Should You Offer to Be a Surrogate for Your Infertile Friend?
The decision to offer services as a surrogate mother for relatives or friends is certainly a sublime, but a very serious step that requires your extremely balanced consideration.
- 🩺 Qualifications: requirements for a surrogate mother
- 🤰 Peculiarities of the gestational process in surrogate motherhood
- ⭐ Pre-proposal preparation
- 💊 How to correctly and properly propose
- ✔ Program with own surrogate mother
- 📝 Difficult decisions
- ⚡ Taking care of yourself during gestation
- 🧬 Legal and financial matters
- 🩺 Your future relationship
You have to go through a very difficult path, which will entail a lot of physical, material and emotional efforts. Your relationship c the family or single friend for whom you are carrying a child will change dramatically: they may become even closer or cool down a lot because of a whole range of aspects. It is better to learn about all of them at the stage of birth of such an idea, so in this article we have included everything you need to know: from the consequences of your decision to the correct way to offer yourself as a gestational carrier for your relatives or friends.
Qualifications: requirements for a surrogate mother
Regardless of whether you are carrying a child for loved ones on an altruistic basis or on a commercial basis for strangers, there are strict medical and legal criteria for a surrogate mother. They differ depending on the reproductive clinic, but the general points are as follows:
- Age from 21 to 37 years;
- At least one child born naturally, without pregnancy complications;
- Health in general: physical, psychological, no excess body weight or its lack;
- You are not a member of government assistance programs;
- You have no bad habits: smoking, alcohol or drug abuse;
- If you are married, you will need the consent of your spouse, confirmed by a written statement.
Even with full compliance with the indicated criteria, the decision to approve you as a surrogate mother is made by the doctor of the reproductive clinic based on the results of a complete examination.
Peculiarities of the gestational process in surrogate motherhood
Surrogate motherhood is very different from your own pregnancy, primarily in the organizational aspect. It includes a much larger number of procedures: medical examinations, legal processes (drawing up agreements in a contract), psychological consultations.
It should be understood that you are carrying a child, for which the doctors of the reproductive clinic are also responsible. This means that the antenatal care process will be organized by the clinic, taking into account the approach to managing a surrogate pregnancy, which may differ from your experience. Be prepared also for the increased attention of genetic parents during the entire prenatal period: they may be worried about questions that you did not ask when carrying your own baby.
A gestational carrier will have to take blood tests and undergo transvaginal ultrasounds, and receive prescriptions for medications much more often than during a personal pregnancy. Preparation for embryo transfer necessarily involves hormonal stimulation.
The frequency of examinations and procedures implies the need for time off, and therefore lost wages. Make sure you will not have any problems at work.
Even though the agreement on all stages of the reproductive programme will be indicated in the contract, disagreements can still arise in the process, as the business relationship is overlaid by the personal, already established one. This should not be seen as an unnecessary formality even if your relationship is very trusting. It is a necessary measure to protect the interests of all those involved in the programme and will also help to resolve any disagreements that may arise.
All of the above suggests that before offering yourself as a surrogate mother, it is necessary to familiarize yourself in detail with the information about the reproductive program from the surrogate mother. Read all available materials on the websites of reproductive clinics, ask for advice from their specialists. If possible, discuss your idea with a reproductive law attorney, try to find women who have gone through the process and talk to them. This will not save you from unexpected emotional experiences in the process, but will allow you to have a more or less accurate idea of what you have to go through.
At this stage, it is easiest to drop the idea if you are not ready to go through any trials.
After collecting data on the general view, consider also the specific points. Answer yourself the question: do your loved ones really need surrogate motherhood? The fact is that not all people with fertility problems need gestational carriage, many types of infertility can be overcome with treatment. Of course, if your friend is a single woman or a man dreaming of their own child, then without a program surrogacy for singles their dream will not come true. But make sure the loved one considers such an idea before offering such an agreement.
You should also discuss your idea with your family: reproductive assistance to friends is an extremely difficult process in itself, so it is worth offering it only with the full support of relatives and on a positive note. If you do not meet understanding in your family, you should abandon your plan.
If family support is received, and you are sure that you are ready to go all the way, get confirmation of your capabilities from your gynecologist. Discuss your plans with your doctor, take the necessary tests. For reliability, you can go through a complete examination.
Consider also the possibility of some reward that you can receive from loved ones in addition to compensation for current expenses during gestation, insurance, and others. This is beneficial for both parties: parents will be insured against feelings of guilt and unrequited debt, and you will receive a pleasant bonus as a positive reinforcement of your noble motive. It is probably a good idea to offer to make a contribution to your family fund, which you will later spend on your child's education.
All this should be done before a difficult conversation with loved ones, this will save you from a situation where you are forced to accept a difficult role under the pressure of obligations imposed on yourself in a fit of desire to help.
