A surrogate mother is a woman who carries and delivers a child for another person or couple. The surrogate mother does not continue to fulfill the role of the child’s mother after the child is born. The surrogate mother may or may not be biologically related to the child she carries. The word “surrogate” comes from the Latin word surrogare meaning “to substitute or put in another’s place.”
Both single men and women or couples may choose to use a surrogate mother for a variety of reasons in order to make their dreams of parenthood a reality. Your own reasons for seeking a surrogate will impact your own surrogacy choice. First, in order to understand tips for finding a surrogate it’s important to first understand the different types of surrogacy.
Different Types of Surrogacy
Traditional Surrogacy is an arrangement in which the surrogate is biologically related to the child. This means that the surrogate mother provides her own egg and carries the child to term, but not involved in raising the child after it’s born. Traditional Surrogacy due to its potential legal complications is not as common as Gestational Surrogacy explained below.
Gestational Surrogacy is a more common type of surrogacy in which the surrogate mother is not biologically related to the child she’s carrying. The egg is extracted from the biological mother, fertilized in vitro at a fertility clinic, and implanted in the womb of the surrogate mother. The surrogate agrees to grow the baby in her womb for its parents, who are unable to do so themselves for any number of reasons.
Finding a Surrogate Mother
Here are a few tips to consider when using a surrogate mother,
Tip 1:Legalities.Surrogacy is controversial in the U.S., and laws on surrogacy agreements vary greatly from state to state. Some states have no laws in regard to surrogacy contracts or have declared contracts unenforceable in public policy. Many states that allow surrogacy agreements only allow uncompensated arrangements and gestational agreements (where the carrier is not biologically related to the child). Some states with surrogacy laws prohibit same-sex couples from entering into surrogacy agreements and require intended parents to be a married male/female couple.
Tip 2: Use an Agency. Choosing surrogacy means you’ll need a help to oversee the process. An Agency can assist you with matching you with a surrogate that is right for you as well as screening and legal referrals. An agency also provides a buffer and guidance in discussing complicated issues like pregnancy termination and reduction, as well as compensation and bed rest. They will guide you through what may feel like a strange and surreal situation that is both foreign and frightening.
Tip 3. Expenses.Speaking of financial woes, using surrogacy to have a child is not an inexpensive undertaking. You’ll be responsible for paying the medical bills of the surrogate as well as any legal costs that might arise from the pregnancy. You want to make sure you have an accurate understanding of your financial obligation prior to beginning your journey.
Tip 4. Understand what you want.What are you looking for in a surrogate mother? You’re entrusting the first nine months of your baby’s life with your surrogate mother, so most likely you’re looking for someone who will make likeminded decisions and treat the baby with the same care as you would. If you’re choosing a traditional surrogate, you’ll want to consider genetic factors that are important to you as well.
Tip 5: Interview different surrogates. You’re trusting your child’s life with your surrogate mother, so you need to choose one you trust with full confidence. You want your surrogate to meet all your top criteria, but you also want to choose a woman with whom you feel completely comfortable and at ease.
Tip 6: Consider lifestyle choices. Your surrogate is using her body to grow your child, so you want to choose one who will make the right daily choices for your baby. Ask your surrogate about her diet, fitness level, nicotine habits, and lifestyle choices such as drug and alcohol consumption before and during pregnancy to make sure you’re choosing a healthy surrogate for a healthy baby.
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