If you want to be a surrogate, you probably have a deep altruistic desire to help create a family. You may even have prior experience doing so — by placing a child for adoption.
Here at American Surrogacy, we salute the bravery of every birth mother who has placed a child for adoption. Our roots are planted firmly in the adoption industry, which means our specialists completely understand the journey you’ve been through to get to where you are today. And, if you want to help create another family in a different way, we’ll be happy to guide you through this upcoming gestational surrogacy adventure.
But, before you get started, there are a few things you should know about becoming a gestational carrier. While both surrogacy and adoption end up creating beautiful families, they are very different processes. Each requires unique emotional investments and preparation, and neither is a path to jump into without thorough research.
Fortunately, our specialists will be there to help you every step of the way. You can always contact us online or at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) to speak with a team member about becoming a surrogate. In the meantime, you can learn a bit more about being a gestational carrier as a birth mother below.
Requirements to Be a Gestational Carrier
Whatever your personal background may be, you must always meet certain requirements before you can become a gestational carrier. Our agency sets these requirements to protect your mental, physical and emotional health during the surrogacy journey, which means they are non-negotiable. Don’t worry — intended parents have to meet certain requirements before starting, too.
In order to be a gestational carrier, you must:
- Be between the ages of 21 and 38
- Have a BMI between 19 and 32
- Not smoke or use illicit drugs
- Have had at least one successful pregnancy, but no more than five vaginal births and no more than four cesarean-sections
- Have waited at least six months since your last birth
- Have no major complications from previous pregnancies
- Be currently raising a child in your own house
This last requirement is where things can get tricky if you’re a birth mother. While, yes, you have successfully given birth, if you’re not currently raising a child in your home, you don’t meet the requirements to be a surrogate.
You may wonder: If I’ve given birth and understand the risks of pregnancy and childbirth, why can’t I be a surrogate — regardless of whether or not I’m raising a child of my own?
It’s a good question, which is why we’ll answer it below.
Possible Emotional Complications of Being a Surrogate and a Birth Mother
When you place a child for adoption, you have to overcome intense feelings of grief and loss. It’s all completely normal, but it can take months and even years for a woman to come to terms with those emotions and be comfortable with her adoption decision.
When you become a surrogate, it’s likely that those feelings will reemerge. While the child you carry will not be biologically yours, there will still be some sadness and grief knowing that you will not care for this child after birth and that you will go home empty-handed from the hospital. These feelings can be magnified by the prior experience of having gone through that experience already.
For that reason, surrogacy professionals require you to be raising a child in your own home. Then, when you experience difficult feelings during pregnancy or after birth, you will have a child waiting for you. This will help you rationalize some of the emotions you are having, as well as remind yourself of the challenges of raising a child — instead of focusing on the “baby fever” feelings stemming from hormones directly after childbirth.
You will also be required to complete a psychological evaluation prior to being approved for surrogacy. During this evaluation, you’ll talk with a licensed mental health professional about your personal history (including your adoption history) and what you expect out of being a surrogate. The professional will ask you about what you would do in certain situations and help you evaluate whether you are truly ready for surrogacy — including whether your feelings about your adoption will cause challenges as you move forward with being a surrogate. You will likely dive into your adoption history in detail, especially how you dealt with that initial loss.
It may seem invasive at first, but remember that your mental health professional is just trying to help you. They want you to be 100 percent prepared for the emotions of the journey ahead. It’s for your best interest, as well as the interest of the intended parents.
Learn More About Becoming a Gestational Carrier
Here at American Surrogacy, your mental and physical well-being is of the utmost importance. That’s why we require prospective surrogates to complete so many steps before they can start this journey.
Your history as a birth mother won’t disqualify you from working with us, as long as you meet all of our agency requirements. We’ll be happy to help you create another family in a beautiful, selfless way — one that’s just as honorable as your prior adoption journey.
Learn more about becoming a surrogate with American Surrogacy by giving us a call at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) or contacting us online today.