If you’re on this page, you may be thinking, “I want to be a surrogate.” But, what are the steps involved in becoming a surrogate and in making sure it’s the right path for you?
Because becoming a surrogate mother is a great commitment, there are some very important steps you’ll need to complete before you can begin the process of surrogacy. These steps not only make sure that you are physically prepared to be a surrogate but that you’re also aware of the potential emotional and psychological challenges of the process, as well.
When you choose to become a surrogate, you will not only be changing your life forever but also the lives of intended parents who have been waiting desperately to have a child. Indeed, surrogacy is one of the most amazing gifts you can possibly give to someone else. Because of this responsibility, many surrogacy professionals will make you take a few steps before you can become a surrogate mother.
To help you learn more about how to become a surrogate mother, we’ve listed the three initial steps involved in becoming a gestational surrogate or a traditional surrogate:
1. Research surrogacy to see if you meet necessary surrogate requirements.
Before any woman can move forward with carrying a baby for someone else, she needs to understand exactly what surrogacy entails and determine if she can meet necessary requirements and handle associated responsibilities.
The procedure for being a surrogate mother can be complicated to understand at the start, which is why it’s recommended that any woman considering becoming a gestational surrogate do extensive research and speak with a surrogacy professional before committing to this life-changing process. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information available online (including throughout this website) and plenty of surrogacy professionals willing to discuss the process to be a surrogate mother.
Before you apply to be a surrogate mother, it’s a good idea to first learn more about the requirements of being a surrogate mother. This is the first step to finding out to how to become a surrogate in your individual situation, as you should meet these requirements before you move forward with the surrogacy process.
In general, there are two different sets of requirements you’ll have to meet to be a surrogate:
Medical Requirements: One of the most important requirements to be a surrogate is the ability to carry a pregnancy to term safely and without complications. To make sure a surrogate can do this, most surrogacy professionals set certain medical standards, including:
- A certain age, usually over 21 and younger than 35
- A healthy BMI
- At least one successful previous pregnancy
- Raising at least one child at home
- No use of drugs or alcohol
- No major complications from previous pregnancies
- Free of treatable STDS
However, each surrogacy professional will set their own requirements to become a surrogate — these are often just the basics recommended by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Psychological Requirements: Every woman must undergo psychological screening before she can be a gestational surrogate mother. While surrogates will have support from their surrogacy professionals every step of the way, this screening is important to ensure they are prepared for the potential emotional challenges associated with pregnancy, carrying a child for someone else and their family and friends’ involvement in the surrogacy process.
Most professionals will require prospective surrogates to have had no history of postpartum depression, have stopped use of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications for at least 12 months and have no mental conditions that may affect their ability to carry someone else’s baby safely. All intended parents will need to go through a similar screening process to make sure they are prepared for the emotions of surrogacy, as well.
2. Speak with a surrogacy professional to discuss your surrogacy goals.
If you still want to be a surrogate mother after completing preliminary research, it’s important that you contact an appropriate surrogacy professional to learn more about what your personal surrogacy process may look like. Every surrogacy journey is unique, and only an experienced surrogacy professional can give you an accurate idea of what it will be like to become a surrogate mother with their surrogacy program.
During this initial conversation with a surrogacy specialist, you will be asked about your preferences for your surrogacy process, including:
- Whether you want to complete a traditional or gestational surrogacy
- Whether you have identified intended parents or will need to find them through an agency
- Whether you wish to complete a compensated or altruistic surrogacy
Your surrogacy professional will help you identify the surrogacy goals and preferences that are important to you. From there, they will work with you to create a surrogacy plan that lays out how to be a surrogate mother in a way that addresses all of those goals and preferences.
3. Pass any initial screenings and background checks.
Before you can finally become a surrogate and start your personal surrogacy plan, however, your surrogacy professional will first need to make sure you meet all the necessary requirements mentioned above, as well as any that are specific to their program. Your surrogacy professional will arrange all of these screenings and background checks for you, and this process will always be completely free to you as a prospective surrogate.
Only after you have completed these three important steps can you start the practical process of becoming a surrogate mother: finding intended parents, completing a legal contract, undergoing the medical process and, eventually, delivering a healthy baby. Just as they will guide you through the initial steps of becoming a surrogate, your surrogacy professional should also guide you through these final steps of the surrogacy process after you are officially approved to become a surrogate.