Surrogacy is a beautiful and life-change experience, and surrogate mothers are truly blessed for shouldering the weight of pregnancy so that others can be parents. Many surrogate mothers say that the true birth of a child is when it is created in the hearts of loving parents. So how to become a surrogate mother ?
Commonly seen motivations for enrolling as a surrogate mother
Here is a look at some of the motivations for becoming a surrogate mother.
The joy of pregnancy and experiencing the miracle of birth
A history of easy and uncomplicated pregnancies
Empathy toward couples struggling with pregnancy/fertility
An opportunity to be part of something special
An understanding of the importance of children in parents’ lives
Financial help for their family
Requirements for enrolling in surrogacy programs
Different clinics and surrogacy agencies have their own requirements, terms, and conditions for enrolling as a surrogate mother.
The law regarding surrogacy can also be different for each country or state. However, there are a few basic requirements that can be found in almost all clinics and agencies. Here are some of them:
Between 21 to 42 years of age
The specific age limits may vary, but surrogate mothers should generally be between their mid to late 20s or early 40s. A mother in her early 20s or below 20 years of age may not fully understand the scope of the procedure and the effect it can have on her, the parents, and the child. On the other hand, a woman in her mid to late 40s is generally not allowed to be a surrogate mother because the medical risks are too high.
The woman must already have a child of her own
Most clinics and agencies have a principle that only those who have gone through pregnancy successfully and experienced birth can truly understand the magnitude of surrogacy. Therefore, they only accept women as surrogate mothers if they have already had a successful pregnancy at least once. Some clinics go further and require the surrogate mothers to be actively raising at least one child.
Emotional factors aside, money can be a major motivation for many surrogate mothers. This is especially true in developing countries like India, but it happens all too often in the U.S. as well. Many clinics in the U.S. do not allow women on welfare or any state assistance to enroll as a surrogate mother. If money is your sole or primary motivation to become a surrogate mother, you may have to reassess what it means to be a surrogate.
Matching parents and the surrogate mother
Once you are part of a surrogacy agency or clinic, you will have to wait until you are matched with a prospective couple or parent. Once a match is found, you will receive information about the parents and they will receive information about you. This is done to make sure that both parties get to know and are comfortable with each other.
As a surrogate mother, you may have to meet with the intended parents at the clinic or agency and discuss the process and expectations with them. This very crucial step determines how smoothly the surrogacy will go.
If the surrogate mother and intended parents are comfortable with each other, a contract for surrogacy will be drawn. Once signed and agreed upon, the surrogate mother will meet with the IVF doctor.
As a surrogate mother, you will have to undergo certain medical tests to assess your condition. The tests taken differ from clinic to clinic, but most clinics conduct the following:
General physical exam
Pap smear test
Vaginal ultrasound, where an ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina to check for scar tissue, lining thickness, and polyps
Hysteroscopy, where a small camera is inserted into the uterus through the vagina to check the uterine cavity
Gestational or Traditional Surrogacy
There are two types of surrogacy, and you may be selected for either one. As a traditional surrogate, you will be the egg donor and have a genetic link to the baby. The sperm may be from the intended father or a donor. As a gestational surrogate, you will only be a surrogate and the egg and sperm will be from donors or the intended parents. This is the preferred option, since traditional surrogacy can affect the mother emotionally and also cause legal issues.
Surrogacy, while beautiful, can be a confusing and trying process for the surrogate mother and her family. You need the full support of your family, and your children should clearly understand why and what you are doing. Most importantly, you can make sure you do not get emotionally affected in the process of making another couple’s dreams come true. Hope the above article throws some light on how to become a surrogate mother? Being a surrogate mother is a lot to ask from any woman; do not rush the decision.