Surrogacy is a complex journey made up of many moving parts that lead to an amazing goal: bringing home a healthy baby.
Every surrogate journey is unique because surrogacy depends on the preferences of the parties involved.
An intended parent is an individual who wishes to conceive through a surrogate mother as a way of building their family. Despite having humble beginnings, surrogacy has become a sustainable way of having children.
Surrogacy is a daunting experience, however, the ultimate reward – growing a family – is worth all one’s effort (and then some). Looking at the individual steps involved in the surrogacy process is a good way to figure out how you can build your family through surrogacy.
Surrogacy can be a long, emotional, and resource-intensive journey for all parties involved. A typical surrogacy journey takes approximately 18 months to complete, however, it can take longer if embryo transfers are unsuccessful or if there are complications with the pregnancy.
Just like with any other significant decision, you should do some research on:
- The potential pros and cons of surrogacy
- Potential surrogates
- Health professionals
As an intended parent, this will help you determine if surrogacy is right for you.
The first few stages of the surrogacy process are some of the most important because they set the tone for everything else that will follow.
One significant process involves consulting with a renowned agency.
An experienced surrogacy agency can help you make informed decisions regarding the various aspects of surrogacy, including:
- How surrogacy works
- How to be matched with a surrogate mother
- How much it is likely to cost you to enlist the aid of a surrogate mother
- The bounds of agreements with surrogate mothers, and agreements for the services the agency provides
- Identify the best medical professionals and facilities necessary to support the process, such as IVF clinics and reproductive health professionals
- How to prepare yourself, so that you can be the caring parent your new-born child needs
Remember that your surrogacy team is likely to include:
- a surrogate mother,
- a psychologist,
- a reproductive endocrinologist
- a lawyer
- a health insurance specialist
You are likely to interview several of these participants before engaging the services of those you are comfortable with.
One of the goals of these professional consultations is to help you choose the surrogacy path – traditional or gestational – that is right for you. This decision will be central to your surrogacy plan, your engagement with medical professionals, and the nature of your relationship with the surrogate mother.
This is an exciting phase that involves finding the amazing soul who will help you build your family. A surrogacy community can help you utilize screening prospects to narrow down your choice of prospective surrogates.
The surrogacy process is likely to be kicked off by a sort of ‘blind date’ between intended parents and surrogate mothers. This is an important icebreaker that is meant to ensure clear communication and a deep understanding of shared values and expectations.
Remember that a legal agreement that clearly outlines the terms agreed to by intended parents and surrogates is a core part of the matching process. Each regional jurisdiction has its own legislation regarding surrogacy, so it’s important to learn about these laws and how they might apply to you.
Medical Background and Treatment
Once a surrogate mother has agreed to start the process within a defined timeline, there will be a strong need for medical screening and defining a distinct medical protocol that will be maintained throughout the pregnancy.
After the screening process, a surrogate mother is expected to receive medications and subsequent monitoring at a reliable medical facility. During this stage, intended parents will support the surrogate, both, emotionally and physically, by accompanying her to these medical procedures and check-ups.
This is the longest part of the surrogacy journey. Surrogacy experts say that, during this time, it is important to develop a strong bond with the surrogate while receiving frequent updates about the pregnancy.
During this stage, it is vital that intended parents learn about the hospital where the baby will be born. This will give them a chance to introduce themselves and get to know the place where their baby will be welcomed into the world.
During pregnancy, most intended parents obtain professional counsel, so that they can establish the bounds of parental rights. It is also a critical time for intended parents to work on birth plans.
Holding a baby in your arms after a lengthy and arduous surrogacy journey is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. It is the point at which all the previous work comes into focus yet it is the beginning of an entirely new journey.
Once a doctor releases your baby from the hospital, you will be on the next stage of your journey: parenthood. You may experience a tide of emotions such as joy, anxiety, elation, fear, and sadness, due to the birth of your baby and the parting of ways with your surrogate.
Surrogacy is a deeply personal and complicated process that involves significant financial and emotional investment. Therefore, it is important to consider the many stages of the journey and figure out if surrogacy is right for you.
Finding the right surrogate and professionals to help you along the way may seem daunting in the short term, however, in the long run, you will be glad you put in the time to research and communicate with the individuals who will comprise your surrogacy team. Therefore, choose your team wisely! If you do, your surrogacy journey will be more rewarding, and you will be that much closer to realizing your dreams of parenthood.