The surrogacy process can and should be an exciting and joyful experience for surrogates and intended parents. There are many steps in the surrogacy process and therefore many potential opportunities for disappointment, frustration, and stress. Knowing what to expect and being prepared for the surrogacy journey can help reduce the likelihood of any negative emotions and experiences. The following tips can help you have a great start to a wonderful opportunity to help others in such a special way.
Know The Requirements
There are many surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics that list the requirements/criteria to become a surrogate. If you search the topic, you will find a plethora of information. You will also find that the requirements/criteria are consistent for any surrogacy agency or fertility clinic. You can view as many websites and resources as you have time for, but you really don’t need to. Looking at a few websites will give you reliable information for the requirements to become a surrogate.
Consult Your Doctor
Becoming a surrogate requires that you are healthy reproductively and in overall good health. It is essential to have your OB’s approval before moving forward in the surrogacy process. Written approval from your OB/GYN is a requirement before moving forward as a surrogate.
Be Up To Date On Medical Care
This will be different for every potential surrogate candidate as it is dependent on health history. Examples include being up to date on your Pap Smear, and also all screening/monitoring tests applicable to your age group and health history.
As with many things in life, the surrogacy process does not always go as planned. It is important to have plans and timelines in place, however there is a good chance that you will have to adjust those plans and timelines throughout the surrogacy process. Your surrogacy agency can help you anticipate and prepare for any unexpected occurrences that may pop up. Oftentimes, the surrogacy process will go smoothly and without any hiccups so be prepared for that too!
Establish Your Support System
If you are married or have a partner that you share your life with, it is essential that you have their support for your plans to be a surrogate mother! If you move forward in the process to become a surrogate, you will likely find someone in your circle of life that may express negative feelings about you being a surrogate. But your spouse/partner cannot be one of them! Your experience as a surrogate can be an amazing journey for you and your family as you share a unique way of helping others. So be sure that everyone in your immediate family is on board. It is a bonus if parents, siblings and other family members and close friends are supportive. Get feedback from those closest to you as you are gathering information about becoming a surrogate.
Learn From Experienced Surrogates
Many experienced surrogates will share their surrogacy journey stories in a variety of ways. Some will post about their surrogacy process, pregnancy, birth, and post-birth experience on social media platforms and blogs. Most are willing to engage with prospective surrogate mothers and answer questions and give advice. Be sure to gather information from at least 3-4 experienced surrogates to get different perspectives and experiences.
Every part of the surrogacy process might take weeks, months, or even longer. It is surprising how long certain steps in the surrogacy process can take! Although frustrating, it helps to consider that rushing anything of such magnitude as surrogacy could have negative consequences later. There are many providers involved; surrogacy agency, fertility clinic, reproductive attorneys for intended parents and surrogate, insurance specialists, and OB/GYN. Any of these providers may discover unknown information that causes delays and disappointments. These can be overcome of course, but not without patience, flexibility, and persistence.
It takes a special woman to be a surrogate mother! To even consider the possibility of becoming a surrogate is amazing. As with any important life experience, being prepared can help make the experience all that you want it to be. If you are considering becoming a surrogate, thank you!