Become a Surrogate Mother

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become a surrogate mother
Become a surrogate mother. Has the thought crossed your mind to go through a surrogate pregnancy, helping another family while helping your own financially?

Find out all about surrogate motherhood and surrogate babies: qualifications, matching, and more.

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The surrogacy section of this website is several pages. It includes information about gestational surrogacy, traditional surrogacy, and egg donation, as well as information about how to qualify to become a surrogate.

Skip to Surrogacy Index

If you are thinking to become a surrogate mother, you have two options. Whether you choose gestational surrogacy or traditional surrogacy, there are several steps that need to be completed in a surrogate journey.

Follow these tips to get started on surrogate motherhood, or, visit our sister site, Information on Surrogacy, to learn more about how to become a surrogate mother.

Surrogacy Research

First, you will need to research all aspects of surrogacy thoroughly. Surrogacy is not something you decide on in an afternoon. Despite what you may be thinking, a surrogate pregnancy is a commitment from your entire family. An excellent site to explore more information about surrogacy and how to become a surrogate mother: Information on Surrogacy

Take the time to read through this site with a fine tooth comb. Ask questions on the forums. Then, when you think you are ready, take an extra month to sit back and let it all sink in. Ask more questions.

Do not rush this process. It is important that you take this time to find out if your desire to become a surrogate mother is really the right thing for you and your family.

Surrogacy Qualifications

In order to become a surrogate mother, there are certain qualifications that you will need:
  • You must have given birth to at least one live child (not negotiable, this is an absolute must)
  • You must not have had any serious pregnancy complications
  • You must be healthy
  • You must be young, this varies by clinic, but generally 21-40
  • You must not be obese, this varies by clinic, some will take high BMIs, some are very strict
  • You must have health insurance, or be able to obtain it
  • Tubes Tied
    If you have your tubes tied, do not count yourself out. As a gestational surrogate, a tubal ligation is a good thing, as it pretty much guarantees that you will not become pregnant with your own child instead of the surrogate babies. As a traditional surrogate, it will most likely rule you out as a candidate, unless the parents want to go through the expense of an IVF procedure.

    Traditional Surrogacy
    Because a surrogate mother's own eggs are used in traditional surrogacy, there are extra, more personal requirements to become a surrogate mother. These requirements are the same as those of an egg donor.

    Most parents are looking for a specific type of person. They might want a tall, attractive woman with the same hair and eye color as the intended mother. They might be more concerned with a potential carrier's weight and family medical history. Or, they might be interested in a higher IQ or college graduate. Some might simply want a healthy woman with a great heart, of the same ethnic background as themselves. These requirements vary.

    Surrogacy Matching

    Once you have determined that you are able to become a surrogate mother and have discussed it with your family, you are ready to begin the matching process. This is the process of finding the perfect set of intended parents to undergo your surrogate motherhood journey with.

    Do not jump the gun and try to do this right away.

    Without proper research you may find yourself taken advantage of, and in-over-your-head very quickly. Before beginning the matching process you should firmly decide on your fees and you should think through any ethical dilemmas.

    For instance:
  • Would you be willing to abort fetuses with genetic defects?
  • What happens if you become pregnant with quadruplets?
  • Would you be willing to reduce, or abort two of the fetuses?
  • These issues (and more) need to be examined and decided upon well in advance of the matching process. There is no right or wrong answer to these questions, but you need to be sure that you match yourself with intended parents who feel the same way. When you are ready, its time to find the perfect intended parents for your surrogate motherhood journey.

    You have a choice: you can be matched by a surrogate agency or you can be matched independently.

    Surrogate Agency Matching
    It can be very good, especially when you first become a surrogate mother, to go through a surrogate agency. In addition to finding a couple for you, a surrogacy agency will generally handle the following for you:
  • Coordinate Testing
  • Surrogacy Lawyer
  • Compensation Negotiation
  • Set Up Appointments with Clinic
  • Mediate Between Surrogate Mother and Intended Parents, if needed
  • Escrow Payments and Reimbursements
  • All surrogate agencies are not created equal. It is important that you research any agency you are interested in before signing with them.

    Independent Surrogacy Matching
    Many surrogate mothers decide to go independent instead of coordinating through a surrogate agency. The main reason this is usually done is to save the intended parents money, though some surrogates prefer to find their own match.

    Surrogacy Lawyers

    Once matched, both the intended parents and the surrogate mother will need to obtain surrogacy lawyers. A contract will need to be drawn up, describing everything from legal matters the state needs, to what happens if triplets or more occur during the surrogate pregnancy, and how much the surrogate mother is to be compensated.

    No matter what you are told, you will absolutely need your own lawyer, and will not be able to share the same lawyer as the intended parents.

    A surrogate mother will need her own lawyer, who does not have a conflict of interests, to look over the contract to make sure that it is in the surrogate mother's best interest. If this is a traditional surrogacy, adoption-type paperwork will most likely need to be drawn up and the surrogate mother will need to sign away her maternal rights to the child.

