Because surrogacy is such a life-changing experience, it’s important that you are confident this is a journey you want to embark on.
If you are considering being a surrogate, you are making a beautiful and selfless decision. You are volunteering to change the lives of a person or couple who has been dreaming about having a child of their own.
But, surrogacy can be a time-consuming, emotional and physically demanding process that impacts the lives of those involved in a very real way. How can you be sure it’s the right thing for you?
It’s important that you are prepared for everything the surrogacy process entails. If you’re asking “Should I become a surrogate?” this article goes into six questions you should ask yourself if you’re considering becoming a surrogate.
1. Why do you Want to be a Surrogate?
If you’re asking “Is surrogacy right for me?” sit down and think about why you want to carry a child for someone else.
With all of the emotional and physical energy that goes into becoming a surrogate, it’s important that you know why you want to become a surrogate and that you are doing so for the right reasons.
Many surrogates are motivated by the altruistic desire to help couples have a family of their own. For other women, the experience of being pregnant has been enjoyable in the past, and they’d like to do it again. However, surrogate compensation is also a big part of the allure for many women. While this is an important aspect of being a surrogate, it shouldn’t be your only driving factor, as this might not be enough to make this process feel worthwhile.
2. Do you Meet the Requirements?
Many surrogacy agencies have requirements in place to ensure that the surrogates they work with will be the best surrogates that they can be. One way to answer the question of “Should I become a surrogate mother?” is to find out if you meet all of the requirements.
Not every agency’s requirements will be the same, but a few of the qualifications you might be asked to meet are:
- Already parenting at least 1 child
- Have a healthy BMI
- Have had no complications with previous pregnancies/births
- Not taking any antidepressants
- Not using any drugs or alcohol
- Must be STD free for at least 12 months
- And more
You should always speak with the surrogacy agencies you are considering working with about the specific requirements they have for their potential surrogates. These qualifications aren’t meant to discriminate, but to ensure that you are truly ready to be a surrogate and that you and the baby will be safe and healthy throughout the pregnancy.
3. Are you Healthy Enough to be a Surrogate?
One of the most important things to consider before becoming a surrogate is if you are healthy enough to do so.
When you begin your surrogacy journey, one of the first things you will need to do is complete a medical screening process. Part of the screening will involve getting documentation from a physician stating that you can healthily carry a pregnancy to term. You will also need to provide confirmation that did not experience any issues with your previous pregnancies and deliveries. Your surrogacy professional will thoroughly review your medical history to ensure that you will be able to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.
4. Do you Have a Support System?
In addition to the physical demands of surrogacy and the time commitment, surrogacy is an emotional process. If you’re thinking of being a surrogate, having the support of friends and family members can make all the difference as you move through the surrogacy process.
Your support system can also provide you with day-to-day assistance as well. If you have a significant other, you should consult them when it comes to making surrogacy decisions. Your partner can be a huge asset to you during the surrogacy journey. If you have children living at home, you might think about how you want them to be involved as well as how to explain your surrogacy to them.
5. Do you Enjoy being Pregnant?
If you’re asking yourself “Should I become a surrogate?” consider whether or not enjoy being pregnant enough to carry a child for someone else. Since surrogacy is based entirely on pregnancy, this is something you should definitely consider before committing to becoming a surrogate.
While many women love the experience of being pregnant, it isn’t without its challenges So, it’s important that you are prepared to deal with all of the side effects that come with it. If you truly enjoy being pregnant and you are willing to carry another family’s child for nine months, then becoming a surrogate could be one of the most rewarding choices you ever make.
6. Are you Ready for the Commitments of being a Surrogate?
If you’re considering being a surrogate, you should be prepared for all of the commitments that come with it. While surrogacy is a very exciting process, it involves making various commitments.
One such commitment is your time. Are you prepared to dedicate up to a year of your time to the surrogacy process? This time commitment consists of attending appointments, communicating with the intended parents, managing your pregnancy, etc.
Surrogacy is also a physically demanding process. You will need to attend multiple appointments and will need to take a variety of fertility drugs to ensure that you will have a successful pregnancy. You will likely undergo intensive medical procedures, including embryo transfer. Once you are pregnant, you may experience common side effects of pregnancy such as fatigue, morning sickness, mood swings, and more.
As rewarding as surrogacy is, it can come with its fair share of complex emotions. Having to plan your life around your pregnancy can become a source of stress. While surrogates rarely have any issues with carrying someone else’s baby and transferring the baby over to their parents following the birth, you will need to consider if you are emotionally prepared to leave the hospital without the baby. Some surrogacy agencies offer counseling to the surrogates and intended parents they work with. You should consider taking advantage of these services throughout your surrogacy so that you are equipped to tackle any emotional challenges that may arise. If you’re considering being a surrogate and ready to begin your surrogacy process today, or if you have questions about how to know if it’s right for you, reach out to a professional today.