potential risks and challenges, and not every woman is suited for this experience.
So, what does it take to be a surrogate — and how do you know if it’s the right path for you?
Every surrogate’s experience is different, but the best carriers tend to share certain characteristics. Here, we list just some of what it takes to be a surrogate mother. Use this guide to help you determine whether being a surrogate is the right choice for you.
What Does It Take to Become a Surrogate?
By nature, it takes a great deal of selflessness and generosity to become a gestational carrier. But, that’s not all that is required when you become a surrogate. Surrogacy is a journey full of ups and downs, and it’s important that every prospective surrogate is 100 percent prepared for the challenges and rewards ahead.
Here’s what else it takes to become a surrogate today:
1. An Understanding of the Surrogacy Process
It may seem obvious, but we cannot overstate the importance of proper education and information for a prospective surrogate. Many women come to surrogacy never having been a surrogate before. Thorough research and availability of surrogacy information helps them understand exactly what it takes to be a surrogate mother and pursue this dream of theirs.
The best way to learn more about becoming a surrogate? Contacting a surrogacy professional. Surrogacy agencies can answer all of the questions you have about gestational surrogacy and walk you through their set of surrogate requirements. They will help you determine whether surrogacy is really the right choice for you.
They say knowledge is power, and that’s certainly true in gestational surrogacy. The better informed you are, the better prepared you will be for process ahead of you.
2. A Support System
While you will be the one carrying the intended parents’ child, your whole family will be affected by your surrogacy decision. Therefore, in order to become a surrogate, you must have the support of your spouse and other loved ones.
When you become a surrogate, you will give up a great deal of your time and energy to partner with the intended parents. This may make it harder for you to complete your everyday responsibilities. Having a support system will make this much easier.
While your support system starts with a great surrogacy professional, you’ll need to talk in depth with your spouse or another loved one to create a plan for your pregnancy and ensure your family lives are not unduly inconvenienced.
3. Organization Skills
Being a surrogate is hard work. The women who have the most positive experiences with their gestational pregnancies are those who are able to organize their surrogacy and family duties appropriately.
You will need to keep track of things such as medical appointments, medical bills, calls with the intended parents and more. This is all on top of your normal responsibilities at your job and at your home. While surrogate compensation will help offset some of the difficulties of juggling your two lives, you should be ready to take on the responsibility of organizing these things yourself. You will have a much happier surrogacy journey for doing so.
4. Flexibility and Openness
What do you really need to be a surrogate mother? A willingness to work with all parties involved and adjust your plan as needed.
When you become a surrogate, your surrogacy professional will help you create a surrogacy plan, outlining what you expect your surrogacy journey to be like. But, like with many things in life, sometimes things don’t always go the way you expect in surrogacy. Approaching your journey with an open mind and flexible schedule can make all the difference in these kinds of situations.
While you will never be asked to compromise your most important surrogacy needs and preferences, it’s important to remember that surrogacy is a partnership. The best surrogacy journeys are those in which intended parents and their gestational surrogate listen to and work closely with one another, no matter what happens.
What Do I Have to Do to Become a Surrogate Mother?
Now that you know a little more about what it takes to be a surrogate mother, you may be ready to start this life-changing journey.
So, what do you need to do to be a surrogate mother?
Here are the three steps you’ll need to follow to become a gestational carrier in the United States:
Step 1: Meet Surrogacy Requirements.
Before you can become a gestational surrogate, you must meet the requirements to do so. While every surrogacy professional will have slightly different requirements for surrogates, most will follow these basic guidelines:
- Be at least 21 years old and younger than 40
- Have a healthy BMI, as determined by your doctor
- Have carried at least one pregnancy successfully to term
- Be raising a child of your own in your own home
- No major complications in your previous pregnancies
- Be off anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication for 12 months
- Have no new tattoos or piercings within 12 months of starting the process
Certain requirements are non-negotiables, while others may be waived on a case-by-case basis.
Step 2: Contact a Surrogacy Professional.
Contacting a surrogacy professional is the best way to learn about the specific requirements to become a surrogate and what that professional looks for in surrogate candidates.
You can talk to a surrogacy agency, attorney or clinic to get answers to all of your questions about becoming a gestational carrier. These professionals will also complete preliminary screenings and consultations to ensure that you have what it takes to be a surrogate mother with their programs.
If you’re asking, “Do I have what it takes to be a surrogate?” contacting a professional is the right way to go.
Step 3: Find Intended Parents
If you prove that you have what it takes to be a surrogate mother, your surrogacy professional will move forward with the matching stage of your process. This can be the most exciting step; you will get to choose the parents you carry for and finally start the medical process of surrogacy!
The surrogacy matching process is mutual, which means both you and the intended parents will have a say in which partnership you choose. Once you have selected intended parents, you will typically undergo one final screening at their fertility clinic before you can sign your surrogacy contract and get ready for the embryo transfer process.
Remember: Every surrogate’s journey is different, so what you need to do to be a surrogate mother may vary from one professional to the next. But, if you think you are ready for the life-changing journey of becoming a gestational carrier, go ahead and get started today.