When Identifying a Surrogate Mother to Work with, You Should be Aware of the Requirements for Becoming a Surrogate Mother
- Do we need a traditional surrogate or a gestational surrogate?
- Is there a family member or friend who has offered to be a surrogate for us? Is this person a reasonable choice or is it just a well-meaning gesture?
- Is it important that the surrogate live close enough to us that we can attend important medical appointments, like ultrasounds, with her?
- What is our timeline for finding a surrogate?
- Does the fertility center we’ve been working with have an in-house surrogacy center or a relationship with a local surrogacy center?
The basic requirements for becoming a surrogate mother are the same for both traditional surrogates and gestational surrogates. People who want to use a traditional surrogate are looking for a combination egg donor and surrogate, which can be a lot harder to locate than a gestational surrogate. Unless you have a family member who is willing and able to be a surrogate, the wait to find a surrogate who looks like the intended mother might be a long one. If you are planning on using a family member there is always the subject of surrogate mother pay to consider. Your family member wants to help you, and might not want to get paid, but you have to be realistic: she is going to need time for medical appointments and to recover after the birth at the very least. Even if she isn’t working full-time, she will still need help with childcare and housework and cooking, especially if she has to stay off her feet because she’s carrying multiples.
When surrogacy first started the “test tube baby” was pretty hit and miss so the surrogate was also the egg donor by default. Now that reproductive science has caught up, it’s more of a sure thing to have the embryo created then implanted into the surrogate. Gestational surrogates are implanted with an embryo made up of either the intended mother’s egg, or a donor egg that was selected because the donor looked like the intended mother, and the intended father’s sperm. If you don’t have a family member willing to be a traditional surrogate then you’re much better off with a gestational surrogate and donated eggs (if necessary).
Everybody wants to track their baby as it grows in the womb, this is only natural. Sure, pictures of ultrasounds and test results can be sent through email but there’s something about seeing it yourself that draws you in. With this in mind, how far can you reasonably travel for appointments? If your surrogate is in the same town or area it’s no big deal but what if she’s in another country and won’t be in your home country until right before the birth? This might make a huge difference when you’re selecting a surrogacy agency or a surrogate.
After experiencing infertility, and rounds of IVF, most people just want to start to build their family with the surrogate as soon as possible. This is where trying to find a surrogate on your own is a problem. You can advertise online for a surrogate but it could take a long time to find someone. Then you have to have them screened both physically and mentally before you can even get into questions like “how much does the surrogate mother get paid.” A surrogacy agency, on the other hand, has a list of available pre-screened surrogates to recommend. After meeting a surrogate, you can decide if you’re comfortable with that woman carrying your child. Once you select a surrogate, the agency will handle all the details, like legal contracts and surrogate mother pay, for you. Not only will you be matched with a surrogate more quickly, but you will also have the assurance that everything is being done to insure a smooth surrogacy experience for both you and your surrogate.