How To Become A Surrogate For A Friend
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 10% of women (6.1 million) in the United States struggle to fall pregnant. Infertility is a common occurrence that affects 12 out of every 100 couples in the country. If your friend is struggling to conceive and has been talking about the possibility of surrogacy and you’ve found yourself thinking about how to become a surrogate for a friend then this post is for you.
Surrogacy whether compassionate or compensated is not something to be taken lightly. Because of the emotional investment required, the numerous medical procedures involved, and the life-changing outcomes that may result, it is something we strongly advise that you approach with great caution and from an informed point of view.
Opting to become a gestational carrier for your friend means that you will not have a genetic link to the child you’re carrying – unless a different arrangement is required. Before talking to your friend about this possibility, here are things you need to know about how to become a surrogate for your friend.
Can you become a surrogate for a friend?
Is it possible to become a surrogate for a friend? The short answer – yes it is perfectly possible. Should you do it? Well, that’s what we’re going to address here. Surrogacy is a very complex process regardless of whether or not the intended parents and surrogate mothers know each other or not. Because of its delicate nature and other sensitivities, we always advocate that women thinking of becoming gestational carriers for friends take as much time as possible to research all they can about the process before making an offer to the intended parents. Surrogacy agencies like Joy of Life are happy to talk to such women and give practical insights on what the journey will look like.
What makes surrogacy different for a friend?
Surrogacy is usually done on a contractual basis. Traditionally, the surrogate often has no prior relationship with the intended parents and so the entire process can be kept strictly professional and businesslike. However, in the situation we’re dealing with, the nature of your prior relationship as friends can overshadow and cloud judgment. This is why both parties have to enter into a legally binding agreement and sign contracts.
The distinguishing factors that can be highlighted include the likelihood that surrogacy will bring you closer together as friends. It can serve to cement your relationship and even turn you into a family if the surrogate’s own eggs are used in the process. In addition, surrogacy with someone you know already can lower the costs of the process because there might not be an exchange of large sums of money as in traditional compensated options. However, a token of appreciation might be shown to the woman who has chosen to be a surrogate for a friend.
Why do you still have to meet all the basic requirements?
The requirements that are demanded of a surrogate are not there as suggestions. They are there as guidelines to determine the suitability of the potential surrogate. These requirements are put in place in order to safeguard the health of the gestational carrier and the baby they will carry. So yes, you’ll still have to undergo the various tests to confirm you’re in good health as well as get the go-ahead from your OB/GYN. You will also need to make sure that you’re within the recommended age range of 21-37 years.
What are some of the other surrogate qualifications you should be aware of?
- You must have already had at least one child of your own
- You’re required to have carried at least one pregnancy to term
- You should have no record of complicated pregnancies
- You should be within a healthy weight range – not obese or underweight
- You cannot be a surrogate for a friend if you’re on government assistance programs
- You should not smoke, be addicted to alcohol or drugs
- Your partner must be in agreement with your decision to be a surrogate for a friend
Why can’t your friend get pregnant?
If you’re good friends with the couple attempting to start a family you might be privy to the reason why they cannot have children. According to statistics, one-third of infertile cases are the result of fertility issues in women. Another third of infertility cases are linked to fertility problems among men. The last cause of infertility is the result of both male and female fertility issues.
You are known as a gestational carrier if the embryo being implanted into you is made from the eggs of your female friend. This means you have no direct genetic link to the baby. However, if your female friend cannot use her own eggs during the in vitro fertilization process, then you may offer to donate your own eggs. This is not mandatory as it is possible to obtain external egg donors. But if this is the case then you are now termed as a surrogate mother and the dynamics of the process change.
What might change with your friendship?
A lot is going to change if you decide to enter into a surrogacy arrangement with a friend. For starters, you can say goodbye to any form of privacy in terms of what you do with your body. It’s no longer your body as it were, but also an incubating hub for the precious gift you are carrying for your friends.
This means that your eating and sleeping habits, exercise routines, visits to the doctors, and other minor occurrences are discussed in a public setting and the best way forward for both you and the baby is charted by a whole team that’s invested in the pregnancy.
In a bid to try to regain some sort of normalcy you might not want to be accompanied to doctors’ appointments which might cause friction and tension between you and the intended parents who wish to share in each milestone. Emotions may flair when it’s time to make difficult decisions involving, for example, selective reduction where multiple embryos have been implanted into your womb and the number needs to be reduced. In addition, you might also not want the intended parents present during the birthing but they are desire to be present.
It’s clear to see that there are innumerable ways in which your friendship is going to be tested. So, what might change? Everything. Either this process will break and destroy the friendship that existed or it will bring you closer together.
Why do you still need a legal contract?
During your research on how to become a surrogate, one of the key issues you might have to come across is signing a legal contract between yourself and the intended parents. Many friends actively considering being a surrogate for a friend, often ask us if it is essential to have a legal contract in place.
The necessity of having a legal contract in place cannot be underestimated. This contract will explain what happens to the baby when it is born. What cause of action will be taken in the event of a life and death situation during birth? It will also lay out the conditions of birth and who is allowed to be present in the birthing room. This entire surrogacy process cannot be started without having this document in place. This legal contract is basically there to protect everyone involved.
Would you like to talk to someone about how to become a surrogate for a friend?
Joy of Life is a leading surrogacy agency in California that prides itself on journeying with surrogates and intended parents in a way that brings about the best outcome for all involved. As former surrogates and intended parents ourselves, we are well-versed in the intricacies of the surrogacy process. Contact us for more information.