Are you ready to be a surrogate? What does it even mean to be ready? Many people ask themselves… Am I ready to be a parent? Am I ready to get married? Am I ready to change careers? How will I know if I’m ready?
If you want to know if you’re ready to be a surrogate today—we at Surrogacy Is put together a list of seven ways you can determine if you would make a good fit as a surrogate.
#1) Are you ready to connect with a surrogacy professional?
Surrogacy Is Helps You Choose the Right Professionals
The best way to know if you’re ready to start your path as a surrogate is to connect with surrogacy professionals and advocates, like Sunshine and Casey at Surrogacy Is. Together, these strong women have been surrogates a total of five times and know all there is to know about the process.
Not only that, Surrogacy Is has helped great moms from varying backgrounds get the most out of this life-changing experience by helping prospective surrogates with the following:
- Understanding the screening process and time commitment
- Preparing for the IVF process
- Applying for more than a dozen, vetted and trusted surrogacy agencies in one shot
- Getting the highest compensation possible.
The best part is… all of the information, unlimited support, and coaching from Surrogacy Is… is completely free to surrogates. Connect with our experts who you can trust to determine and ensure you are really, really ready.
#2) Are you ready to do your research and learn all you can about surrogacy?
Before you can consider being a surrogate, first you want to review what it takes for you to be a surrogate. Do your research. Know your options. The following is a list of what you need to research to determine if you are ready to assist intended parents on their journey in making a family of their own.
What to Research:
- “Qualifications for me to become a surrogate”. Save time now and find out if you qualify by taking our short quiz that helps you determine if you meet the deal-breaker requirements for any reputable agency.
- There are basic surrogate qualifications set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, but these standards can also vary from one agency to the next as they can set their own list of expectations based on the requirements of the IVF Clinics and Reproductive Endocrinologists they most frequently work with.
- “Requirements for me to be a surrogate after I qualify (legal, physical, psychological, emotional, social)”. Continue reading to learn more about these requirements.
- “Compensation and benefits for being a first-time surrogate versus an experienced surrogate (second or third time).” Make sure you’re receiving fair pay for committing your body and time for at least a year in order for someone else to have the family of their dreams. Our team of professionals at Surrogacy Is can help you review and understand your compensation and benefits package and will work with you to get the highest compensation.
- “A great surrogacy agency that’s right for me.” Not all agencies will provide the best support when communicating with attorneys, doctors, psychologists, and all parties involved. Surrogacy Is ensures that you connect with an organization that takes care of you and sticks around throughout the process when you need extra support, encouragement, or just a sounding board.
- “Advice from other surrogates.” Learn from others who have been through it already to determine if this is the right role for you.
Make researching easier on yourself by reaching out to us at Surrogacy Is. If you need support in understanding everything you need to know about surrogacy, connect with us! We are experts in the industry and can guide you through anything from researching credible agencies to ways to prepare to be a surrogate.
#3) Are you psychologically and emotionally ready to be a surrogate?
It is important to be mindful of your mental history just as equally as your physical history when deciding to become a traditional or gestational carrier. Just as any good parent would do… When someone is trusting you with their child and future, they are going to make sure you’re ready for the commitment.
Every woman (and in most cases, their spouse) must complete a psychological and emotional screening as a requirement to become a surrogate. If you’re ready to become a surrogate, that means you are ready to prove you are psychologically prepared for the physical, emotional, social, legal and medical challenges that can be associated with being a surrogate, including the time, energy, responsibility, and sacrifice it takes to carry a child for someone else.
Below is a list of a few questions to ask yourself when determining whether or not you’re psychologically ready:
- Do I enjoy being pregnant?
- Do I have the personality to carry a child for another family?
- Am I prepared for the medical risks?
- Can I be reliable in taking a carefully timed series of medications in preparation for the embryo transfer?
- Do I have a way to get to and from medical appointments on time on a regular basis?
- Am I willing to commit to ensuring I have a healthy pregnancy?
- Am I prepared for keeping a schedule, tracking medical bills, and communicating with the intended parents on a regular basis?
- Have I met with professionals to understand all that goes into being a surrogate? **Our team at Surrogacy Is can support you with this one! Click here to complete our short agency qualifier quiz.
- Am I informed on everything there is to know about being a surrogate?
- Do I currently have a stable enough home life and place to live during the surrogacy journey?
- Am I prepared to take time off of my own work?
- Am I ready to sacrifice my time and body?
- How will my friends and family react to this decision? Are they ready to support me through this?
- Am I flexible enough to be a successful gestational or traditional carrier?
- Am I mentally prepared for the work this is going to take?
- Do I have a deep understanding of the surrogacy process?
- Am I likely to experience postpartum depression/postpartum anxiety, and will I be prepared to tackle it if it does occur?
- Am I ready for the emotional and physical challenges that come with fertility treatments?
