Become A Gestational Surrogate
4 things to consider before becoming a gestational carrier.
How do you know if you should become a gestational surrogate? Surrogacy can be an incredible and rewarding experience. It’s also a serious responsibility. As you consider becoming a surrogate, think about some of these questions.
What Does “Gestational Surrogate” Mean?
There are two kinds of surrogacy: traditional and gestational. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate becomes pregnant through insemination, so she both carries the baby and provides half of the genetic material. In gestational surrogacy, an embryo is developed in a lab through IVF and transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. Gestational surrogates do not share any genetic connection with the baby.
Gestational surrogacy is much more common nowadays. Most agencies, including ours, only work with gestational surrogates. For this reason, we tend to use “gestational surrogate” and “surrogate” interchangeably. Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s go into what it means to become a gestational surrogate.
1. Do I Qualify for Surrogacy?
Surrogacy requirements provide a great first step as you consider becoming a gestational surrogate. To protect the safety, health, and well-being of the surrogate, the intended parents, and the future child, surrogates must meet strict criteria. These include:
- Between 21-42 years old.
- Must have delivered at least one child of your own, with no serious complications.
- Body mass index (BMI) between 19-32.
- No drugs use, cigarette use, or alcohol abuse.
- Good mental health.
- Have a stable lifestyle, financially & emotionally, with a strong support network.
You can find the complete list of surrogacy requirements here. If you do not meet the surrogacy requirements, then you’ll know surrogacy isn’t a good fit for you. If you do meet the requirements, you can now consider some of the more emotional and logistical aspects of surrogacy.
2. How Do I Feel About Being Pregnant with Another Person’s Baby?
Surrogates help intended parents who cannot carry a child on their own to have biological children. Surrogates do not have a genetic relationship to the baby, nor do they have any parental rights or responsibilities. As a surrogate, you go through the entire experience of pregnancy and birth, and then the baby goes home with their parents.
We suggest spending some time thinking about how that idea makes you feel. Women who become gestational surrogates often describe feeling called to help others experience parenthood. They also tend to enjoy being pregnant! If that sounds familiar, surrogacy may be a great fit. If thinking about carrying and delivering someone else’s child makes you feel sad or uncomfortable, listen to your feelings. Surrogacy isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay.
3. How Does My Partner Feel About Me Becoming a Gestational Surrogate?
You don’t have to have a romantic partner to become a gestational surrogate. However, if you do have a spouse or significant other, they must be on board with your decision. A surrogacy journey can take a year or more, and involves all the normal challenges and considerations of pregnancy, with some additional layers of complexity. You’ll need a strong emotional support system ready to help out along the way. Before applying, talk with your partner about the process and answer any questions you both have.
4. How Will I Talk About My Surrogacy?
Unlike egg donation, which you can keep fully private if you choose, people in your life will, at the very least, figure out you are pregnant at some point! Because of this, it’s a good idea to think about how you would want to discuss your surrogacy, and with whom. Remember that you can share more or less information depending on the situation. For instance, you may wish to share more details with close family and friends, so they can support you through your journey. For people such as your employer or colleagues, sharing that you have become a gestational surrogate can help avoid uncomfortable assumptions. However, that doesn’t mean you have to answer intrusive questions. You get to decide what you wish to say and who you share your journey with.
Relatedly, also consider how you will talk about surrogacy with your child/children. They will naturally have questions about your pregnancy and if they’ll get a new sibling. We have resources for age-appropriate ways to talk about surrogacy with your children, so they can feel excited and supportive of your journey without confusion.
Become a Gestational Surrogate with Eggceptional Fertility
Surrogacy takes a very special kind of person. Becoming a gestational surrogate requires compassion, commitment, joy, and support. If you feel excited about the possibilities after considering how surrogacy would fit into your life, we’d love to meet you! Fill out our surrogacy application today.