Having a baby and starting your family is one of the most life-altering and fulfilling events that you will experience. If you are going to have a child through surrogacy, it’s important to prepare yourself for the journey that lies ahead. Let’s have a look at some of the key considerations to focus on as you begin to search for the right surrogate mother for your child.
Questions to ask yourself before starting your surrogacy journey
- Will you use a surrogacy agency or choose a surrogate independently? Medical and legal implications should also be considered in the process that you are about to undertake. Having the support of a qualified agency, such as Physician’s Surrogacy takes away most of the burden and it also provides you with expert resources at every stage of the process. A surrogacy agency also ensures that the surrogate is physically and emotionally ready for the journey ahead.
- Are you truly ready to embrace parenthood and more importantly share this intimate process with an outside person? Do as much research as possible. The more aware you are of every step throughout the surrogacy process and the decisions you may have to make, the more prepared you will be. Learn as much as possible about the available options and the pros and cons associated with the surrogacy process.
- This is the time to assure that you and your partner are on the same page. It is important to make sure that both partners move forward with similar values and goals along with a shared vision of your ideal surrogate.
Qualities to consider for choosing a surrogate
You should start by listing qualities that you are looking for in your surrogate. This will help you see the ideal and must-have qualities. You will be required to decide how much interaction you want to have with your surrogate during the surrogacy process and after the pregnancy. The level of interaction will also be different if you choose to use a friend or relative, instead of someone you have just met through an agency. You may even be surprised by how the bond evolves with your surrogate following the birth of your child. At a minimum, you will remain in frequent contact during the pregnancy ensuring that the baby receives a supportive environment.
Some of the essential qualities to look for in a surrogate:
- They should be trustworthy, responsible and entirely committed to seeing the pregnancy through to completion.
- She must be aware and clear about the potential risks in pregnancy and the risks of the surrogacy process.
- The surrogate should be a resident in a state that allows surrogacy. If not, she would be performing an illegal act even if your state is favorable to the procedure.
- Any surrogate must be in excellent health and have had given birth to a healthy child previously. This is required because she will have a better understanding of what to expect throughout her journey. Having her own child will also make it easier to hand over the baby she carried to the Intended Parents without any pain of separation.
- The surrogate should be a non-smoker and has not previously used drugs. She must also agree to be a non-smoker and non-drug user throughout the whole surrogacy process including the pre-implantation period.
- She should have a healthy home environment with a network of friends or family to support her throughout her journey.
- It would be more helpful is she is driven by the desire to help fulfill personal and family goals rather than by financial gain.
- Any surrogate should be between the ages of 21 to 37 years old. Based on our experience at Physician’s Surrogacy, women between these ages deal the best with the emotional and physical challenges that lie ahead.
- All surrogates must be emotionally and mentally healthy. She will go through a thorough psychological screening and multiple interviews to prove that she is mentally and emotionally ready. She must also not have a history of any mental illness or postpartum depression.
Issues to review with surrogacy candidates
A contract is mandatory between the Intended Parents and the surrogate. Contracts exist to clearly set the expectations of all involved parties. Surrogacy is a relatively new process in legal terms. However, the laws are very strict and vary from state to state. Here are some of the legal and ethical questions that may arise during the surrogacy process.
- Will you and your surrogate will have an amniocentesis performed when she becomes pregnant? How well are you prepared to respond to the outcome?
- In the case of multiple pregnancies, will you choose to selectively reduce the pregnancy, and will your surrogate be willing to undergo selective reduction?
- Will you terminate the pregnancy if there is a diagnosis of down syndrome or any other similar conditions? You will have to be sure that you and your surrogate are on the same page for this.
So, discuss and come to a consensus with your surrogate and make sure your contract includes each of these requests and how they will be handled.
Every Intended Parent has to decide what kind of relationship they want with their surrogate after birth. Most parents will at least give their surrogate a chance to say goodbye to the baby. Some families will develop a close bond with their surrogate and consider them part of their extended family or a close friend. Many families will occasionally keep in touch during the first year but will gradually drift apart over time.
You now have a better idea of the many complex choices you are likely to face through the surrogacy process. Working with an experienced and caring surrogacy agency will not only reduce the cost but will also provide you with professional guidance and ensure that your baby has a healthy start in life. So irrespective of what infertility issues you are facing, it is important to choose an experienced agency with a proven record of success and professional program of services.
What to look for in an agency
Here are some of the important services you should look for in your surrogacy agency:
- A thorough screening process which includes a review of the potential surrogates medical and psychological history and a background check.
- In-depth background checks of any adults living with the surrogate
- Ability to choose the best candidate that matches your values and comfort level regarding family involvement.
- Screening of the potential candidate’s living situation.
- They should ensure that the selected surrogate is fully prepared for the upcoming journey.
Once you’ve been matched and have chosen the surrogate you will work with, the agency should guide her through each step and coordinate the following:
- Scheduling of all medical appointments with approved professionals.
- Assistance with every legal aspect of the process.
- Psychological counseling and support sessions.
- Issuing payments according to an agreed schedule.
With a reputable agency, such as Physician’s Surrogacy, you will have the assistance of a personal case manager who carefully coordinates all the services required to ensure that you and your surrogate have the best possible experience.
Physicians Surrogacy is an agency in San Diego that can help you throughout the whole process. Call us at 858-951-1868 to schedule an appointment or you can visit us at www.physicianssurrogacy.com to learn more about our surrogacy program.