- Am I willing to put the needs of an unborn baby that belongs to someone else before my own?
- Am I willing to give up travel, vacations, sushi, celebratory champagne for at least a year of IVF treatment and pregnancy?
Read more about the psychological and emotional headspace you need to be in to be ready to be a surrogate: Click here to see more questions to ask yourself.
#4) Are you physically ready to take on the surrogate journey?
Someone who is ready to become a surrogate today must be physically capable to take on the amount of work. When the intended parents are trusting you to carry a child on behalf of them, their family, and their friends—they are putting their hopes, dreams and future into your hands. So, they are definitely going to want someone literally fit for the job.
Below is a list of non-negotiable physical requirements you would need to meet to become a surrogate:
- Age Requirement: Generally between 22 and 45 years of age
- Healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) between 18-32 (with some exceptions up to a 34 BMI)
- Have carried at least one successful pregnancy to term
- No major complications in previous pregnancies
- Have raised or are raising your own children
- Do not use drugs or tobacco
- Do not consume alcohol during fertility treatment or pregnancy
- Not currently taking and have not taken any medications for anti-anxiety or antidepressants for at least 6 months.
#5) Are you ready to pass a background check and physical exam in order to qualify as a surrogate?
Like most companies, agencies and families seeking a surrogate will want to do a background check and physical, including drug/nicotine and STD testing for you and your partner before accepting you into their program.
Being ready to be a surrogate means being ready to provide proof of the following:
- Your medical insurance
- Your driver’s license
- Your medical records from past pregnancies and deliveries
- Any history of STD’s
- An OB/GYN recommendation for you as a surrogate candidate.
- Your home and current living situation. This means allowing for a licensed social worker to enter your home and assess how you live.
- Your motivations and reasons to for wanting to be a surrogate
- A clear criminal background (no felonies)
- A clear child abuse bacground.
- A clean review of your social media accounts.
- A passed physical exam and up to date pap smear.
For more information, review the following article: “Requirements for Surrogates”
#6) Are you ready for the risks involved with being a surrogate?
Being a surrogate is complex and involves a lot of moving parts and parties. Most risks involved with being a surrogate come from medical complications from IVF, issues with legal contracts, financial difficulties, and emotional ups and downs. However, please keep in mind that individual situations will differ, so it is recommended that you work with your own doctor or with a surrogacy agency to figure out your own personal health, emotional, financial, and legal risks.
Common Health Risks:
- Weight gain
- Back pain
- Gestational Diabetes
- Damage to reproductive organs
- Miscarriage or preterm labor
- Headaches, moodswings, cramping and bleeding from IVF
- Twin or triplet pregnancy
Click to access more information on the physical complications: “What are the Risks of Being a Surrogate?”
Common Legal Risks:
- Unclear agreements on sensitive issues like abortion and selective reduction if there is more than one embryo successfully implanted
- Independent contract negotiation without the support of attorneys can lead to stress and can ruin the relationship between you and the family-to-be
- Unfair or unbalanced contract, lacking protection for you or the intended parents’ individual needs and circumstances during the medical process
- Inability to complete the surrogacy journey without a complete contract in place
- Generic or short-sighted contracts can lead to legal consequences, creating disputes and confusion
Click to read more about “Understanding Surrogacy Contracts”.
Common Emotional Risks:
- Postpartum Depression can result from hormonal shifts during and after pregnancy
- Anxiety from multiple doctor visits, interaction with intended family, social workers, attorneys, therapists, and more
- Guilt and pressure from balancing surrogate life with your normal life and other people in your family
- Pressure and guilt
For more common emotional risks, review “What are the Risks of Being a Surrogate?”
Common Financial Risks:
- Agencies provide misleading numbers for compensation
- You get less than you deserve for the hard work and commitment you provide.
- Compensation is not paid in a timely manner.
Click to watch Sunshine Hanson, Surrogacy Advocate and Professional from Surrogacy Is as she goes over how to get the most compensation from being a surrogate.
#7) Are you ready for the additional responsibilities and obligations that come with being a surrogate on top of your current daily life?
You may be ready, but are your family and friends ready? Having a strong support system for before, during, and after becoming a surrogate is a must for a successful surrogacy experience. This decision to become a surrogate impacts your entire life, including the lives of your spouse, children, friends, and extended family. They are going to go through this journey with you, which can mean abstaining from sex with your spouse, not being able to help out with regular duties and responsibilities in and out of the house, losing time and energy for a year that could postpone trips, vacations, and experiences with your friends and family.
Have you told your family, friends, and doctor about becoming a surrogate? If you haven’t had these conversations, you’ll need to get on it in order to get ready.
We at Surrogacy Is are looking for moms just like you! So, if after reading… you think you’re ready to take the next steps to becoming a surrogate reach out to us today!