Becoming a surrogate is a big decision, especially for those who are first-timers with no idea of what to expect. While surrogacy professionals can provide a good idea of the process ahead of you, sometimes it’s best to learn about the process from those who have actually been through it — women just like you.
Your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy can help connect you to former surrogates if you want to learn about the ins and outs from someone who’s been there, and you might choose to join surrogacy support groups to find out more about every little detail.
To help you with your surrogacy research, we’ve gathered 10 things that prospective surrogates wish they had really understood before they started the surrogacy process for the first time.
1. If you’re a first-time surrogate, a surrogacy agency can provide all the answers you need.
Surrogacy is a complicated process, and entering into an independent surrogacy for your first experience can be intimidating and stressful. A surrogacy agency, on the other hand, can provide all of the information you need to know as well as case management services to help you through every step of your surrogacy journey.
An independent surrogacy may work for some first-time surrogates, but we encourage you to at least speak to a surrogacy agency before making this decision.
2. You can wait as long as you need to for the right match.
Finding the right intended parents is a huge part of your surrogacy experience. After all, these are the people who you will intimately work with for the next year or more, and it’s important that you are comfortable with them. You should never feel rushed to match with intended parents before you’re ready. Don’t be afraid to take the time you need to find someone who meets your expectations.
3. There are a lot of medications you’ll need to take.
In order to prepare a woman’s body for an embryo transfer, a doctor will prescribe many different fertility medications — some of which are taken orally and others taken via shots. When you become a surrogate, you’ll need to commit to taking these medications, which usually only result in minor side effects like bruising. The fertility clinic can describe this process to you in more depth before you commit to being a surrogate.
4. There are a lot of doctor’s appointments — before and after transfer.
Make sure you’re comfortable with your fertility clinic and obstetrician — because you’ll be seeing them a lot throughout your surrogacy journey. Before transfer, your doctor will need to evaluate your hormone levels, and it’s not uncommon to go to the doctor at least twice a week before you’re even pregnant. Be prepared for rescheduling your day-to-day life so you can fit these visits in.
5. Your personal medical history will become common knowledge during your surrogacy process.
As you go through the surrogacy medical process, your surrogacy professionals and your intended parents will be intimately involved. This means that you will quickly become comfortable with sharing your medical information and procedures with them. Remember, they’re just focusing on helping create a successful pregnancy, and any embarrassment will be short-lived.
6. You will carry the intended parents’ emotions as well as your own.
Surrogacy is an emotionally complicated time, especially when you’re carrying the hopes — and fears — of the intended parents along your journey. This can be overwhelming, but remember that your surrogacy specialist will always be available to talk you through any difficult emotions you may have.
7. You will get insensitive comments or questions.
When you become a surrogate, you will receive questions and comments from those who are unfamiliar with the surrogacy process. In a way, you become an ambassador for surrogacy. You may be unsure of how to address these comments, but your surrogacy specialist can help you prepare for these conversations.
8. You must have a separate lawyer from the intended parents.
Even if you and intended parents already have a solid relationship, each of you must be represented by a separate lawyer during the surrogacy contract phase. This is to ensure that all of your rights and interests are protected, even ones that you may not consider to be a huge deal at the beginning. Remember, the costs of a lawyer will be completely free to you.
9. It may not always work out the first time.
While your surrogacy professionals will take every step to ensure a successful embryo transfer and pregnancy, sometimes things happen that require you to start over. This is not uncommon, and it may be disappointing to enter into the surrogacy process expecting everything to go perfectly. There may be some hiccups along the way, but your surrogacy specialist will help you recover from these as smoothly as possible.
10. Surrogacy will truly change your life.
Many women go into surrogacy wanting to help change intended parents’ lives and make their dreams come true, but they often don’t realize how much it will change their own life. Surrogates can develop a whole new perspective on life and leave the surrogacy process having created lifelong friendships. As difficult as parts of the surrogacy journey may be, it’s one that women positively remember for the rest of their lives.
What did you wish you knew before the surrogacy process, or what do you want to know before you start? Comment on this post or contact a surrogacy specialist today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).