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There are many reasons to become a surrogate. Becoming a surrogate mother is a generous act, giving the gift of life to a child, and giving intended parents the opportunity to build a family. Surrogate compensation can bring new opportunities to your life, too, such as the ability to stay home with your children, enroll in college courses, or make a down payment on a new home. Becoming a surrogate can also be very emotionally rewarding. Surrogates often form long-lasting relationships with intended parents and their children. If you’re curious about how to become a surrogate, this blog will help you understand the surrogacy process, surrogacy requirements, and how to get started.

What are the requirements to be a surrogate?

Surrogacy requirements differ from one agency to another, but in the U.S., they generally are based on the recommendations of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. At Newborn Advantage, our surrogates must meet the following requirements:

• Be between 20 and 42 years of age (depending on your state laws—some require you to be 21)
• Height and weight in proportion (BMI 30 or below)
• Healthy physical condition
• Non-smoker
• Have demonstrated uncomplicated pregnancy(ies) and delivery(ies)
• Free of sexually transmitted diseases
• Not dependent on government assistance
• Must pass criminal background verifications

How much do surrogates get paid?

Surrogate compensation varies from state to state, and by region, but on average, Newborn Advantage surrogates earn renumeration starting at $30,000. Surrogates who have prior experience can earn more than first-time surrogates. (As with any career, experience counts.)

How does the surrogacy process work?

The surrogacy process will vary from one surrogacy agency to the next, but the general process of becoming a surrogate includes the following steps:

1. Find a reputable surrogacy agency.

When choosing a surrogacy agency, look for one with an established history in the industry, positive reviews from both surrogates and intended parents, and a caring, personal staff. Don’t be afraid to call a surrogacy agency and ask to speak to someone. In addition, it is important to make sure an escrow account will be set up for you to ensure that funds are available for your payments over the course of the pregnancy and can be made in a timely fashion.

2. Review the surrogacy agency’s requirements to see if you qualify.

Most surrogacy agencies will have their surrogacy requirements listed on their website. If they don’t, call and ask.

3. Complete an application and submit it to the surrogacy agency.

4. Provide your medical history and social history information.

This step usually takes place after your application has been reviewed. Some
surrogacy agencies use an automated system to qualify candidates. While this
may reduce costs to the agency, we take a more personal approach at Newborn
Advantage. We walk each accepted applicant through a detailed profile,
asking questions about your goals for becoming a carrier, and making sure to set
realistic expectations. We want to make sure you’re comfortable with surrogacy,
and with us. There is never any obligation to proceed if you don’t feel we are the
right agency for you.

5. Complete a physical evaluation.

The physical evaluation will ensure your body is healthy enough for pregnancy. This helps protect you, and increases the chance of a successful pregnancy.

6. Complete a mental health evaluation.

Surrogacy is an emotionally intense experience, for surrogates and intended
parents. This evaluation will ensure you are prepared for the challenges of becoming a surrogate. You may also be asked to meet with a social worker for an in-home assessment.

7. Pass a background check.

8. Match with intended parents.

If you pass all of the required checks and screenings, your surrogacy agency will recommend you to intended parents. Your surrogacy goals, personality and preferences will all be taken into account, to find the best match. You will have the opportunity to meet with intended parents either in person or via videoconference, to get to know one another better and decide whether or not to move forward.

9. Complete a surrogacy contract.

When intended parents and surrogates are successfully matched, your surrogacy agency will help facilitate the creation of a legal surrogacy contract. This document will specify the terms of the arrangement, including surrogate compensation. All parties must sign the surrogacy contract.

10. Undergo fertility treatments.

To prepare for in vitro fertilization (IVF), you will be required to undergo fertility treatments. This will include blood testing, prescription medications, injections, and ultrasounds.

11. Transfer the embryo.

With gestational surrogacy, the intended father’s sperm (or donor sperm) is used to fertilize the intended mother’s egg (or a donor egg) in a laboratory. The fertilized embryo is then transferred into your uterus for implantation. The procedure is painless and no medication is required, although you may be asked to rest at the fertility clinic for a few hours, and avoid heavy activity for a few days.

