Gestational surrogacy is a very popular choice among people who want to have biological children but can’t carry a pregnancy themselves.. Infertility is one reason why people opt for gestational surrogacy. LGBTQ couples including trangay, often opt for surrogacy as this is the only way in which they can have biological children.
When you’re looking for a surrogate, it’s important to choose someone who is not only physically suitable but also someone with whom you could have a good rapport. The surrogacy process is one that takes time and you want to be sure that you’re comfortable with the person carrying your child.
Beyond just the medical qualifications of the gestational carrier, what other aspects do you look for in a surrogate? How do you make the best choice? Several questions may be running through your mind, and we will explore some of the things to look for in a surrogate so that you can be sure to find the right match for you.
What is Gestational Surrogacy?
Gestational surrogacy is a type of surrogacy in which a woman (the surrogate mother) carries and gives birth to a child for another couple or person. The surrogate mother is not the child’s biological mother.
There are two types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s egg is used and is therefore biologically related to the child. Traditional surrogacy is rarely if ever, done these days.. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is implanted with an embryo created using the intended mother’s egg or using an egg donor and the intended father’s (or a sperm donor’s) sperm. The gestational surrogate has no biological connection to the child.
Gestational surrogacy allows couples who cannot conceive on their own, or who have a medical condition that makes pregnancy risky, to have a child that is genetically their own.
Gestational surrogacy also eliminates possible legal issues related to parental rights that could arise from using a traditional surrogate as the surrogate does not have any genetic ties to the baby. The intended parents are the biological parents when using a gestational surrogate..
The first step in choosing a gestational surrogate is to find an agency that specializes in this type of arrangement. The agency will help match you with a surrogate who meets your specific criteria, such as age, health history, and lifestyle. Once you have found an acceptable match, you will need to draw up legal contracts stipulating the rights and responsibilities of both parties.
The next step is to undergo fertility treatments to create embryos that will be implanted in the surrogate. Once the embryos are created, they will be frozen until they are ready to be transferred to the surrogate’s uterus.
Who Qualifies as a Surrogate?
If you’re considering surrogacy, you may be wondering who qualifies as a surrogate. Almost any healthy woman can qualify as a surrogate, as long as she meets certain basic requirements.
To qualify as a surrogate, a woman must:
- Be between the ages of 21 and 45
- Have had at least one successful pregnancy
- Be in good physical and mental health
- Have no history of drug abuse or STDs
- Not suffering from any infectious disease
Additionally, most surrogacy agencies will require that surrogates have their own health insurance. Agencies will also require that surrogates have completed a psychological evaluation and background checks to ensure they are emotionally prepared for the surrogacy process. It is also advisable that the potential surrogate has their own legal representation to protect their interests while the surrogacy contract is being drafted and executed.
What Should you Look for When You are Choosing a Surrogate?
While the section above talks about some of the important parameters that make a person medically suited to be a potential surrogate, there are more factors to consider. The surrogacy journey is long and can be complicated. Having someone whom you can trust and rely on while carrying your baby, is important.
A Surrogate Who is Medically and Psychologically Fit to Carry a Baby
The surrogate should be in good health and have no history of mental illness. She should also be able to provide medical clearance from her doctor. Mental wellness is a very important criterion as it has a huge impact on how the process and the pregnancy go.
This is the most important criterion and the surrogacy agency would be able to check and verify these parameters easily. Additional information can be obtained from the potential surrogate if needed. The matching process that most fertility clinics and surrogacy agencies use will check for these parameters and will eliminate candidates who do not match this criterion.
Trustworthy and Responsible
Beyond just the obvious medical factors, spending some time with the person and knowing them will help. No medical or psychological screening process can establish whether you have a rapport with the person and if you can establish a trusting relationship. You need to determine that for yourself. The process involves several office visits for monitoring before the embryo transfer as well as pregnancy monitoring visits with both the fertility specialist for the first trimester and then the obstetrician. You need someone whom you can rely on to take care of themselves during this time and who is committed to the surrogacy journey.
A Surrogate Who Lives in a State that Allows Surrogacy
Not all states allow surrogacy, so it is important to make sure that the surrogate you choose lives in a state that does allow it. You can check with your attorney or the state’s surrogacy laws to confirm this.
Willingness and Commitment
The surrogate you choose should be a willing participant who is in it for more than financial gain. They should be someone with the right mindset and willing to help a couple fulfill their dream of having a child. It is also important that they have close friends and a support system that can support and nurture them through the journey. A healthy baby is ultimately the outcome of a healthy and happy pregnancy. Having someone who is completely committed to the process is the only right choice.
How to be Prepared for a Smooth Surrogacy
The best way to be prepared for a smooth surrogacy is to do your research and ask lots of questions. You’ll want to find out as much as you can about the process and what to expect. It’s also important to choose a reputable surrogacy agency and build a good relationship with your surrogate.
Preparing for surrogacy can seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be. And remember, you always have the support of your surrogacy agency throughout the process.
Your fertility clinic and your OB/GYN are also important stakeholders in the process. Prepare yourself by undergoing a thorough screening process and doing all that is medically necessary. Finding the right surrogate is also critical. Working with an experienced fertility clinic is important for the best results from your surrogacy journey.
If you’re considering surrogacy, it’s important to choose the right surrogate, the right fertility clinic and of course, be fully prepared for the journey. A potential surrogate is more than just a vessel for your embryo. They play a very important role in the health of your baby as well. You need to ensure that the legal matters are complete so that you can establish the parentage of your child officially once the surrogacy journey is completed.
In many cases, family members or close friends are often chosen as surrogates. As long as the legal aspects are taken care of and you’re sure about the choice, this could be valid.
Working with a reputed surrogacy agency and an experienced fertility clinic is the best bet. Most fertility clinics will help you identify a surrogacy agency and will help you with the end-to-end process of surrogacy. So finding the right clinic that can make your dreams come true is the best choice.
Dreams Fertility has helped hundreds of parents fulfill their dreams of having children. We are experts in fertility treatment, surrogacy, and fertility preservation. We are passionate about working with same-sex couples and LGBTQ couples in helping them achieve their family-building dreams. Ask about our financing options to help you cover the costs of your fertility treatment. Schedule a consultation today!
Dr. Luis Murrain joined Dreams Fertility in 2021, providing specialty services in Fertility and Reproductive Genetics. With a shared vision that everyone deserves to have the family of their dreams, we are dedicated to helping all of our patients. We believe that families come in all shapes and sizes, and all of them are beautiful. We are proud to have a long history of providing services to all, including gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals and couples on their road to parenthood.