Surrogacy Awareness Month – Frequently Asked Questions About Surrogacy
March is designated as Surrogacy Awareness Month, a global event established to commemorate not only infertility awareness but the hard work and dedication of both intended parents and surrogates. In honor of this awareness month, we’re addressing some of the most commonly asked questions from intended parents and surrogate candidates.
Surrogacy Questions Asked by Intended Parents
How Do Intended Parents Begin the Surrogacy Process?
Intended parents begin the surrogacy process by first having an introductory session with a surrogacy agency. At West Coast Surrogacy, this initial conversation lasts about 1 hour and can be done via Zoom or telephone. During this conversation, we guide intended parents through the surrogacy process, discuss your specific situation and expectations, and answer any questions. The information you provide is crucial to our surrogacy matching process, allowing us to identify the ideal surrogate for you. Once we have identified a potential match, we‘ll arrange a virtual meeting with you, the surrogate (and her partner, if applicable), and a case manager.
What Does The Screening Process Entail?
After an initial phone interview, surrogate candidates complete an extensive application and have multiple staff interviews. We’ll submit her previous pregnancy medical records to a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor for review, forwarding them to your fertility clinic. The surrogate and her partner are thoroughly interviewed by a licensed mental health professional. Your fertility clinic will screen the surrogate and her partner for infectious diseases, and evaluate her ability to successfully conceive and carry a pregnancy. We also conduct a city, county, and statewide criminal background investigation on the candidate, her partner, and anyone in her household who is over the age of 18.
Is the Surrogate the Baby’s Mother?
Because the surrogate carries the baby throughout the pregnancy, some intended parents may have concerns about whether that makes the surrogate the mother. However, almost all surrogacy arrangements are gestational, meaning the surrogate has no genetic connection to the baby. Surrogates also don’t view themselves as mothers of the children they carry and feel very different than they did when carrying their own children. Many surrogates report a great deal of excitement when it is time for the intended parents to meet their baby.
Surrogacy Questions Asked by Surrogates
What Are the Benefits of Surrogacy?
For a woman to qualify as a surrogate, she must already have her own family and children. This desire for others to experience the love she feels is one of the main motivators for becoming a surrogate. Her own family may find the process rewarding, knowing their mother’s helping another family to grow. This commitment to another family’s future may result in a close, unique relationship between the surrogate and intended parents. Additionally, surrogates are fairly compensated for their efforts, allowing them to save, purchase a home, pay off bills, or treat their families.
What Can Disqualify You From Becoming a Surrogate?
An ideal gestational carrier is a healthy person who has had at least one, but no more than five pregnancies and full-term deliveries, with no complications. You must also not have had more than two Cesarean (C-Section) deliveries. You’ll have to provide your reproductive health history, so physicians and agencies can better identify potential health problems for you or your baby.
Your emotional health during and after previous pregnancies also factors. Women who have given birth to their own child(ren) are more familiar with and may handle these emotions better. You’ll be asked about any previous postpartum depression or related matters, and how you dealt with them. You must have also raised a child that you’ve given birth to, showing you can provide a safe, stable family environment, with sufficient emotional support. There are also legal guidelines, such as not receiving any government assistance, which your surrogacy compensation may impact.
How Are Surrogates Matched With Intended Parents?
Once you’ve completed all paperwork and your medical records have been collected, the surrogacy agency will begin searching for intended parents they feel are strong matches. Both you and the parents will be able to review each other’s profiles. As your personal preferences and values are utilized for the search, it may take a few weeks or even months to locate a strong match, ensuring your positive experience.
Learn About the Surrogacy Process
Surrogacy can be a rewarding experience for both the intended parents and the surrogates themselves, giving people an opportunity to grow their families. If you are considering surrogacy as an intended parent or potential surrogate, we invite you to contact West Coast Surrogacy for a consultation today.