You’ve been thinking about becoming a gestational surrogate for a while now. More than likely, you’ve had the idea in your mind for years. It’s something you’ve felt called to do, and you’re wondering if now is the time to move ahead:
Should I become a surrogate?
Surrogacy is a noble and compassionate calling. It’s not an exaggeration to say that, as a gestational surrogate, you could be the answer to someone’s prayers.
It’s not easy: you’ll be dedicating your body, time, and emotions to helping someone fulfill their dreams of parenthood. Yes, there is compensation for your commitment, but there’s so much more to the journey than that, and there are more than a few hurdles you have to cross to qualify.
So how do you know if now is the right time to move ahead with your calling to be a gestational surrogate? Here are the first questions you should ask yourself as you consider becoming a surrogate.
Is Surrogacy Legal in Your State?
In the US, surrogacy laws vary by state. You can find details about your home state on this interactive map. Most states allow surrogacy, though some have many more restrictions than others. There are four states where surrogacy contracts are illegal as of now: Michigan, Nebraska, and Louisiana. Laws are changing all the time, though, so feel free to reach out to our legal team for details on your particular state.
How’s Your Health?
Gestational carriers (aka surrogates) have to be in great health and have a history of at least one healthy pregnancy. Intended parents are entrusting you with their child, so they need to make sure you’re physically and emotionally healthy enough to handle pregnancy and childbirth.
Some of the health qualifications for our surrogates include:
- Healthy BMI between 19-30
- No tobacco, alcohol, or drug use.
- No recent history of mental illness or use of medications for conditions like depression, anxiety, bi-polar, or PPD.
- History of uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries (at least one, but no more than 5)
If it sounds like you’re healthy enough for surrogacy, you’ll still need to obtain medical clearance from your OB/GYN and/or family physician. You’ll also undergo psychological screening along with your partner, if you have one.
Are You Financially Stable?
You need to be financially stable and able to provide for your family without government assistance. This takes some people aback at first. After all, surrogates are paid, right?
Yes, but if compensation is the main motivator, you’re in it for the wrong reasons. We never want a woman to feel like she has to turn to surrogacy just to make ends meet. That’s why we don’t accept surrogates who are receiving food stamps, cash aid, state-funded insurance, or other forms of government aid.
Surrogate compensation is meant to reward you for your generosity and commitment: the strain on your body, your emotions, and your time is significant. Also, all related medical and incidental expenses (like maternity clothes or childcare during medical visits) will be covered for you.
We like to think of surrogacy as a mutually beneficial gift. You are gifting the joy of parenthood to someone while also being able to contribute to your family’s financial dreams.
Is Your Family Supportive?
Surrogacy affects the whole family, so total support is a requirement. At least from the most immediate family members – we give you permission to ignore great-Aunt Mary. First and foremost your spouse or partner will need to be on board. Some partners take a little more convincing than others. We can always provide you with resources to help educate them if needed.
And don’t forget about your children. No matter what ages they are, you’ll want to make sure they have a good understanding of what’s happening. Of course, the conversation will change based on the maturity level your kids are at, but in our experience, most are excited to watch mom’s tummy grow in service to another family. It’s pretty special to be such a living example of generosity and compassion to your children.
Family support is crucial, which is why all of our surrogates go through a home study involving all residents and family pets. We want to make sure our surrogates have safe, healthy, and supportive homes.
What are the next steps?
If you’ve made it this far, you owe it to yourself to continue exploring the possibilities of surrogacy. Here are a few great blog posts that provide a deeper dive into the experience of gestational surrogacy and what you should expect along the way: