There are so many reasons why you might want to become a surrogate mother. For some, surrogacy is a way to help a loved one on their journey to parenthood, and for others it’s about doing something special for the community while being compensated. No matter what your reason for wanting to be a surrogate mother is, there are a lot of moving parts that go into the equation. Each surrogacy journey is different and unique both to the parents and the surrogate, which means that you will likely have a lot of questions going into the process, no matter where you stand with everything.
Whether you’re in the hopes of meeting someone to surrogate for or you already have someone in mind that you’re looking forward to helping as they grow their family, there are so many methods and things to know when it comes to embarking on the journey of surrogacy. That being said, if you want to be a surrogate mother, you can absolutely take the steps to starting your journey now, and follow it all the way to helping some amazing people bring the child of their dreams into the world. You may feel like there’s a lot to learn — and while that may be true, it’ll also be absolutely. Worth it. Here are a few of the things you’ll need to know if you’re looking to become a surrogate mother.
You may be surprised that there isn’t a cut-and-dry set of universal requirements to become a surrogate. Especially as different states and organizations have their own rules and regulations, there are plenty of different ways that surrogacy can work out. Most organizations require that you be between the ages of 21 and 40, that you have proof of being able to carry a healthy pregnancy to term — usually in the form of having your own child — and don’t have any health complications or medications that could interfere with the pregnancy. Sometimes, there will also be a screening process and psychological requirements as well.
This is all to say, though, that each person and organization will be different in what they need to become a surrogate mother. Plus, many of these rules could change if the arrangement is personal, like helping out a family or friend who specifically wants you to be their surrogate. It’s best to check with your state and preferred organizations if you want to know more about specific requirements.
When it comes to the legality of a surrogacy agreement, you’ll come to the specifics of your surrogacy contract. Whether you go through an agency or you’re doing someone a personal favor, the legal requirements and compensations will be laid out so everyone can be on the same page. Those requirements might look very different from contract to contract, which is why it’s important to read and understand everything fully and thoroughly. This will lay out everything from official parental rights to your compensation, and even how and when you’ll relinquish the child to the parents. While it might not always seem necessary to have a contract, it actually makes a lot of the process much easier and smoother.
Helping a Loved One
If you’re looking to help out a loved one like a family member or friend by being their surrogate, you can create a surrogacy plan together by working with their doctors, your doctors and figuring out what works best for everyone. You can still lay out a surrogacy agreement and contract, and you can figure out where you fit into the involvement.
On the other hand, you may be interested in surrogacy without a specific person in mind. Whether you want to do something to help the community and do a good deed for someone in need, or you need the financial compensation associated with surrogacy, finding parents usually happens with the help of an agency. Similar to the idea of finding a sperm donor, the parents seeking out a surrogate will look through potential matches — including you — to find someone who might be the right fit. In order to get this process started, you can go to an agency and talk with them about finding parents.
Each surrogacy is different. While some surrogates choose to go about the process for free if they’re offering their services to a friend or family member, others require compensation. As a surrogate, you can sometimes make up to $80,000, with many figures ranging below that number, as well.
When it comes to the pregnancy itself, there are a few different kinds of surrogacy journeys — namely, gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. The most popular type of surrogacy is gestational surrogacy, which involves the genetic material coming from both of the parents. This means the surrogate only carries the child and isn’t related to the baby biologically. Traditional surrogacy, on the other hand, uses the surrogate’s own egg to become pregnant. This is often the option used for couples who can’t become pregnant at all on their own or LGBTQIA+ couples. Both surrogacy options have their own benefits and advantages, and it’s important to discuss your options thoroughly with the parents to figure out which would be the best for everyone, to see if things are a good fit.
Offering Your Surrogate Services
Becoming a surrogate mother is about so much more than being pregnant for a while. It’s about helping a family grow — whether that family is someone you know or someone you’ve connected with through an agency. And while there is a lot of information to take in, you can find your way to the surrogacy journey you want.