Want to become a surrogate? Have a read of these Frequently Asked Questions…
Most of us are full of respect and admiration for surrogates, appreciating their wonderful act of kindness and selflessness. Having positive opinions is one thing but actually becoming that surrogate is a different thing altogether. The fact you are reading this may suggest you are considering the possibility but have some unanswered questions.
Becoming a surrogate mother will be one of the most rewarding and unforgettable moments of your life. This doesn’t mean it is an easy decision to make however. Factors to think about include legal, emotional and physical aspects, the impact on your family and the availability of your support network. With so much to consider, we have produced a list of answers to the most commonly asked questions.
Am I making the right decision?
The only person who can make this decision is you. It is beneficial to gather the thoughts and opinions of those closest to you. They will have your best interests at heart and may even raise a point you hadn’t thought about. You want to have the support from your partner and children and not make things difficult for them. Once you have committed to becoming a surrogate it can be difficult to back-out so it is important to think thoroughly about it, weighing up all the pros and cons. Gathering as much information as possible will let you know what to expect. We suggest chatting to other woman who have been through the experience as they will have a valuable understanding of your situation. Positive physical and mental health is a must. You don’t want to worsen any existing conditions you have or put yourself at increased risk of illness. Be aware of factors such as age and experience with previous pregnancies.
What exactly is a gestational surrogate?
Being a gestational surrogate is when you agree to physically carry and give birth to a baby that has no biological link to you directly as the embryo did not use your egg.
What is a traditional surrogate?
Being a traditional or straight surrogate is when you agree to gift your own eggs which are fertilised by an intended parent through IUI or IVF.
What will the financial impact be?
This will vary depending on where you live. Some countries legalise commercial surrogacy with you setting a price for your service, meaning there is potential for profit. Other countries are against this but allow surrogates to be compensated for any expenses incurred. This prevents people using money as an incentive. It is essential that you find out what the law is in your country and make the appropriate agreements with the Intended Parents as early as possible.
Who should I be a surrogate for?
The Intended Parents that you decide to be a surrogate for will usually be people you connect with. You may feel a desire to help them become parents empathising with their struggle for a baby. You should develop a strong relationship with each other to be sure you have shared end goals and expectations. It is sensible to focus on practicalities such as location. We advise you to be a surrogate for people who you and your family are comfortable with. We would suggest avoiding being a surrogate for people who you can’t get along with or who have values and morals that you can’t accept, leading you to doubt their parental abilities.
How much time should I set aside for this?
There is no definitive answer when it comes to the duration of surrogacy. Taking time to develop a strong trusting relationship with the Intended Parents cannot be rushed and will vary from person to person. Of course the actual pregnancy will take nine months plus few weeks put aside for IVF treatment and preparation, but finding the right person and getting to know them can’t be predicted.
What should I expect at the birth?
Preparing for the birth is something the Intended Parents may want be involved with. They may be keen to have an input in the method of delivery or want to request being present at the actual birth. It is advisable to chat about all of this before committing to the surrogacy to ensure you can reach an agreement. It is useful to inform the medical staff delivering the baby that you are a surrogate which will allow them to adapt their practice if necessary.
What if the Intended Parents change their mind?
We can reassure you that it is highly unlikely the Intended Parents will decide they don’t want their baby. Most people who use a surrogate have been desperate for a baby and this is a final chance. Depending on which country you reside in there will be different legal rights and responsibilities. Make sure you understand the specific law in your country and discuss any of your concerns with the future parents.