    For more information about legal issues in surrogacy, check out the surrogacy laws and legal information on Information on Surrogacy.

    Surrogacy Testing

    After contracts have been signed, it is time for a those wishing to become a surrogate mother to undergo testing. There are two types of testing: physical and mental. A surrogate's partner or husband will most likely be included on both kinds of testing.

    Physical Surrogacy Testing
    In addition to a full panel STD test on both the surrogate and her partner, pap smears, full physicals, and a fluid ultrasound to check for cysts will probably also be required. Each clinic is different and it will vary depending on if it is a gestational or traditional surrogacy.

    Most surrogate agencies, and many infertility clinics require a mental evaluation for any woman who wants to become a surrogate mother and her partner before being accepted. Usually this means meeting with a psychologist for about an hour. This may also require a lengthy personality test, or an MMPI evaluation, done to determine if a woman is mentally stable enough to become a surrogate mother.

    Surrogate Pregnancy Procedures

    Traditional Surrogacy
    A traditional surrogate will undergo artificial insemination in order to become pregnant. This will involve monitoring ovulation, and the thawing of samples sent by the intended father. Fairly inexpensive, it could take several months to conceive.

    Gestational Surrogacy
    Gestational surrogacy is much more complicated. The surrogate mother is placed on medication, both oral and medication that will need to be injected on a daily basis, in order to prepare her for the embryo transfer. The transfer is much the same as a pap smear, and is generally not painful.

    The surrogate mother will continue with oral and injectable medication for several weeks after the transfer, to ensure that the embryo continues to thrive. It is generally determined within two weeks of transfer if the embryo implanted into the surrogate's womb will form a surrogate pregnancy. If it did not, the gestational surrogate stops the medication and the process starts over.

    Surrogate Pregnancy

    Once pregnant, a surrogate pregnancy is much the same as a typical pregnancy, with a few noted changes:

    Unlike your own pregnancies, surrogate motherhood means that you do not always get to control the factors of the surrogate pregnancy. For example, you yourself may never have considered doing an amniocentesis with your own children, but this may be very important for the intended parents. So, in order to become a surrogate mother, you may need one, if that is what they wanted done.

    As a gestational carrier, you will be on many more medications than you would ever have been on during your own pregnancies.

    Risk of Multiples
    As a gestational carrier, you will have a much higher chance of carrying twins or triplets than you would during your own pregnancies.
    be a surrogate mother

    Become a Gestational Surrogate Mother

    Have you decided that becoming a gestational surrogate mother is the right path for you?

    You'll want to pick up a copy of How to Become a Gestational Surrogate Mother: A Step-by-Step Guide from Decision to Delivery.

    There are many steps, and potential pitfalls, to a surrogacy journey. This guide will make sure you are informed!

    Download your copy How to Become a Gestational Surrogate Mother

    **Please note: though we are talking about "money making" on this page, a woman should not decide to become a surrogate mother simply for the financial rewards. Yes, they exist. But, the process is very complicated, lengthy, and personal. Those who do this because they have it in their hearts to give make excellent surrogates. Those who come from a "money making" mentality are miserable.

    After Delivery

    In most cases, the intended parents are present for the delivery of the surrogate babies. As soon as the surrogate babies are delivered, the intended parents make all decisions regarding their children. The surrogate babies are handed off immediately.

    As the woman who gave birth to the child, most states will place your name on the birth certificate. The lawyers will then bring the matter to court and have a new birth certificate made, and the old one sealed. This will take a couple weeks.

    Who Pays for Surrogate Motherhood Expenses?

    Ultimately, every single pregnancy related expense is the responsibility of the intended parents. Generally, a surrogate mother's personal health insurance will cover her as a patient while she is pregnant, and should be used instead of requiring the intended parents to pay for the pregnancy and delivery. In some cases, a surrogate mother will not have insurance, or her insurance specifically excludes surrogacy, so the intended parents will need to purchase a policy for her. But everything else, the intended parents pay for:
  • Agency Fees
  • Surrogate Mother and Spouse Medical Testing
  • Lawyers (both Intended Parents lawyers and Surrogate's lawyer)
  • IVF, Infertility, Clinic Fees
  • Medications
  • Travel and transportation (to clinic, to testing, to doctor's appointments)
  • Bedrest (if required)
  • Child Care (for surrogate's children, if needed)
  • Lost Wages
  • Doctor's Copays
  • Insurance Deductibles
  • Life Insurance for Surrogate Mother
  • Prenatal Vitamins
  • etc...

  • Do you think you could become a surrogate mother? Why or why not?

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    Related Pages

  • How to Become a Gestational Surrogate Mother
  • What is a Gestational Surrogate
  • What is a Traditional Surrogate
  • What is an Egg Donor
  • Our Sister Site: Information on Surrogacy

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