When You Become a Surrogate Mother, You Fulfill the Dream of Family for Another
Becoming a surrogate mother can be one of the most rewarding experiences a woman can have. It’s both empowering and compassionate at the same time. Empowering because she can literally give life, talk about a super power. Compassionate because the surrogate empathizes with the pain of the infertile couple, she loves her family and being a mom so much she can’t imagine not being able to have that in her life. Does that sound like you? Would you want to help someone fulfill their dream of a biological family of their own? Here’s a list of typical requirements to become a surrogate mother. If you meet the requirements on this list, there’s a good chance you will qualify to become a surrogate:
- Be age 21-39;
- Have at least 1 child;
- Be a non-smoker, non-drug-user with healthy lifestyle and weight;
- Have no major pregnancy complications;
- Have a BMI under 34;
- Have no felony convictions;
- Be a resident of a surrogacy friendly state, CA, CO, OR, IL, TX or NV;
- Be a US citizen or legal resident; and
- If you have a spouse or partner, they are in agreement with your decision to become a surrogate.
If you’re wondering how to become a surrogate mom, the first thing you do is check the list above. For women who meet all the requirements listed above, the next step is to start looking for a surrogacy agency or medical center to work with. When contacting agencies, you may want to ask the following questions:
- What makes your agency special? What do you do best and why should I choose your agency?
- How long has your agency been in business? Can you give me a list of references from women who have been surrogates for you?
- How many surrogacies have you facilitated?
- How are surrogates matched with intended parents and how long does it usually take?
- Are the majority of your clients domestic or international?
- Do I need to use my own insurance or do you cover all medical expenses another way?
- What should I expect to be paid as a first-time surrogate? What if I carry multiples or end up on extended bed rest, will there be compensation to help care for my family while I’m out of commission? What does the total package come to?
- How and when is the money paid? At what milestones do I receive money and is there an escrow account?
- If I need to travel beyond my local area who pays the cost of travel?
- What kind of life insurance policy will you be taking out on me?
- Do you pay for a lawyer for the surrogate who is separate from the lawyer the intended parents are using?
- What kind of support services do you offer? Will I be able to reach someone at all times if I need something or have a question?
- Do you have mental health services available for my family? How would we be able to access them?
After asking the above questions to several agencies, and talking to women who have already been surrogates for the agencies, you should have a good feel for the agency you want to work with. One of them will make you feel more comfortable than the others or speak to you in a different way. Some women want to become a surrogate mother for an LGBT family so they should be looking for an agency that has a “gay friendly surrogacy” program. Other women might want a family that lives in the area so there can be ongoing personal communications. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few agencies go visit them and talk to the staff you would be interacting with. If they have an info session, attend. While you’re talking to people at the agency, be sure to also talk to women who are surrogates for them right now so you can ask how they feel the process is being handled. If you decide to become a surrogate mother, you will be interacting with the people at the agency you select for over a year so it’s important that you’re comfortable with them and understand the process.
If you’re seriously thinking about how to become a surrogate mother, you are like most surrogates, a compassionate person who loves their family and the pregnancies that brought them that family. These surrogate mothers adore their own families and can imagine the pain that people who can’t have their own children must feel. While surrogacy can’t take away the pain of not being able to carry your own child, it can provide the most wonderful reward in the world, a child of your own. A few surrogates are actually second generation surrogates. At the time, if their mother was a surrogate she was a compassionate surrogate, meaning she did it for a friend or family member using traditional surrogacy. An experience like that, having your own mother model that level of empathy and compassion, would make an impression on anybody. It would also start household discussions about the importance of family and what it means to people. It’s no wonder some of these women chose to become a surrogate mother after they had completed their families, they were carrying on a wonderful family tradition. So, whatever your reasons for wanting to become a surrogate mother, welcome to the sisterhood of surrogates where compassion reigns supreme.