How to Become a Surrogate? Eight Things You Must Know!

By December 11, 2019
Doctor is talking to a pregnancy mom - Joy of Life

Are you passionate to finding out how to become a surrogate mother or what the requirements are to become a surrogate?

Women thinking of becoming surrogates often have a few of questions about the surrogacy process and how it will all work out. It is crucial to get educated so that you can make an informed decision about this life-changing journey. In order to help you and explain more about how to become a surrogate, here is a surrogacy guide, including medical requirements, that answers guided towards the most commonly asked questions.

What Are the Specific Surrogate Mother Requirements?

a lady talking with pregnancy mom - Joy of Life

A potential surrogate mother will be screened in order to ensure that she is healthy enough to undergo the surrogacy journey. This is done to protect her and the future child she will carry. There is a range of surrogate mother requirements, including

  • The potential surrogate mother must be a non-smoker living in a non-smoking environment.
  • The potential surrogate mother must be between the ages of 21 and 39 years.
  • The potential surrogate mother must have a BMI in the range of 18 to 32.
  • The potential surrogate should have her own biological child/children that she is raising.
  • The potential surrogate should be able to display records of previous pregnancies with no complications.
  • The potential surrogate must provide OB/GYN records for all her previous pregnancies.
  • The potential surrogate must have no history of mental illness.

a. Is Being a Surrogate for a Friend Permitted?

Yes, it is possible to be a surrogate for a friend. However, here at Joy of Life, we still follow the strict protocol surrounding surrogates and their intended parents regardless of relation. With this said, we also offer surrogate mothers the opportunity to be gestational carriers, which means that they will not have any genetic link to the child that’s born. When this is done, the intended parents’ own eggs and/or sperm are used and then an embryo will be implanted into the surrogate’s womb.

It is also possible to be a traditional surrogate whereby you, as the surrogate, will have a genetic link to the child. If you are friends with the intended parents, they might not mind the genetic link. This is something to be discussed, of course, by both parties. This can happen if the surrogate is a close relation to one of the intended parents, such as a sister.

b. Can I Become a Surrogate Without a Previous Pregnancy?

The simple answer is no. Among the surrogacy requirements, one has to have had at least one previous successful pregnancy before one can be considered to be a surrogate. This is a guideline that’s laid down by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and one that Joy of Life follows faithfully to increase the chances of a successful outcome.

c. Can You Be a Surrogate If Your Tubes Are Tied?

Yes, it is perfectly possible if the type of surrogacy opted for is gestational, whereby the surrogate does not have to use her own eggs. Tubal ligation does not prevent a woman from being a gestational surrogate, either. Getting your tubes ties doesn’t inhibit the embryo from being transplanted into the surrogate’s womb. The only thing that getting your tubes tied does is to prevent ovulation in the surrogate, which, by no means, has any bearing on this surrogacy arrangement.

d. If I Have HPV, Does this Disqualify Me From being a Surrogate?

No, having HPV does not disqualify you from being a surrogate; however, the conditions of birth might be influenced by this diagnosis. The surrogate’s medical records with colposcopy results are required in order to chart out a proper birth plan and match with parents who don’t mind. HPV will not harm the child and neither will it hamper the baby’s development. If the surrogate develops genital warts prior to birth, a C-section will be necessary.

e. Is It Possible to not Fall Pregnant?

Yes, but the Joy of Life surrogacy agency provides professional services in order to ensure a higher chance of success and works hand-in-hand with reputable fertility clinics. If the surrogate has made it through our intense screening process, the chances of not falling pregnant after the embryo transfer attempts are slim.

f. When the Child is Born, What is Expected?

What happens after the baby is born is determined by what you have agreed with the intended parents. Some surrogates have no preference about having the intended parents in the room with them to share the birth of their child.

Once the child is born, the intended parents may assume their parental rights. Depending on the discussed points, the intended parents may take the child home and allow for visits, or they might move away with the child and keep in touch through email or other media as agreed upon.

Some intended parents may not wish to have any ongoing relationship with the surrogate mother. What happens at this stage will be based on your prior agreement with them, which is in writing.

It’s not uncommon for some surrogates to go through an emotional upheaval at this time and some may require post-partum counseling from the surrogacy agency. Joy of Life always supports our surrogate mothers in getting through this period with its superior service, experience, and understanding.

g. Is There a Timeline For Matching?

There are no hard and fast rules about how soon you will be matched. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes to ensure that both potential surrogate and intended parents are matched up with the right party based on their unique set of preferences. However as a leading surrogacy agency, Joy of Life provides very fast matching in the industry, based on its growing number of intended parents.

h. What is Assisted Reproductive Technology?

For couples struggling to have children, or women considering surrogacy, assisted reproductive technology, (ART), offers a solution. This is a medical procedure whose objective is getting a woman pregnant by scientific means and not through sexual intercourse. There are various ART solutions, which include in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracervical insemination, intrauterine insemination, donation of gametes, intracytoplasmic sperm insemination and embryo transfer.

Here’s How to Become a Surrogate Mother

Pregnant mom talking with doctor - Joy of Life

Equipped with the information from the FAQs above, here are the first steps to becoming a surrogate.

You’ll need to get in touch with a reputable and successful surrogacy agency. Joy of Life is one of California’s top surrogacy agencies. Our team is composed of women who were surrogates themselves and parents who were once intended, parents. Because of this, we are well versed in the surrogacy process and can therefore, walk with potential surrogates and intended parents from an informed point of view.

When you reach out to us, we’ll sit down and have a chat about the process again and then begin to process your application. With the application filled in, you will undergo medical screenings to ensure that you are fit physically and psychologically to undertake this journey. While all this is going on, you’ll be given guidance and resources so that you can keep learning more about the process.

Would you like to talk to a surrogacy professional in person about some of your concerns? Do you have questions not answered in our FAQ? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free no-obligation consultation.