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How can I Become a Surrogate?

Becoming a surrogate is a generous act of compassion, requiring a healthy body, a supportive environment, and a clear legal agreement. It starts with thorough research, medical screenings, and psychological evaluations to ensure you're fully prepared for the journey ahead. Want to learn more about the steps to embrace this life-changing role? Let's explore the path together.
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Becoming a surrogate mother may not be as easy as it sounds; there's a rather rigorous pre-screening process involved, which can be lengthy. To become a surrogate mother, contact a surrogacy agency in your area and request an application. You will usually have to provide details about your health status as well as your family history, including medical conditions your family members have or have had; this part of the screening process is intended to weed out surrogate mothers who may pass on medical or mental conditions to the unborn child. To become a surrogate, you will also have to submit to a medical examination. This is to ensure that you are indeed in good health, as you claimed on your application.

Besides being in good general health, you must be free of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you are married or otherwise sexually involved, your partner must be free of STDs as well. Likewise, most surrogate mothers are required to agree to quit smoking cigarettes, if they smoke, and are expected to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages and doing illegal drugs. Sometimes age requirements apply as well. To become a traditional surrogate for an agency, a woman must usually be between the ages of 21 and 36; she may be up to 42 years of age for gestational surrogacy.

Surrogate mothers must quit smoking cigarettes.
Surrogate mothers must quit smoking cigarettes.

Some programs only want women who have been pregnant in the past. However, it is possible to become a surrogate without having past pregnancy experience; this just requires trying a different agency. The reason some programs require this is to prove that you are capable of becoming pregnant easily, as the process required for impregnation can be time-consuming and expensive. Agencies don't want to waste time if you may have difficulty becoming pregnant and staying pregnant. For this reason, some surrogacy programs require a candidate to have carried at least one child to full term.

Couples who have fertility problems may decide to hire a surrogate mother.
Couples who have fertility problems may decide to hire a surrogate mother.

Often, a woman must submit to a background check in order to become a surrogate. She must also pass a psychological evaluation. This is because it is important that the surrogate mother is stable, mentally capable of understanding the surrogacy process, and free of any conditions that may cause her to harm herself or the unborn child. She must also be able to sign the surrogacy contract without any mental impediments.

Some surrogacy programs only want women who have been pregnant in the past.
Some surrogacy programs only want women who have been pregnant in the past.

Some programs also require a surrogate mom to be financially stable before she can become a surrogate. This is because worries about money and living-situation stability can add stress and anxiety to a woman's life, which could affect a pregnancy. Additionally, some surrogacy programs stress the importance of participating in order to help another person have a baby rather than agreeing to the arrangement simply to dig out of debt.

Surrogates must abstain from drinking alcohol or doing illicit drugs.
Surrogates must abstain from drinking alcohol or doing illicit drugs.

Once accepted into a surrogacy program, you'll likely have to sign a contract to become a surrogate. These contracts typically state that you agree to follow the procedures and rules of the program and will not try to pursue legal rights to the child once he or she is born. You may also have to agree to a set amount of compensation if you've chosen commercial surrogacy. Typically, you will also sign a contract waiving the right to sue in the case of any unfortunate events, such as a problem with the pregnancy that leads to other medical conditions. Likewise, you may have to consent to using fertility drugs when necessary to help the impregnation process along.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic requirements to become a surrogate?

To be a surrogate, you and any partners must be free from sexually transmitted diseases.
To be a surrogate, you and any partners must be free from sexually transmitted diseases.

To become a surrogate, you must typically meet certain health and age criteria. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a surrogate should be between 21 and 45 years old, have a healthy BMI, have had at least one full-term, uncomplicated pregnancy, and have no history of substance abuse or smoking. Additionally, psychological screening and legal counseling are required to ensure the surrogate understands the process and is mentally prepared for the journey. (Source: American Society for Reproductive Medicine, https://www.reproductivefacts.org)

How does the medical process of surrogacy work?

Surrogate mothers are typically not expected to pay for prenatal doctor visits or prenatal vitamins.
Surrogate mothers are typically not expected to pay for prenatal doctor visits or prenatal vitamins.