How to correctly and properly propose
A conversation on such a delicate and painful topic should be held in private, in no case in public. First and most important: make it clear that your intentions are serious, and the decision is weighed. Good arguments will be already obtained permission from your gynecologist, passed tests and general awareness of each stage of the project. Tell us about your motives, about understanding the complexity of the chosen path and about your willingness to go through it together.
Do not ask to make a decision immediately, your loved ones need time to think about the offer. Note that you will accept any of their decisions with love and understanding, make it clear that you will be on their side in any outcome.
In case of refusal, try not to take it to heart. This does not mean that loved ones doubt you and do not trust, perhaps quite the contrary, they are too afraid for the safety of your relationship.
If the offer was accepted, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Many complex emotional and ethical issues need to be discussed, which will later be formalized in an agreement and included in the contract. You will have to discuss these issues first in a private conversation, and then with the doctor of the chosen clinic.
One of the most difficult decisions that may have to be made is the question of multiple pregnancies and the possible selective reduction of embryos. Most often, reproductologists are limited to the transfer of one carefully selected embryo with the highest chance of implantation. However, in some cases, the transfer of two embryos may be recommended.
If both embryos are implanted, a twin or higher order pregnancy may occur. High-order gestation poses a great risk to the woman and fetus, and therefore selective reduction may be recommended. Disagreements between the biological parents and the gestational carrier on this issue are dangerous and likely to lead to irreversible consequences for your relationship.
Discussing this painful topic by all participants in the process in advance, although it does not guarantee complete security, will help, just in case, to prepare for such a turn of events.
Taking care of yourself during gestation
Each future parent has their own views on how a pregnant woman should behave. In your case, the matter is complicated because of the fact that the child you are carrying is not yours. Probably, his parents will want to be involved in the process, and this may lead to violation of personal boundaries and, as a result, conflicts.
The right solution is to discuss the whole process in great detail. For example, the following:
- The possibility of the presence of parents at doctor's visits, ultrasound, during embryo transfer, at the birth of a child.
- Decision-making tactics will differ with amniocentesis, vaccination during pregnancy, choice of method of delivery, the possibility of epidural anesthesia, possible negative scenarios (failed IVF, termination of pregnancy) and others.
Of course, the decisive word in many situations belongs to the doctor, but the issues discussed can and should be clarified in advance.
To minimize stress on the wave of increased emotionality caused by hormonal changes, as well as to find compromises, all participants are advised to visit a psychologist throughout the entire period of the reproductive program.
Legal and financial matters
A gestational carrier with intended parents will also need to consult with attorneys regarding reproductive laws in their country. If surrogate motherhood is prohibited for you, a reproductive program in a foreign clinic may become a way out.
Financial expectations should also be discussed at this stage, including a possible symbolic reward for the surrogate mother. Here you can offer the already described idea of the contribution of the biological parents to the education fund for your child, or come up with some other possibility.
Fix mutual expectations that you can include in the contract drawn up by the lawyers of the clinic where the reproductive program will be carried out.
Your future relationship
No one can say for sure how the experience will affect you. This will largely depend on the success or failure of IVF, maintaining trusting communication and the ability to find compromises during pregnancy, childbirth and after the birth of a child.
According to the participants of surrogate motherhood programs, feeling like a team, relying on the obligations indicated in the contract and the assistance of a psychologist helped to pass all the challenges and become even closer to each other.
Program with own surrogate mother
In search of a clinic that is friendly to inviting “own” surrogate mothers, future parents should pay attention to Feskov Human Reproduction Group. We welcome the desire to entrust the bearing of your baby to a loved one. If your candidate is healthy and, according to the results of our examinations, can be a gestational carrier, there will be no problems with the approval of her candidacy!
Our team of lawyers will help to draw up a contract that takes into account the expectations and wishes of all participants, and after the birth of the baby will provide full support until it receives the citizenship of the country of its parents.
Our psychologist will also be at your service: throughout the program, a specialist will help you overcome controversial issues and maintain an optimistic attitude.
A feature of the clinic is a guaranteed result at a fixed price: parents choose the necessary services, pay for them in phases and can be sure of the birth of a healthy child. An unsuccessful IVF or termination of pregnancy does not mean repeated payments or stopping the program: we will repeat all the necessary procedures at our own expense until the birth of a daughter or son. Your friends or relatives will become parents with a 100% chance.
You also do not have to worry about accommodation and meals: this is included in the cost of the program along with the services of a personal coordinator. Any of your questions will be resolved, the coordinator is in touch 24/7.
We will also take care of a decent compensation for the costs of a surrogate mother during pregnancy - all this is also included in the price and will be indicated in the contract.
Through remote programs, we can arrange delivery in your home country through cooperation with partner clinics.
Do you want to know more about programs with your surrogate mother? Managers on our site will be happy to tell you more!
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