In this month’s blog, the Center for Surrogate Parenting discusses the requirements for being accepted as a gestational carrier
In the early days of surrogacy, Bill Handel, CSP‘s founder and president, was one of only a handful of people practicing in surrogacy. One of Bill’s rules was that a surrogate mother needed to have a child of her own.
At the time, this was not an industry-wide requirement but eventually became an industry standard and now serves as one of ASRM’s guidelines for gestational carrier screening. This determinant protects the best interests of a surrogate mother.
How can you ask a woman to carry a pregnancy when they have no pregnancy experience themselves?
Bill Handel realized that surrogacy was dangerous when a woman had not carried or delivered a baby herself. Someone who has never given birth cannot know what pregnancy is like or be able to answer questions about pregnancy-related issues, risks, childbirth and one’s body reactions to peri- and postpartum events.
Additionally, just because one had uncomplicated pregnancies does not preclude future pregnancy complications. Every surrogacy agreement should start with a gestational carrier who has demonstrated that she has carried a healthy, full-term, pregnancy.
As with any relationship, empathy and communication are essential to form a solid basis of trust
The relationship between a surrogate mother and intended parents is central to the success of any surrogacy agreement and serves to ensure a successful, rewarding experience for all.
Having empathy for their intended parents, and understanding any anxiety or fears the IPs may be feeling, are crucial in a surrogate mother. An experienced mother has greater empathy for the pain and suffering of infertile couples. A mother raising children of her own is more likely to understand the repercussions her behavior and choices may have towards her intended parents.
We often have applicants who say they do not want children of their own but want to help those unable to have their own children
However, childbirth is not risk-free and, though rare, a gestational carrier’s fertility may be impacted during pregnancy or delivery, leaving her unable to have more children of her own. Likewise, until someone has had their own child, they are unable to know if they truly will be able to give the child back to its parents after delivery.
Intended Parents enter surrogacy after struggling with fertility challenges and therefore are making a large financial, emotional and time commitment
They need the certainty that the surrogate they are working with has demonstrated a proven reproductive history and sound judgement before, during and after pregnancy.
Ensuring every surrogate mother in CSP’s program has had at least one healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery, and is currently raising her child(ren) provides safety and security for all parties and demonstrates how CSP has always been a trendsetter in the gestational carrier field.
When screening applicants, we look for a history of healthy, uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries.
To find out about becoming a surrogate mother with CSP, click here