What is a surrogate mother? A surrogate is a woman who carries a baby (or babies) for other people (the intended parents)
First, here’s the definition of surrogate mother you need to know:
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a surrogate mother as “a woman who agrees to become pregnant in order to give the baby to someone who cannot have children.” In a nutshell, that’s a basic definition of surrogate mother.
It’s important that you understand the surrogate mother definition to be completely prepared for the surrogacy journey. This six-point surrogate checklist will help you safeguard your experience.
If you are seriously considering being a surrogate in the United States or in Canada, being well prepared is the key.
1. Determine if Surrogacy is Right for You
Women contemplating surrogacy should consider all issues and challenges prior to making a decision to go ahead with a surrogacy arrangement. Being fit and healthy (physically and mentally) are key elements to becoming a surrogate. Also, it´s important to have a support network (family and friends) around you to assist and love you during the surrogacy journey.
Here are five questions to ask yourself, which can help you determine whether you are ready to be a surrogate:
- Are you healthy enough for surrogacy?
- Are you ready to commit to the surrogacy process?
- Do you have a strong support system?
- Why do you want to be a traditional/gestational surrogate?
- Do you meet surrogate requirements?
In the following video, you will get more information about the surrogate mother requirements and qualifications.
2. Educate Yourself about What a Surrogate Mother Is
It is very important to carefully learn about the surrogacy process and have a solid understanding of what is being asked of you as a surrogate before continuing with the process.
Before pursuing a surrogacy arrangement, educate yourself with as much information as you can. Learn about:
- What is a surrogate mother?
- What is surrogacy?
- The different types of surrogacy options
- The qualifications to become a surrogate mother
There are many resources online and also it can be helpful to speak with others that have already experienced surrogacy.
3. Create a Letter or Profile about Yourself
To help find an ideal match, it is best to create a letter or profile about yourself (and your partner). Describe yourself, your family and what you are looking for in a surrogacy relationship.
4. Your Relationship with your Intended Parents
Before matching, it is really important to meet your intended parents (and their family if possible) in person, even if you are utilizing an agency or a surrogacy professional that has some experience in screening candidates. E-mail, WhatsApp, Skype or telephone communication may not always be truthful. So it’s important to arrange a meeting before making a final decision.
It´s also good to think about the kind of relationship you would like to have with your intended parents and how much contact you would like to have with them during the pregnancy and after birth.
5. Your Legal Position
Before you begin any medical procedures, be sure to meet with a reputable local lawyer, specializing in reproductive law and surrogacy regulation, to learn about your legal position. Also, remember that a surrogacy agreement needs to be in place before starting any medical protocol. Be aware, that surrogacy regulation can be complex, and the legal aspects of surrogacy are different in each country, even in each region (state or province), for example, surrogacy in Canada must be altruistic. However, commercial surrogacy is legal in some US states.
Money, no one likes to talk about it, but you will have some expenses during the pregnancy. It is important to make sure that the intended parents agree to cover all of your expenses before you become pregnant. If you do not have an agreement in place, clearly stating who is paying for your medical procedures, you could become liable for all these charges.
6. Time Frames
You need to think about the timing of your surrogacy experience. Are you ready to commit a year or longer to the prospective parents you choose to help? Also, sometimes, the intended parents may not be ready to begin their journey. Set up your time frames clearly before entering any surrogacy arrangement.
Surrogacy will change your life as well as that of the intended parents you help, so take a deep breath, remain patient and ensure you consider all the points in the Six-Point checklist.
If you are thinking that becoming a surrogate is the right option for you, you have an opportunity to change the lives of a family, join our surrogacy community and learn more about what a surrogate mother is and how to become a surrogate mother.