Whether you learned about surrogacy through Handmaid’s Tale or Keeping Up With the Kardashians, surrogacy has been thrust into the spotlight in recent years. For those considering surrogacy for themselves or those who want to learn more about what their friends or family may be experiencing with a surrogate, Healthwire can provide a comprehensive breakdown of what surrogacy is and when it’s recommended. Read on today to learn more about what to expect from surrogacy.
1. What Is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is when another woman carries a baby to term for an intended mother. Surrogacy can be carried out in two different ways: gestational and traditional. In gestational surrogacy, the intended mother’s eggs are fertilized by the father’s sperm, collected through IVF, and then implanted in the uterus of another woman to be carried to term. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm to carry the baby to term. Unlike in gestational surrogacy, the surrogate’s egg is used.
2. Who Needs a Surrogate?
While surrogacy laws are different around the world, in nearly every case, it is usually chosen by those who need it for medical reasons. Some of the most common medical issues that lead to the need for surrogacy include infertility, significant uterine anomaly or absence of the uterus, medical contraindication for pregnancy, or another type of biological inability to carry a child to term.
For many, surrogacy is a big decision. These parents sometimes have a choice between egg donation (if the male is infertile) and surrogacy (if there are issues with the female’s reproductive system). Soon, parents who are struggling to conceive may be able to make use of an artificial uterus to have a a baby.
3. How to Become a Surrogate
If you think that you want to become a surrogate, there are several steps you must take to join a register at a respected alternative family planning clinic. You must meet health guidelines to ensure your health and the health of the baby you’re hoping to carry including:
● Age: Between Ages 21-38
● Healthy BMI: Between 19-32
● Non-Smoker or Drug User
● Have Been Through at Least One Healthy Pregnancy
● Six Months After Your Last Pregnancy
● Financial Independence
● Limited Prescription Medications
Many surrogate agencies require comprehensive mental health screenings and physicals to ensure the health of the surrogate and their ability to follow through with the pregnancy. It is rare for women to become surrogates because they need the money, as many countries require financial stability from surrogates. While they are compensated for their time, it is not the main reason for becoming a surrogate.
4. Why Become a Surrogate?
“I’m amazed by the miracles of third-party reproduction and have found so much fulfillment in the work that I am blessed to do. I’m grateful to be involved in this incredible process in which new families are created every day,” says Julia Alkire, Founder and CEO of Family Creations.
So many other women feel the same when they consider whether they want to become surrogates. These are all mothers that know the struggle, the joy, and the fulfillment of being a mother. Many surrogates feel honored to be able to help other women who are unable to grow their own families. It’s a truly generous act that requires a lot of self-sacrifice.
Are you considering becoming a surrogate? Prepare yourself for a full commitment — body, mind, and soul — to help other families achieve their hopes and dreams.
Aaron Smith is an LA-based content strategist and consultant in support of STEM firms and medical practices. He covers industry developments and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.