When a family member proposes to become a Surrogate Mother, it may seem like a dream come true for the intended parents. Of course it is more comforting to have personal knowledge of the medical history as well as the background of the surrogate mother! However, such family closeness can lead to other areas of difficulty. That is why it is extremely important to carefully evaluate the situation and take the following issues into consideration.
1)Surrogate Mother’s Fee and Expense Reimbursement
It is quite possible that the surrogate mother may consider her participation in the surrogacy agreement as an “act of love”and so she refuses any financial compensation. Some Intended Parents are actually uncomfortable with this “imbalance and as a result, contributes to the surrogate’s children’s’ college fund or sends the entire family on a deluxe vacation after the delivery. This is perfectly acceptable and should be stated in writing.
A surrogacy agency, like Shared Conception, will help schedule a thorough psychological evaluation for someone’s sister, cousin, aunt, niece, etc. Most evaluations include an oral interview and a written psychological test.
3)Independent Legal Counsel
Although, members of a family may desire to keep their dealings on an informal level, we must remember that a surrogacy is a legal arrangement, which involves an important legal transaction. The surrogate mother is placing herself at great risk physically as well as financially. While the surrogate may want to waive her right to independent counsel with the aim of avoiding legal fees, Shared Conception highly encourages them not to do so because the attorney serves several critical functions important to the surrogacy process. Shared Conception works with highly trained attorneys who are ready to represent your best interests.
Before an embryo transfer or an insemination procedure, it is necessary to have a provision for guardianship of the child in the gestational agreement. This way, all expectations are realistically managed.
Shared Conception, or any other surrogacy agency, can arrange family counseling before the beginning of the assisted reproductive cycle as, from experience, we know that family members may ride a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs. It is also possible that a lot of unresolved family issues may surface during this stressful period of time. In case of a failed pregnancy attempt, the surrogate mother may begin to blame herself while the Intended Parents may be hiding their feelings of loss while trying to take care of others. Counseling can provide help to all participants of the surrogacy agreement in their moving through the grieving process and in deciding on a next step.
Shared Conception also has a “Designated Surrogate” program is that has found its niche in the industry! This program is for those who have identified their own surrogate and now need to efficiently navigate the surrogacy process until the baby is born. It includes all the above services except for interviewing, screening and locating a surrogate for the intended parents.
All in all, if participants are dealing with an unresolved family issue or a misguided sense of obligation, then using a family member as a surrogate mother may result in difficulties throughout the pregnancy as well as far beyond it. However, if there is adequate preparation, then using a family member as a surrogate mother can become a rewarding experience for the entire family. Shared Conception is equipped and ready to help. Call us.