The medical process of surrogacy involves several steps, starting with fertility treatments for the surrogate to prepare her body for pregnancy. This is followed by in vitro fertilization (IVF), where the intended parents' or donors' egg and sperm are combined to create an embryo, which is then transferred to the surrogate's uterus. Throughout the pregnancy, the surrogate receives prenatal care to ensure the health of both her and the baby. (Source: American Pregnancy Association, https://americanpregnancy.org)

Are there legal considerations I should be aware of before becoming a surrogate?

Women who become surrogates are typically between the ages of 21 and 36.
Women who become surrogates are typically between the ages of 21 and 36.

Yes, surrogacy involves complex legal considerations. It's crucial to have a legally binding surrogacy agreement that outlines the rights, responsibilities, and expectations of all parties involved. Surrogacy laws vary by state and country, so it's important to consult with a specialized attorney to navigate the legal landscape. The agreement should cover compensation, parental rights, and the surrogate's role during and after pregnancy. (Source: American Bar Association, https://www.americanbar.org)

What kind of compensation can I expect as a surrogate?

Compensation for surrogates varies widely based on location, experience, and the specifics of each surrogacy arrangement. Generally, surrogates in the United States can expect to receive a base compensation ranging from $30,000 to $50,000, with additional payments for medical expenses, maternity clothing, travel costs, and other incidentals related to the pregnancy. It's important to discuss and agree upon compensation before the surrogacy process begins. (Source: Surrogate.com, https://surrogate.com/surrogates/surrogate-pay-and-benefits/how-much-do-surrogates-get-paid/)

How do I find a reputable surrogacy agency or intended parents to work with?

Finding a reputable surrogacy agency or intended parents is a critical step in the surrogacy process. You can start by researching and comparing surrogacy agencies based on their experience, services offered, and reviews from previous surrogates. It's also advisable to attend surrogacy information sessions and support groups to connect with experienced surrogates and intended parents. Ensure the agency or intended parents are transparent about the process, legalities, and financial aspects. (Source: Resolve: The National Infertility Association, https://resolve.org)

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a PublicPeople writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Learn more...
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a PublicPeople writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Learn more...

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Discussion Comments

Carrie1018

I'm 18 and i really want to be a surrogate mother. I don't have any children, because I'm not ready for my own but would love to give a child to a family that cannot have children.

anon338282

I'm 19 years old. I'm healthy physically, but I take antidepressants. I'm struggling financially to get through college and was thinking that surrogacy could possibly my solution. I have never been pregnant before. However, I know the risks and potential problems of being a surrogate. Is there any way I could qualify?

anon263271

I wouldn't if I were you. If you have never been pregnant before you and have no idea how the pregnancy will emotionally affect you. You may become emotionally attached to a baby that you have no right to keep and that could lead to major depression. But then again what would I know? I'm 17 and definitely younger than you are.

anon23301

im 18 years old and would LOVE to be a surrogate mother. is there any way i could become one?

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    • Surrogate mothers must quit smoking cigarettes.
      By: Mr Korn Flakes
      Surrogate mothers must quit smoking cigarettes.
    • Couples who have fertility problems may decide to hire a surrogate mother.
      By: Monkey Business
      Couples who have fertility problems may decide to hire a surrogate mother.
    • Some surrogacy programs only want women who have been pregnant in the past.
      By: JorgeAlejandro
      Some surrogacy programs only want women who have been pregnant in the past.
    • Surrogates must abstain from drinking alcohol or doing illicit drugs.
      By: yellowj
      Surrogates must abstain from drinking alcohol or doing illicit drugs.
    • To be a surrogate, you and any partners must be free from sexually transmitted diseases.
      By: pio3
      To be a surrogate, you and any partners must be free from sexually transmitted diseases.
    • Surrogate mothers are typically not expected to pay for prenatal doctor visits or prenatal vitamins.
      By: Kurhan
      Surrogate mothers are typically not expected to pay for prenatal doctor visits or prenatal vitamins.
    • Women who become surrogates are typically between the ages of 21 and 36.
      By: Gajus
      Women who become surrogates are typically between the ages of 21 and 36.