Six Things to Think About When Exploring How to Become a Surrogate Mother
One of the things that women who become a surrogate mother have in common is their love of family, they love their own family so much they want others to experience the same joy they have. Surrogate mothers are literally giving the gift of life to a child and the gift of family to the child’s parents. Many women who become a surrogate feel it’s the highest calling and feel proud that they have the ability to give the gift of life. If you’re wondering how to become a surrogate mom, here are some of the basic requirements for most US based agencies:
- Age 21-37
- Have at least 1 child
- Non-smoker with healthy lifestyle and weight
- No major pregnancy complications
- BMI under 34
- No felony convictions
- Resident of a surrogacy friendly state, CA, CO, OR, IL, TX or NV
- US citizen
These are just basic requirements, and just scratch the surface of what women need to take into consideration when they start to ask: “how can I become a surrogate mother?” Some of the main questions are to contemplate are:
Do I have easy pregnancies and love being pregnant?
Most women have what would be termed “good” pregnancies, they feel decent, not great, most of the time but are really focused on the gift (baby) at the end. Women who become surrogate mothers tend to have exceptional pregnancies where they feel fantastic during the pregnancy, they glow, feel energized and truly enjoy the pregnancy journey. Of course, the extra attention they get from people doesn’t hurt either, it only makes the pregnancy even more of a positive experience. Many of these women have already completed their families but love being pregnant, surrogacy is a bonus because they can enjoy another pregnancy without adding another child to their family.
Am I healthy enough for another pregnancy, possibly one involving multiples?
Most women between 21 and 37 who have had uncomplicated pregnancies and a healthy lifestyle will be healthy enough for another pregnancy if they have a BMI under 34. Women considered extremely overweight are at a greater risk for gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, which can lead to pre-eclampsia, a condition that can cause seizures during pregnancy. If you aren’t sure about your BMI there are many online calculators to help you figure it out easily. An easy to use calculator can be found at calculator.net/bmi-calculator.html.
How does my family, and regular support system, feel about my being a surrogate?
A woman needs support during any pregnancy and usually, if she’s adding to her own family, this isn’t an issue. The family is overjoyed to be adding a new member. If the family and friends who would normally help during a pregnancy aren’t supportive and willing to help this can make the pregnancy more difficult both physically and emotionally. It can also isolate the surrogate mother and her children which isn’t good for anybody. Even the happiest, healthiest mother-to-be is going to need some help taking care of her children and home, especially toward the end of the pregnancy. If her normal support system isn’t available life will be more stressful, not something she needs at that time.
Is my spouse comfortable and supportive of my becoming a surrogate?
The decision to become a surrogate mother is one that needs to feel comfortable for both the potential surrogate and her spouse. If the spouse isn’t supportive, the surrogate will not get the emotional support when needed and the extra fighting will add significantly to her stress level. This is one of the reasons it’s very important to include your spouse in all decision making when researching how to become a surrogate.
Is my personal history something I’m comfortable discussing with strangers?
In order to become a surrogate mother, a woman needs to disclose any criminal history and psychiatric history along with the typical medical history. The medical history form you will need to fill out covers sexually transmitted diseases along with pregnancy history, miscarriages and abortions. There’s also a section for psychiatric history covering your psychological stability, any periods of depression or mental illness. If you move on to the next step you will also undergo, along with a standard medical examination, a psychiatric examination to certify that you are emotionally stable enough to carry a child for another family.
How are my finances?
Money is not the main motivating factor for women interested in becoming surrogate mothers, pregnancy is a 24/7 job where there is no time off. Women do this because they love their family and want to give the gift of family to someone else, but there is a cost to being pregnant. Aside from the medical bills, which will be covered by the surrogacy agency outside of the regular compensation, most surrogates also need some time off work for appointments, people to watch their kids while they’re at appointments and meetings, help with cleaning and cooking if they aren’t able to, some new maternity clothes, vitamins, etc. Surrogates are generally paid monthly stipends during the pregnancy so there should be money to cover these expenses as they arise. However, if you’re planning on using the surrogacy money for a large purchase, like the down payment on a house, you will need to make sure you have enough money coming in regularly to cover these extra expenses.
Becoming a surrogate isn’t something to be taken lightly or decided on quickly. Most women that consider becoming surrogates do it for loving reasons and are valued for that loving spirit. If, after thinking about the points listed above, you feel that becoming a surrogate is something you would love to do, then Welcome to the Sisterhood of Surrogates.