“My wife wants to be a gestational carrier.”
Odds are, if you searched that term and have found this page, you are likely a husband or partner who has many different questions about surrogacy, the process, and how it will impact you and your wife, girlfriend or partner. Rest assured, you have come to the right place!
Here, you will find the information you need to understand gestational surrogacy, the medical procedure involved, and how choosing to be a carrier benefits your wife and everyone else throughout the surrogacy process. As a surrogate, your partner will need to have the best support system in place to help ensure a smooth and successful surrogacy and pregnancy. This guide will provide tips on how you can help your wife during surrogacy and build your own understanding and appreciation for the life-changing decision she has made.
If you have questions or concerns at any point, you are more than welcome to fill out this online form to get in touch with a trained surrogacy professional. They will provide the information you need and any assistance necessary for you or your wife. You can also keep reading this guide on what you need to know when your wife wants to become a surrogate.
The Gestational Surrogacy Process
As the partner of a wife who is becoming a surrogate, your main concern is likely the well-being and health of your spouse. Although the gestational surrogacy process can sound somewhat daunting, it can be broken down into eight steps:
- Finding intended parents
- Signing legal contracts
- Preparing for the embryo transfer
- Completion of the embryo transfer
- Confirmation of pregnancy
- Prenatal care and delivery
Before going into more detail about the medical process, it is important to note that one of the main points of focus for surrogacy is the well-being of the surrogate and the baby. This focus starts from step one and is taken into consideration through the delivery of the baby. Below, you’ll find more information about how the medical process is put in place to support the surrogate’s health and well-being when your wife is becoming a surrogate.
Step 1: Screening: The screening process is put into place to make sure your wife or girlfriend is physically and mentally able to become a surrogate. Through multiple tests, it is determined whether or not she can carry a child to term. Through background checks and more, her home environment, including her relationship with you, will be examined to ensure her living environment allows her to experience a healthy pregnancy with the support system she may need.
When your wife wants to become a surrogate, the screening process helps determine if it is in her best interest. Keep in mind, as her spouse, you will go through medical screening as well, to ensure you do not have any sort of transmitable diseases.
Step 2: Finding Intended Parents: Once you have been deemed eligible to become a surrogate, you will begin your search for intended parents. Your surrogate professional will help walk you through this exciting step and match you with parents who share similar goals as you.
Step 3: Signing legal contracts: Working with your surrogacy lawyer, you will draft a surrogacy contract. This document will cover both parties expectations and conditions, and is a legally binding document that will protect your rights.
Step 4: Preparing for embryo transfer: To prepare for the embryo transfer, your wife will need to take a series of medications prescribed by the fertility clinic. She may need your help to administer certain injections during this process.
Step 5: Completion of the embryo transfer: Through a catheter, the embryos are inserted through your wife’s cervix to her uterus. This procedure sounds more intricate than it really is, and risks for complications are fairly low. She will need to travel to the intended parents’ fertility clinic for this procedure, so she may be away from home for a couple of days.
Step 6: Confirmation of pregnancy: Through numerous blood tests and monitoring systems, doctors will determine if the embryo transfer was successful and led to a pregnancy. This can be a challenging time for your wife, as not all transfers take on the first try. It may take multiple attempts, so it is important to provide the support and encouragement needed throughout this and all other steps of the process.
Step 7: Ultrasounds and follow-up visits: Once a pregnancy has been confirmed, your wife will have several follow-up visits, including six- and twelve-week ultrasounds. At six weeks, the baby’s heartbeat will be confirmed, which will help provide information that the baby is healthy. Follow-ups will be required to ensure there have been no changes in the progress and health status of the baby or your wife.
Step 8: Prenatal care and delivery: Like all pregnancies, your wife will have regularly scheduled visits with the doctor or OGBYN. When the time comes, your wife will deliver the baby, and the intended parents will take custody of their child. At this point, the surrogacy process is complete.
This is a brief rundown of the medical process when your wife wants to be a gestational carrier. Although complications can arise, you may gain peace of mind knowing that your wife will be in constant contact with medical professionals to monitor her health and well-being, as well as that of the baby.
5 Common Misconceptions about Surrogacy
As a partner whose wife wants to be a surrogate, it’s common that many of your concerns come from misconceptions about surrogacy. Below, we will debunk some of the myths that tend to circulate about gestational surrogacy.
- Myth: The baby is related to the surrogate: In gestational surrogacy, a surrogate is implanted with a previously created embryo, and the surrogate does not use her own eggs. This means there is no biological relation between the baby and the surrogate.
- Myth: Surrogates may become emotionally attached and keep the baby: Because a gestational surrogate is not genetically related to the child and contracts are signed, it is essentially impossible for a surrogate to “keep” the baby. Emotional attachment may occur but is highly unlikely, given the fact your wife understands the role of a surrogate and the life-changing impact she is providing intended parents.
- Myth: Surrogacy is unethical: Although this is more of an opinion-based argument, surrogacy in the U.S. is a highly regulated activity that protects the rights of everyone involved. Although compensated surrogacy is available, surrogates do not “sell their womb,” as some critics argue; they are paid for carrying a child to term for a family who cannot do so on their own. It is a surrogate’s personal choice to do so; at no point is she forced or swayed into making this decision.
- Myth: Surrogacy is illegal: This is simply not true. Some states do have laws in place, while others do not, but this does not mean surrogacy will be illegal for your wife. These laws are put in place to protect everyone involved in the process, not to eliminate the option of becoming a surrogate.
- Myth: Surrogates are only in it for the money: As previously mentioned, compensated surrogacy is an option. Compensated surrogacy is when the surrogate receives a base compensation for carrying a child to term. Although this is a benefit to carriers, women do not choose to become a surrogate solely for this reason. They choose to provide the gift of parenthood to intended parents who cannot give birth to a child themselves. They do it to help others.
During the screening process, the motivations a woman has for choosing surrogacy are discussed heavily to ensure she is n it for the right reasons.
These are just a few of the most common misconceptions people have about surrogacy. If any of these reasons were playing a role in your hesitation to support your wife or girlfriend who wants to become a surrogate, you might reconsider your thoughts given this information. Being understanding and supportive will help your partner during surrogacy.
Contact a Surrogacy Professional
Being the spouse of a surrogate will have its own unique challenges and rewards. It is important you keep an open mind and are available for your wife or girlfriend throughout the surrogacy and pregnancy process. Each situation will be unique, but having the best support system available ensures the surrogacy goes as smoothly as possible and provides encouragement for your partner along the way. She is making a life-changing decision to provide intended parents the gift of parenthood; helping your wife during surrogacy is vital to the overall success.
When both of you are able to keep the goal in mind, it helps eliminate any questions or concerns that can sometimes occur along the journey. For more information on what to expect as a spouse, the process itself, or any other surrogacy-related questions, fill out this online form to get more information from a trained professional.