Being a surrogate is a wonderful gift to intended parents. Once you make the choice to help others on the path to parenthood, it’s common to wonder what it takes to get your body, mind and life ready for the journey. If you’re researching how to become a surrogate mother, you should know that the term surrogate or gestational carrier is more appropriate. Although each surrogacy journey is unique, there are a number of steps you can expect to take. Let’s explore some of the first several steps to becoming a gestational carrier.
1. Learn the Requirements for Surrogacy
Before you start making plans for your surrogacy journey, you should understand the rules and general guidelines. Surrogates need to meet a number of requirements in order to act as a gestational carrier. These include:
- Good general health
- Age in 20s and 30s
- Healthy lifestyle choices, particularly concerning substance use
- Successful past pregnancies
- Supportive family, friends, and lifestyle
In order to be a surrogate, you must live in an area that allows surrogacy. Some states set more limits than others.
2. Make a Decision to Become a Surrogate
If you’re asking, “How do I become a surrogate mother?” you may be ready to make a decision. For every surrogate, there is a right time and opportunity to complete a surrogacy journey. You may need extra flexibility in your schedule starting several months before the pregnancy and finishing several weeks after delivery. It’s also important to consider your family’s needs during the process, so you can choose a time that works best for everyone.
3. Research Surrogacy Agencies
In most cases, you’ll need to find an agency that can help you through the process of becoming a surrogate. Surrogacy involves a significant commitment of your time and physical energy, and it’s hard to know what to do on your own as there are countless moving pieces and various parties you’ll need to work with (attorneys, IVF clinics, insurance specialists, escrow managers, and physicians to name a few). Agencies can assist you in understanding the requirements, matching with intended parents, following through the medical process to achieve pregnancy, and coordinating with all parties to ensure a smooth journey. The best agencies are there to support you every step of the way.
4. Complete Application and Screening Process
Once you have chosen an agency, you can start the application and screening process. Usually, you’ll need to complete an application with information about yourself and your goals. As part of the screening process, you may be asked to permit access to your medical records or provide other details about prenatal and delivery history and your ability to carry a future healthy pregnancy. If you meet the requirements and want to continue, the agency can help you match with intended parents looking for a surrogate.
5. Match With Intended Parents
Since a surrogacy journey can take as long as 12-18 months or more, it’s important to choose intended parents (also called IPs) who are a good match. Your agency will ask questions to understand your style, preferences and goals, and talk to you about IPs who may be a good fit for you. A match is only made once all parties have met and agree to move forward with each other, to minimize the chances of conflict throughout the journey. Once you finalize a match, appointments can then be scheduled for screening and preparation for the IVF process.
Start Your Surrogacy Journey With ISC
When you start wondering, “How do you become a surrogate mother?” you need the support of an agency with experience. At International Surrogacy Center, over half of our staff have personal experience from our own surrogacy journeys. We are delighted to help you determine what you need to begin your surrogacy journey, answering your questions along the way. To get started, research the guidelines for surrogacy by states and contact us today!