Have you been thinking about becoming a surrogate? If you are looking for a selfless way to help an individual or couple start their family, you might want to consider becoming a surrogate. You might be surprised by the financial and emotional rewards becoming a surrogate provides.
People may look at you as if you are crazy when they first hear about your plan to become a surrogate, but after talking with them about why you want to do it, they are likely to support your decision and wish you all the best.
If you want to become a surrogate and your friends or family members look at you like you’re crazy, this article will help your friends and family understand more about the surrogacy process.
What is a surrogate?
A surrogate mother, also known as a gestational carrier, is a woman who becomes pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF) with implanted embryos created using sperm from one partner or donor sperm, eggs from another partner or donor egg, or donated embryos.
The surrogacy process begins with an embryo transfer, which happens in stages: in vitro fertilization (IVF), an optional embryo screening procedure, implantation of one or more embryos into your uterus, and pregnancy. The surrogate then carries the pregnancy to term and delivers the baby to its parents upon birth.
Who can become a surrogate?
When it comes to gestational surrogacy, there are a few requirements that you should be aware of:
- Resident of the United States
- Age range of 21-42
- Be healthy overall
- Not smoke or take illegal drugs
- Be height-weight proportionate with a BMI of 33 or less
- Have experienced a full-term pregnancy and delivery AND are raising (or have raised) that child
- In a stable living condition
- Not currently on medication for depression or anxiety
- Enjoy pregnancy and be motivated by the wish to help others create or add to their family
It’s important to understand that being a surrogate is not for everyone. It takes lots of love and sacrifice. You need to do a lot of soul-searching to be confident that you can do something as emotionally intense as carrying a baby for someone else!
Do you get paid as a surrogate?
Yes! The average surrogate earns between $40,000-$60,000 in compensation and benefits. The payment you receive is largely dependent on where you live and if you’ve been a surrogate before.
You will also receive payment for maternity clothes, prenatal vitamins, lost wages, and childcare for your children during your pregnancy. Of course, the intended parents will also pay for all of your pregnancy-related medical expenses.
Although the money you receive as a surrogate is significant, the emotional rewards of knowing you helped bring a new life into this world and have fulfilled the dreams of a hopeful parent are priceless!
Is surrogacy legal in my state?
If you’re looking to be a surrogate, there are some legal steps you’ll need to take as well. In addition to working with an agency or attorney who is familiar with your state’s laws, it’s important to understand that compensated surrogacy is not legal in all states, so becoming a surrogate might not be an option where you live.
The laws on surrogacy are different in every state. For instance, some states will not allow a surrogate to be paid for carrying a baby for another couple but will permit payment to cover expenses.
Since there is no Federal law regarding surrogacy, each state has its own rules. Currently, only 3 U.S. states expressly prohibit surrogacy – Michigan, Louisiana, and Nebraska. All other states allow surrogacy.
Some states are considered more “surrogacy friendly” than others because the laws in those states make it easier for intended parents and surrogates to complete the legal process. Some of the most surrogacy-friendly states are California, Illinois, and Florida.
How to tell your friends and family
Start by reaching out to those closest to you. They will provide insight and comfort throughout your journey. As a surrogate, having a strong support system is a must!
Let them know why you are considering becoming a surrogate and how the process works. Many times, people don’t understand what surrogacy is, but once they’re educated on the surrogacy process, they’re very supportive.
Surrogacy is one of those paths where you have to decide whether it will make you feel fulfilled. Most women say they feel joy and pride every time they new pictures of the baby they carried and that they would do it all again.
Ultimately though, only you know whether or not surrogacy is right for you.
How do I get started?
Before you decide, carefully consider your motives for becoming a surrogate. Surrogacy is an incredibly meaningful decision that can dramatically affect all involved.
If you have decided that surrogacy is right for you and want to get started now, the first step is submitting your application.
If you are still unsure whether surrogacy is right for you, feel free to reach out to us to request information about becoming a surrogate.
Family Source Consultants’ staff will ensure your success in becoming a surrogate and help you find intended parents that fit your conditions perfectly.
We are happy to answer any questions you might have about surrogacy or assisted reproduction in general. Ask us anything!