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
• 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.