The joy of helping a couple fulfill their dream of starting a family by becoming their gestational surrogate is immeasurable. There is literally no greater gift you can give than the gift of life, particularly to families where infertility has made surrogacy their only option to have a child.
I wish I could say that simply wanting to help another couple with their dream of having a family is the biggest deciding factor to becoming a gestational surrogate. I’m sure that if it was, women everywhere would be lining up for the cause. The truth is, making the decision to be a gestational carrier isn’t one you can (or should) make lightly; there are many things and people to think about before connecting with an agency like Family Inceptions. We all want to change the world, and providing a healthy, nurturing body for someone else’s child to grow and thrive in is an amazing gift. But not everyone is cut out for the job.
Gestational Surrogates Give the Ultimate Gift
What is it about becoming a surrogate that makes women want to do it? That’s certainly a loaded question with, unfortunately, no one-size-fits all answer.
In our experience, the women who’ve come to Family Inceptions to start their surrogacy journey have done it after watching someone close to them struggle with infertility. In rare cases, we’ve had surrogates sign on because their own mothers were surrogates. For some women, they believe they’ve been called by a Higher Power to give a couple a chance at experiencing the love and joy of having a family. Whatever the reason, surrogacy is by all accounts as rewarding for the surrogate as it is for the intended parents, and that’s pretty amazing.
Are You Ready To Be a Surrogate?
It would probably take a week to list all of the things a woman should consider before becoming a gestational surrogate, and there’s good reason for that: There are many emotional, physical, and spiritual factors involved in the decision to become a gestational carrier. If you’ve recently begun considering a gestational surrogacy, here are some questions you need to ask yourself first:
- Have you had a child before? Of course being physically and mentally healthy is extremely important, but it doesn’t outrank having had a prior successful pregnancy. Surrogates working with us must have delivered and be raising (or have raised) at least one child, and that pregnancy must have been free of complications, such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
- Are you the right age? A woman’s age is directly related to her fertility, that’s why we require gestational surrogates to be between the ages of 23 and 40. Women within this age bracket are generally considered to be at the ideal age to carry a child to term with no complications. We want everyone to be healthy, and younger or older women are more likely to experience high-risk gestations that can affect the health of the baby and the gestational surrogate mom. Furthermore, as women age, there is an increased chance of developing fibroids and endometriosis, both of which can prevent an embryo from successfully implanting in the uterine wall.
- Are you willing to give up control? As a gestational surrogate, you may be the one who’s pregnant, but the pregnancy is not your own. That means there will be more people involved in decisions regarding the child—and your body. The intended parents will have a say in what tests you will undergo in your pregnancy, even if they are not the tests you’d choose to have, and even if they are painful or uncomfortable.
- Is your own family complete? Becoming a gestational surrogate to make another couple’s dream of having a family come true is a remarkable act of generosity, but would you do it at the expense of having a family of your own? Every pregnancy carries a certain element of risk; complications during pregnancy or delivery could affect your own fertility, so it’s in your best interest to wait until your family is complete before agreeing to carry a baby for someone else.
- How will it affect your family? While being a gestational surrogate may be an incredibly rewarding experience for you, the other members of your family may not agree. How will your surrogacy affect your partner or other children? There are a lot of emotional and psychological factors at play for them, too. A husband may feel insecure at the thought of his wife carrying “another man’s child,” while children can be confused or even develop an emotional attachment to the baby. Everyone needs to be on board with you becoming a gestational surrogate and understand the reasons for doing it. As part of our screening process, we require your spouse/partner to be in full support of your decision to become a gestational surrogate and to undergo medical and psychological screening and a background check.
- Can you handle taking (a lot) of medications? In order to maximize the chance of a successful implantation, your body needs to be prepared for the embryo transfer. This includes taking a number of medications, such as birth control pills, Lupron injections, and other hormonal medications to make your uterus more receptive.
Make Your Decision Carefully
Our team knows firsthand how joyful and rewarding it is to be a surrogate mother, and how important it is to consider your own set of circumstances before deciding to become one. If you believe you are ready to start the surrogate mother application process, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us or call us anytime at 844-404-BABY.