Choosing surrogacy is a life-changing decision — and not one to be made lightly. So, what should you know before pursuing this path?
Like with any major decision, it’s important that you do extensive research when considering surrogacy for yourself and your family. There are many complicated aspects involved in this journey, and a clear understanding is necessary before beginning. In fact, it’s necessary even while you are still considering this option.
Whether you are an intended parent or prospective surrogate, here are five things to consider before you start your surrogacy research process.
1. The Different Types of Surrogacy
Surrogacy is not a “one-size-fits-all” practice. Every surrogacy journey is different based on the needs, goals and preferences of each surrogacy party. Before you consider surrogacy, make sure you understand the different types available to you.
- Gestational: In which a surrogate is not genetically related to the baby she carries. The most popular form of surrogacy today.
- Traditional: In which the surrogate’s eggs are used to create the embryo, meaning she is genetically related to the baby she carries.
- Agency-Assisted: In which both parties work with a surrogacy agency from beginning to end of their surrogacy agreement, including finding a match.
- Independent: In which both parties find a match on their own and only work with a surrogacy attorney and a fertility clinic.
- Altruistic: In which a surrogate does not receive base compensation for her services.
- Compensated/Commercial: In which a surrogate receives a base compensation for her services on top of reimbursements for her surrogacy expenses.
Before you start seriously considering surrogacy, educate yourself about these paths and narrow down to which ones you think are best for you. That will make the next steps in your surrogacy research process easier.
2. Your Personal Motivations
Ask yourself this: Why are you considering surrogacy?
Every intended parent and surrogate chooses surrogacy for slightly different reasons. However, most intended parents choose this path because they want to be the parent of a genetic child and have decided surrogacy is best for them after exploring all of their options. Prospective surrogates choose surrogacy to help bring a child into the world (and not just because of the financial compensation offered to them).
If you have other overwhelming reasons for considering surrogacy, think about whether they are enough to sustain you through the long and complicated process ahead. We encourage you to speak to a surrogacy professional about your motivations for their advice on whether this is the right path for you.
3. The Impact of This Choice on Your Life
Surrogacy is not always easy. If you consider this path, you should also think about the challenges of the process, not just the eventual rewards and joys it will bring you.
Surrogacy can take a year or more to complete, and it involves many appointments with lawyers, doctors, and other professionals along the way. There will be times when your everyday life is disrupted (especially if you are considering becoming a surrogate), and there may be emotionally challenging times, as well. You should only consider this path if you are ready to accept these changes to your life. Speak with other intended parents or surrogates to learn more about the path ahead of you.
4. The Financial Implications
If you are an intended parent, surrogacy is typically not a simple decision to make, at least when it comes to your finances. Surrogacy costs tens of thousands of dollars, and you need to accept the realities of these costs before going any further into this process. While there is financial assistance like grants and loans available, you will still be required to commit a certain amount of your own money for this family-building path.
If you are thinking about being a surrogate, you probably have heard about surrogate compensation. This compensation can aid surrogates like you in important financial goals, like a down payment on a house or paying off student loans. However, it should not the main motivation for becoming a surrogate. Surrogacy comes with inherent risks and, while your contract will address those, you may sometimes be required to miss work and family obligations as a surrogate.
Many surrogacy professionals will not work with surrogates who only have a financial motivation for this journey.
5. Your Expectations
Finally, consider your own surrogacy goals and preferences before seriously researching this process. Are they realistic? Have you thought about all the aspects of surrogacy — negative and positive?
It’s extremely helpful to speak with former surrogates and intended parents to learn more about what this process is like. If you have an unrealistic expectation of surrogacy, you will have a negative surrogacy experience.
If you are looking for an easy way to have a child as a parent or make money as a surrogate, surrogacy will not be right for you. It’s an involved process that includes a great deal of screening and professional work before a match can even be made. But, if you are prepared to put in the hard work and overcome any challenges along the way, surrogacy can help you make your dreams come true.
Want to learn more? Contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) to aid in your surrogacy research process.