How to become a surrogate mother
Being a surrogate mother is an act of kindness but before you make the decision of becoming a surrogate mother, you must know there are several physical, emotional, sensitive and legal issues that you need to deeply think about.
First of all, surrogacy / assisted reproductive laws are not the same in every US State or Canada Province, you need to understand the local laws in your country, and the best way to do that is to get in contact with a good lawyer. Also, whether you chose to work with an agency or going independent, do your homework and get as much information as you can about the surrogacy process, IVF process, etc, there are really good resources online you can consult by free.
If after learning about the surrogacy process you still want to be a surrogate, the first step will be to discover if you are a good candidate. You won't find any established legal requirements, the requirements will depend on the surrogacy agency and IVF clinic you will work with since most of them have their own guidelines.
Some general requirements for becoming a surrogate
1. You must be between 21 and 45 years old. Women usually are asked to be 21 years old to guarantee they are ready to deal with all the topics associated with the surrogacy process. The upper age limit for surrogate mothers is grounded on medical concerns as the risks of pregnancy increase.
2. Have had a prior problem-free pregnancy and be raising that child: This is mandatory to be a gestational carrier, because if a woman has given birth once, it shows she is able to become pregnant and institutes fertility.
3. Have a stable family life and strong social supports around you: Surrogacy journey sometimes can be an emotional and demanding process. It's important that you have a good support system in place that provides you support and help throughout your surrogacy process.
4. Be in good physical health and have a healthy lifestyle: Gestational carrier should have a healthy lifestyle, Intended Parents need to be able to trust you will take their baby like they would do, trust is very important in this surrogacy process. Also It's known that healthy eating during pregnancy is vital to have a healthy pregnancy and for the baby's development
5. Responsible lifestyle: A gestational carrier must live a stable lifestyle: no drugs and non-smoking. Smoking during pregnancy can cause several issues. Babies are the most important part of the surrogacy journey and we need to their health.
6. Body Mass Index under 33: If your BMI is higher than 33 there is risk of developing diabetes, which can be a risk not only to you but also to the pregnancy. Also, It's proven that women with a BMI higher than 33 could have more difficulties to get pregnant. This limit will depends on the IVF clinic.
7. You need to be willing to undergo some medical and psychological screeners and procedures.
If you consider that you could be a good candidate to be a surrogate mother the next step is to learn more about surrogacy in your country and prepare yourself for the surrogacy journey.
8. You have to know the different types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy (also named as genetically surrogacy), and gestational surrogacy (also named as host surrogacy). You need to decide which one fulfills better your expectations.
9. You need to understand the laws in your State/Province/County. Make sure you engage with a good lawyer who specializes in surrogacy/fertility/family topics to get legal advice and ask any question you could have.
10. You have to choose if you want to use an agency. Normally, a surrogacy agency will help you to find a match and will support through all the IVF process and pregnancy. However, before choosing an agency or signing any agreement, make sure you get feedback from internet or former surrogates about this agency, as probably you can imagine, not all the surrogacy agencies are reliable.
11. Match with your Intended Parents. Whether you use a surrogacy agency or not, it is important that you feel very comfortable with the intended parents you are going to help. You are going to spend at least one year with them and it's important that you share as much values as possible with them. You should be able to trust them and ideally they should be supportive and reliable.
12. Surrogacy contract and Medical procedures. Due to all the legal issues related to surrogacy, your Intended parents' lawyer and your lawyer should draft a contract that includes the rights and the responsibilities of both parties.
Your Intended Parents and you should sign the contact before you start with the IVF treatment.
13. The surrogacy journey starts!!!! You are becoming a surrogate mother!!!!
More info about being a surrogate in this video