When you choose to become a surrogate, you are making a decision that will change your life and the lives of many people. Surrogacy is one of the most amazing gifts that you can give someone but it does come at a cost for you. Surrogacy can be a long and challenging process that will require you to be strong, selfless, and determined. That is why so many people decide that it isn’t the right path for them to take.
Still, if you want to be a surrogate, you need to know the responsibilities and requirements that come with being a part of this process.
If you are looking for information on how to be a surrogate, you should first understand the requirements to even be a prospective surrogate mother. After getting into contact with a surrogacy professional, you have to meet the agency’s qualifications and pass the screening requirements. This screening helps to determine whether or not you will be a successful surrogate should you get matched with an intended family.
Surrogate requirements tend to vary by agency, but most follow the standards set by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. These include (but are not limited to):
- You must have had one or more easy pregnancies and deliveries.
- You must have been free of treatable STDs for at least a year.
- You must have a healthy BMI of 30 or less.
- You must be between the ages of 21 and 40.
- You must have at least one child of your own living with you.
- You must be a non-smoker and cannot use drugs.
- You must have reliable transportation.
- You must be financially stable with no government assistance.
- You must have a desire to help another in a special way.
If you meet these qualifications, you can move your way through the screening process.
Surrogacy Screening Process
Throughout the process, you will have to go through different tests and qualifications. Just because you pass the initial test does not mean that you will pass all of them, unfortunately. There are some general phases you can expect:
You will have to fill out an application. The initial application will ask you about the qualifications mentioned above as well as a few other questions about you, your health, and why you want to be a surrogate. After you submit an initial application, you will generally be contacted by a surrogacy official who will move you onto the next step. The application may include social and medical history. If it doesn’t, this is typically the second from you will have to fill out. This one will include information about your health history, familial history, and even your personality.
Once you pass this step, you will need to have a physical examination. This will go over general health items as well as fertility based items. You may have to meet with a fertility specialist as well and get lab work. At the same time, you will need to have an at home assessment, where you will talk to a social worker to discuss your goals and motivations for pursuing surrogacy. The social worker will be with you throughout your entire process.
Throughout the process, you may also need to take background checks for you and anyone else who lives your home. You may also need to have a mental health evaluation.
This might seem a bit overwhelming, but it is necessary and important for you to do. One thing to remember is that the intended parents are going through a large number of tests as well.
What Are Surrogates Responsible For?
As a surrogate, you are responsible for taking care of yourself and knowing your body enough to know when something doesn’t feel right. You have to keep your own health in mind as well as the health of the unborn child. You will agree to terms with the intended parent in regards to communication, compensation, and medical tests.
All of this should be covered before you begin the actual surrogacy.
Don’t worry – if you work with a respected, experienced agency, they will be able to work with you to cover everything and support you every step of the way.
Ready to get started with surrogacy? Have questions about the procedures and requirements? Contact SPS today.