How to Become a Surrogate
How Does Surrogacy Work?
If you’re thinking about starting the surrogacy process, then you’re in for the experience of a lifetime. But whether you’re an intended parent or a surrogate, you might be overwhelmed trying to figure out just how surrogacy works. Typically, the surrogacy process includes:
- Determining if surrogacy is right for you.
- Completing the screening process
- Finding a surrogate or intended parent
- Drafting your surrogacy contract
- The medical process
- And celebrating the birth of the baby
In this guide, we’ll dive deeper into more detail about each step. But if you’re ready to learn more about how surrogacy works, keep reading below or fill out our contact form to speak to a surrogacy specialist directly.
How Does the Process of Surrogacy Work? [Step-by-Step]
Everyone’s surrogacy experience is different. But typically, these are the steps for your average process.
Step 1. Determine if surrogacy is right for you
The first step in any surrogacy process is deciding whether this is right for you. No matter if you’re an intended parent or a surrogate, this will be a life-changing experience. If you’re a surrogate wondering how surrogacy works, ask yourself:
- If you’re ready to devote at least a year of your life to this endeavor
- If you’re comfortable going through a thorough medical and psychological screening process
- If you’re excited about being pregnant and ready to do it for someone else
If you’re an intended parent wondering how surrogacy works, ask yourself if:
- You’re ready for the emotional investment
- You’re aware of the financial costs
- You are excited about surrogacy, and you have come to terms with your infertility (if applicable)
Step 2. Complete the Screening Process
Once you decide that surrogacy is right for you, you’ll move on to the screening process. Every woman who decides to become a surrogate must go through a thorough medical and psychological screening. You must also meet the requirements of the agency itself.
Typically, this means that surrogates must:
- Have a healthy BMI of 19-32
- Have a history of a previous successful pregnancy
- Be raising a child in the home
- And more
Step 3. Finding a Surrogate or Intended Parent
One of the most important steps to becoming a surrogate or intended parent is finding a great match. The relationship you develop with one another will become unlike any other, so it’s important to find someone you have a real connection to.
When Lindsey and Shiloh met their surrogate mother, they were thrilled to find the connection they were looking for all along:
“One of the first things she said to me was, ‘I’m not in this for the money,’” Lindsey remembers. “She wasn’t going to just do it for anybody; she wanted a family that she felt a connection with. That meant a lot to me.”
When your surrogacy specialist goes over the process to be a surrogate mother, they’ll help you find what you’re looking for in intended parents. Don’t feel like you have to pick the first family that you talk to either. You have a lot of freedom when it comes to finding a family that’s exactly what you’re looking for. So, keep looking for the very best.
Step 4. Draft your surrogacy contract
Creating a surrogacy contract is one of the most important steps. No matter how well you know the surrogate or intended parents, you’ll still need that legal buffer to make sure that everyone is protected. During this step, each party will have their own surrogacy attorney to make sure their own legal rights are protected. As a surrogate, your attorney will make sure to go over the compensation you may receive, the parental rights of the intended parents and more.
When Alicia went through her surrogacy journey, her attorney made sure she was adequately represented:
“It took a while for the attorney to approve certain things that the agency had sent back, which made me feel really protected because he had my best interests at heart every single time. So. I was very happy with the process
it did take at least a month but it was not anything that was upsetting or slowed down the process at all,” she said.
Your surrogacy attorney can also answer any additional questions you have about the legal process of being a surrogate.
Step 5. The medical process
Figuring out how to do surrogacy and the medical process might seem intimidating. But it’s actually fairly simple. The medical process is completed with the assistance of a fertility clinic. As a surrogate, you’ll begin taking fertility medications to get your body ready for the embryo transfer. Once it’s time for the transfer, the fertility clinic will cerate an embryo which will then be transferred to you. Once a heartbeat is heard, you’ll start receiving base compensation and regular monthly payments.
Step 6. Celebrating the birth of the baby
The big day is finally here. More likely than not, the intended parents will join you in the hospital for the birth of their baby. But by now, the specifics of your hospital plan will already be decided before you arrive at the hospital. Once the surrogate is ready to be discharged, you will all leave the hospital together with your lives forever changed.
While the process of being a surrogate might be over, it doesn’t mean that you can’t stay connected. Like Lindsey and Shiloh, you can choose to stay in each other’s lives as much as you’re comfortable with:
“It wasn’t necessarily saying goodbye to her, but it was just a different chapter and a different part of the relationship,” Lindsey remembers. “I knew it was going to take a little more work for us to stay together, because there wasn’t going to be doctor’s appointments and that tying us together. It was just a new chapter, and we both knew that.”
No matter what happens, you should walk away from this experience with a sense of pride and fulfillment. You’ve just done something incredible, and the intended parents’ lives will be forever changed by your decision.
That’s it! Once you learn the steps to become a surrogate, the process doesn’t feel as intimidating. If you have any more questions about what steps are there to becoming a surrogate mother, you can fill out our contact form to talk to a specialist.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.