12. Receive prenatal care, and visit your doctor regularly.

You will be required to visit your doctor for scheduled check ups throughout the pregnancy. The costs of doctor visits will be fully covered through your surrogacy agreement.

13. Deliver the baby, and relinquish it to the intended parents.

The completion of your surrogacy journey can feel very rewarding, as your pregnancy ends and the intended parents finally get to welcome a new baby into their home. Many surrogates keep in touch with intended parents after the surrogacy journey is complete, and enjoy seeing photos of the babies they carried as they grow with their new families.

How do I Become a Surrogate?

If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate, please contact Newborn Advantage today to receive an application. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more, feel free to contact us by completing the form below or calling 847-989-8628. We look forward to hearing from you.

If you’re considering surrogacy, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about how to find the right surrogate—someone with good health, a great personality, and a heart for helping others. One of the best ways to find a high-quality surrogate is to work with a surrogacy agency, and that makes choosing a surrogacy agency as important as choosing a surrogate. The best surrogacy agencies are experienced, professional, friendly, quality-focused and well-connected. They should be willing to answer your questions and happy to guide you through the surrogacy process. Here are a few things look for when choosing a surrogacy agency:

How are surrogates selected and screened?

You want to give your newborn an advantage in life—so it’s important to choose a surrogate with the best genetics available. When interviewing agencies, ask about their surrogate selection and screening process. Surrogates should be screened for physical and psychological health—and they should also have a personality that meshes well with yours.

How long does it take to be matched with a surrogate?

The sooner you are matched with a surrogate, the sooner you will be able to welcome a new baby into your home. While some surrogacy agencies can take up to eight months to match you with a qualified surrogate, the best surrogacy agencies are well-connected to a large group of surrogates—which means they can match you much faster. Newborn Advantage can place you with an ideal gestational surrogate within just two weeks.

Does the agency offer a surrogate guarantee?

What happens if you’re matched with a surrogate, but she is not able to go through with the pregnancy? Look for surrogacy agencies that provide a surrogate guarantee. With Newborn Advantage, if your candidate does not pass your doctor’s medical clearance, you will be re-matched with another qualified candidate, at no additional cost.

Will the agency guide you through the surrogacy process?

The surrogacy process is about more than pregnancy and birth. There are legal, financial and health-related aspects to surrogacy as well. Look for a surrogacy agency that will guide you through the surrogacy process and provide you with professional referrals to

physicians, attorneys, financial and estate planners, and mental health professionals, if needed.

How much experience does the surrogacy agency have?

The best surrogacy agencies earn their reputations through experience. Look for surrogacy agencies who have been in business for ten or more years, if possible. People who have worked in surrogacy for many years will understand the nuances of the surrogacy process, and can help you avoid problems they may have seen in the past. Experienced surrogacy agencies are also more likely to have professional relationships with doctors, attorneys, financial service providers, and of course, surrogates.

What is the surrogacy cost?

Surrogacy is expensive, but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Surrogacy costs include surrogate compensation, medical costs, surrogacy insurance, surrogacy agency fees, and other expenses. Ask for a detailed breakdown of surrogacy costs, or a sample gestational surrogacy contract. If the surrogacy agency is not transparent about pricing, this may be a cause for concern.

How are their people skills?

When choosing a surrogacy agency, look for one with friendly and helpful people. When you call the agency, is the phone answered by someone who is kind? When you ask questions, do they help you find the answers you need? If a surrogacy agency isn’t easy to work with at the beginning, you may run into more problems down the line.

What is your confidence level with the surrogacy agency?
After you evaluate a potential surrogacy agency considering the factors above, consider your feelings. If your confidence level is high, it’s a good sign that you may have found the right surrogacy agency for you. If not, you may want to keep looking.

Ready to take the next step?

At Newborn Advantage, we understand how important it is to evaluate surrogacy agencies and choose the one that works best for your family. If you’re interested in learning more about how our surrogacy process works, give us a call or email us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.