Surrogacy can be a life-changing decision for intended parents seeking to grow their family. If you’re considering working with a surrogate to build the family of your dreams, it is essential to understand the process and learn to work effectively with your surrogate. This beginner’s guide covers the key aspects of surrogacy and provides practical tips for a successful journey.
Surrogacy is an arrangement where a woman (the surrogate or gestational carrier) carries and delivers a child for another person or couple (the intended parent(s)). There are two types of surrogacy:
- Traditional surrogacy: The surrogate uses her own egg and is artificially inseminated with the intended parent’s or donor’s sperm. The surrogate is the biological mother of the child.
- Gestational surrogacy: The surrogate carries the intended parents’ embryo, which is created through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) using their own or donor gametes. The surrogate has no genetic connection to the child.
Gestational surrogacy is the more common and legally accepted form of surrogacy.
Finding a Surrogate
There are several ways to find a surrogate, including:
- Surrogacy agencies: These organizations match intended parents with suitable surrogates and provide ongoing support throughout the process.
- Independent surrogacy: Intended parents find a surrogate independently, often through personal networks or online platforms.
- Fertility clinics: Some clinics offer surrogacy programs or can refer intended parents to reputable agencies.
Each method has its pros and cons, so carefully consider your preferences, budget, and legal requirements when working with a surrogate.
- Legal aspects: Surrogacy laws vary by country and state. Ensure you understand the legal requirements and work with an experienced attorney to draft a legally binding surrogacy agreement.
- Medical screening: The surrogate should undergo comprehensive medical and psychological evaluations to confirm she is physically and emotionally prepared for the process.
- Financial considerations: Surrogacy can be expensive, so it’s vital to budget for costs such as agency fees, legal fees, medical expenses, and surrogate compensation.
- Communication: Establish open lines of communication with your surrogate to foster a strong working relationship throughout the journey.
Tips for Working with a Surrogate
- Set clear expectations: Discuss your expectations with your surrogate regarding pregnancy care, communication, and post-birth arrangements. Ensure these expectations are outlined in the surrogacy agreement.
- Be supportive: Your surrogate is making a significant commitment on your behalf. Show your appreciation and support by offering emotional encouragement, attending appointments when possible, and maintaining open communication.
- Respect boundaries: While it’s essential to be involved, remember to respect your surrogate’s personal boundaries and privacy.
- Stay informed: Educate yourself about the surrogacy process and stay up-to-date on medical appointments and milestones. This will help you feel more connected and involved in the journey.
Working with a surrogate can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for intended parents. By understanding the process, considering key factors, and following practical tips, you can navigate this journey with confidence and build a strong, supportive, working relationship with your surrogate.
Interested in building the family of your dreams via surrogacy? Contact us to start your journey.