News of surrogate parenting is everywhere and no longer are only the rich and famous able to afford it. With today’s medical technology and fertility clinics willing to assist patients with payment plans and cycle sharing, becoming a parent using artificial reproductive technology (ART) is easier than ever.
Parenthood is an amazing gift to share, and carrying a surrogate pregnancy may allow a surrogate mother to continue to stay home with her children while providing financial assistance for the household. So, should you become a surrogate mother?
Have you already had at least one uncomplicated, full-term pregnancy? Most infertility clinics and experienced surrogacy agencies screen potential surrogates according to the number of prior pregnancies they have experienced (too many prior pregnancies can put both you and the child at risk). Clinics also scrutinize the overall health of the surrogate including current BMI (body mass index), whether prior deliveries were vaginal or cesarean, and whether there is a history of substance abuse, mental illness, or criminal offenses.
If you fit the profile medically, there are more personal factors you should consider. Do you have a partner or other support person willing to assist you in the event you develop medical issues during your pregnancy? While most “surrogacy friendly” states allow the intended parents to provide financial assistance with necessary childcare, you will want to have a plan in place before any issues arise. How will you explain the pregnancy to your children and extended family?
Are you willing to follow a medical treatment plan that will probably include injections of fertility medication? If the plan is not carefully followed, a cycle may need to be canceled. Are you willing to undergo selective reduction or termination of the pregnancy if medical concerns arise and it is requested by the intended parents and recommended by the treating physician?
You should also consider whether you have job flexibility so as to permit you to attend the numerous medical appointments required for screening and commencing a pregnancy. Lost wages may be provided for, but at the end of the pregnancy, you will likely want a job to return to!
Do you have reliable transportation? Are you willing to travel out of state if the intended parents are using an infertility clinic that is not local? Of course, your travel expenses will be covered, but are you willing to do so?
Finally, but still quite important, is the emotional satisfaction you hope to gain from your surrogate pregnancy. Would you like the intended parents to attend your prenatal appointments? Do you want them to speak the same language as you? Are you willing to chat via Skype or email if they are not local? Are you considering doing this for altruistic reasons with no expectation of an ongoing relationship? Although feelings can certainly change and the intended parents may welcome future contact, you should not expect to get together with the intended parents for annual visits unless this has been agreed to in advance.
Clearly, the decision of whether to become a surrogate mother should not be made hastily. A surrogate mother is a special person, able to place the needs of another before her own. If you would like more information or are ready to embark on this journey, please contact us via email or telephone at any time. We have many families interested in knowing more about you!