5 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Gestational Surrogate
Surrogacy is one of the most unique and rewarding ways a woman can help someone else in their quest to have a child. From individuals facing fertility issues to LGBTQ+ families to single parents, surrogacy makes it possible for these people to have the family they always dreamed of. Surrogates are a bridge for growing families, and their role is invaluable and deeply admired.
If this sounds like something that would be meaningful for you, that in and of itself is something worth celebrating. The call to become a surrogate is one that only a few special individuals hear. That being said, there are still many factors that you should consider before submitting an application to a surrogacy agency. Here are our top five factors that all potential surrogates should consider.
1. Surrogacy Program Requirements
To be accepted as a surrogate into any surrogate program, potential candidates must fulfill certain requirements. The parameters of these requirements differ from agency to agency, but generally include specifications in terms of age, BMI, lifestyle, and reproductive history.
One of the most important qualifications to be considered eligible for surrogacy is that you need to have had at least one healthy pregnancy and delivery before. The reason behind this is that, if you’ve already had a successful and safe pregnancy in the past, it’s more likely that your body will be able to handle a surrogate pregnancy without too many risks. Not only does this provide intended parents with some assurance that their baby will be carried safely to term, but it also helps to ensure that you as the surrogate will be healthy throughout and after your journey.
2. Familial Support
Anyone who has ever been pregnant knows that it’s a roller coaster of emotions, thanks to hormonal fluctuations. Some days you can feel like you’re glowing, while others leave you on the verge of tears over the tiniest thing. In gestational surrogacy, even though the child you carry isn’t related to you, your body is still experiencing all the hormonal ups and downs as well as the mood swings that come with it. To get through it all, it’s important that your family has your back during your surrogacy journey, as well as during postpartum. A surrogacy pregnancy doesn’t just impact the gestational carrier, but every member of her family. Before you fill out an application, it’s important that you discuss these matters with them and that they understand the surrogacy process in full.
3. The Day-to-Day Impact of Surrogacy
Surrogacy is a physical, mental, and emotional commitment that involves a lot of coordination and appointments. The process begins with the screening and matching process and continues through pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery. Throughout every step of the process, there is a myriad of financial, legal, medical, and logistical choices details that need to be addressed. All of this on top of an already busy schedule can be a lot for anyone to take on. It can be immensely helpful to plan ahead and think about how these components will impact your everyday life. Simply having a loose plan can help mitigate feelings of anxiety and stress later on down the road.
4. Your Family-Building Journey
Before becoming a surrogate, many programs will ask candidates what their thoughts are on their own long-term family building plans. While many surrogates are able to have another baby of their own after completing a surrogacy cycle, there are inherent risks that come with every pregnancy, especially for women who are on the upper end of the age range. Talk to your partner and family about what your long-term family-building goals are and, if you have concerns, talk to your doctor to see if surrogacy is truly safe for you and your future plans.
5. Life After Surrogacy
Life after surrogacy will be a unique experience. While your body will go through the same postpartum process that it would during any pregnancy, your daily life will be fairly similar to what it was before the surrogacy journey. While this has some advantages (i.e. getting a full night’s sleep without being interrupted by the cries of a hungry newborn baby), you will still have to contend with hormonal changes that your body is going through, which can take a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Your surrogacy agency will work with you to plan for life after surrogacy, and can even connect you with resources such as support groups and counseling services.
If you’ve considered all these factors and feel ready to take the first step towards beginning a truly unique and powerful journey, we invite you to fill out a surrogate application. For any questions about becoming a surrogate, contact Fertility Source Companies today.