Surrogacy is a unique experience and those who volunteer to give this precious gift surely have a lot of questions. What happens during the journey of surrogacy? Can you be a surrogate with your tubes tied? Do you have the right reasons to become a surrogate? How do you apply for surrogacy? Is it a worthwhile experience?
As a surrogate, it is normal to have a lot of questions about your decision, and you may need some helpful guidance. From crystals for fertility to stones for fertility, a lot can confuse women about conception. But throughout the challenges, what’s important to remember is that surrogacy is amazing through and through. Volunteering makes you selfless, stronger, and a more wholesome individual.
If you’re ready to experience one of the most rewarding journeys of your life, we have answers to all your questions below.
Becoming a Surrogate
A surrogate, gestational surrogate or gestational carrier is a woman who volunteers to deliver a baby for a couple (intended parents). It is very common for couples to struggle with conceiving, and for a variety of reasons, many are unable to have a baby of their own.
Most women volunteering for surrogacy are gestational surrogates, meaning the woman does not use her own eggs. Moreover, the gestational mother does not even share any genetics with the baby she delivers.
If you consult surrogate agencies in Texas like us, we’ll tell you that you can only be a Shared Conception surrogate if you are a gestational carrier. This means that you will not be sharing biology with the baby you will deliver.
In most cases, women volunteer to become surrogates in return for a payment from the intended parents. The law protects surrogate mothers through a legal contract, which the intended parents and the surrogate women must sign before the process of surrogate pregnancy.
Process of Surrogate Pregnancy
The process of surrogate pregnancy comprises of many steps, which include:
The Process- How long it takes
When you initially apply for surrogacy, you will not receive a permanent timeline of how long the journey will last. When volunteering to become a surrogate, you may have to wait as long as fourteen to even twenty months.
Once you submit your application, our agency considers several factors before matching you with intended parents. Some of these include:
- what the intended parents are looking for in a surrogate, what the surrogate is looking for in intended parents
- and of course, the timeline for the creation and transfer of the embryo.
There are certain milestones you must cover to complete the process of surrogate pregnancy. Let’s take a look at those below:
- It starts with Prescreening- once your application has made it through the first step of surrogate requirements, a surrogate prescreening coordinator will contact you. During this step, the coordinator will review your medical records, evaluate you, and run background checks.
- The next step will be an in-person or virtual home visit, in which your primary support person, like your spouse will participate too.
- The third step is perhaps the most exciting for both the surrogate and the intended parents. Once Shared Conception finds a match, you will go through a profile exchange with the intended parents. With the unanimous agreement of all parties, the match will become official.
- Next, you will either go to a IVF clinic in your city or take an overnight trip to one, in order to do your medical screening. After the screening, the legal contract phase will be done with your attorney.
- After gaining a hundred percent medical approval, the surrogate mother will begin the medications. Once you’re on your medications for surrogate pregnancy, you’ll also start attending local monitoring appointments to track the response of your body. Once the medical authorities confirm that your body is completely ready, you’ll go in for the embryo transfer.
- The next step starts with Beta tests at the local clinics in your vicinity for confirmation of the good news (pregnancy). Once you become pregnant, you will have to attend routine appointments and establish a strong rapport and understanding with your IPs. At this point, you’ll likely prioritize using a pregnancy ball or a birthing ball but remember that sharing updates with concerned parties is an equally essential practice during this time.
- Wait and enjoy the time until the big day arrives!
You may have all the right reasons to become a surrogate at heart, but it cannot begin till you meet all the requirements for the process. Although the requirements vary by agency, most surrogate agencies in Texas, such as Shared Conception abide by the following:
- You must be within the recommended age limit, which is 21 to 45
- You must possess a healthy BMI, typically 30 to 32 or less
- You must be financially stable
- You must not be on illicit drugs or smoke
- You must have had at least one successful pregnancy in the past, with no more than three cesarean births and five vaginal deliveries.
- Should be free of major complications from past pregnancies
- Should have no history of postpartum depression
- Should have some flexibiliby for appointments
The process of surrogate pregnancy is a life-changing decision. Women who volunteer to become surrogate mothers must understand what the entire journey entails, understand legalities, be physical, and mentally and emotionally sound for the decision.
Becoming a surrogate is a rewarding experience but also challenging, requiring selflessness and commitment to a great extent. Apart from this, it also requires the individual woman to meet all requirements of the agency and fertility clinic to become a surrogate and to be matched with intended parents.