Surrogacy can be a wonderful way to have biological children of your own if nature won’t allow you to carry your own child or give birth. However, it can be an emotional, costly, and often stressful journey for prospective families. We’ve put together a list of things to consider before you embark on a surrogate pregnancy to help you on your journey. Read on to find out the things you need to know before using a surrogate and what to expect when someone else is expecting your baby.
1. Understand The Law
The laws around surrogacy vary from state to state, so make sure you’re relatively well-versed in your state law. Your first port of call is to engage a lawyer and a surrogacy agency. If you’re a resident of Cali, check one of the best surrogacy agencies in California to help you along your way. They will be able to guide you through the process, from finding your perfect surrogate to offering to counsel and advising you on your surrogacy contract.
2. You’ll Need A Top Doctor
Specialist medical professionals are needed for surrogacy, so it’s unlikely that your childhood family doctor will be able to help. You will need a reproductive endocrinologist to create your embryos and implant them in your surrogate. Throughout the process, they will become the most important humans in your life, so it is important to pick a doctor you feel safe and comfortable with.
3. You Will Probably Want To See A Therapist
While surrogacy can offer the gift of life, it can also come with many emotional ups and downs. Most prospective parents choose to see a qualified therapist to help them navigate through all of their thoughts and feelings. Surrogacy can be a tough journey for all concerned parties, so choose a therapist with experience in family matters who will be able to assist you through the process and keep your family thriving in anticipation of the new life on its way.
4. Look Into The Right Healthcare Insurance
One of the things you need to know before using a surrogate is insurance. While pregnancy is covered in many people’s medical insurance, surrogacy often requires specific insurance to cover the birth mother and baby’s needs throughout the pregnancy and afterward, should there be any complications. This can be costly so look for the best coverage for the best price instead of jumping right in with your current insurer’s plans.
5. Meet With Prospective Surrogates
The relationship you have with the woman carrying your baby will be unique, and you will need to feel a strong bond. Trusting someone else with your precious cargo is not easy, so using someone you feel at ease with is vital. Most agencies undertake a rigorous screening process, with financial, criminal, and health checks, which takes away a lot of stress for you and your family. Once they have offered you a list of prospective birth mothers, meet with a few and see how you feel about each one. As emotional and difficult the surrogacy journey is for you, it can be equally worrisome for a surrogate, so find out their reasons for wanting to be a surrogate. You’ll be able to connect with them on a deeper level. If a prospective mother isn’t a right fit for you, ask your agency to find another.
6. Consider Your Surrogate Relationship
You will need to have a plan in place once the baby has been born, so ensure that the relationship has been agreed to upon engaging your surrogate. Would you prefer a closed surrogacy, whereby the surrogate has no relationship with you or the child, or are you comfortable with more of an open relationship where they have an active involvement in your life? There is no right or wrong path when it comes to relationships post-birth. It is just important that all parties involved are happy with the outcome. This is one of the things you need to know before using a surrogate and how you plan on the type of relationship the surrogate will have with your child.
7. You Will Need A Contract
A contract will need to be in place before the embryos are placed inside the surrogate, but this contract should also include lifestyle rules and regulations for the baby’s carrier. If you are a vegetarian, you may wish the surrogate also conducts a vegetarian lifestyle while they are pregnant. You may require them to refrain from active sports or hobbies like horse riding that may harm your unborn baby. Be mindful that most surrogates still need to work, so if they have a manual or labor-driven job, you may wish to cover their salary for part of their pregnancy if you would prefer them to have more rest.
8. You Better Get Saving
One of the things to know before using a surrogate is it can be extremely expensive. The average cost for a surrogate pregnancy is around $150,000, which is huge for some families. The costs depend on whether you may need an egg donor, which is unavoidable for male couples and some women who cannot produce their own eggs. This makes the process far more expensive. It can also depend on how many rounds of IVF are required before your surrogate falls pregnant. Unlike IVF for yourself, you will need additional money for the surrogate. This includes insurance, medical appointments, food, vitamins, and sometimes housing. Plus, if your surrogate needs to stay in the hospital or needs medical treatment after birth, the costs will fall to you and your family.
9. Be Prepared To Be Patient
The journey of surrogacy can take a long time. Like, a really long time. Months and even years can go by without finding your perfect surrogate match, so being patient and open to the process is key. Your agency will be there to guide you along the way, but it’s important that you understand surrogacy is not an overnight solution to building a family. It involves a great deal of emotional energy. However, your newborn baby will be so worth the wait.
Have you used a surrogate or even been a surrogate yourself? Share your experiences in the comments to inspire other families in their journey.
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