Have you ever thought of becoming a surrogate? What were your reasons for considering it? I have to admit that I am one who has thought about it. I’ve worked for a surrogacy attorney and seen the ins and outs of the process. We are delving into the topic of surrogacy this evening and discussing what it’s all about.
What is a surrogate?
There are 450 women every year who give birth to children in the US for couples who are unable to bear their own. This is what a surrogate does, they realize other people’s dreams to help them build a family. The goal of a surrogate is to make sure that the child she bears is healthy and in normal condition.
The journey is not as easy as the steps one reads in a brochure. There are risks involved, most especially for the woman who is carrying the child. A surrogate mother needs to undergo several tests including a psychological one to decide if she is fit to do the role. Although some surrogates are compensated for their services, which are normal in commercial surrogacy, it is more than just the money. It is a life-giving experience, something that the intended parents are not able to experience for themselves. It is also a 24 hours job that runs for more than nine months starting from the implantation process.
Why would a woman become a surrogate?
Despite playing host to someone else’s child, there are countless women who step up to the role of becoming a surrogate mother. Sure, a surrogate mother earns an average of $20,000-$30,000 and does not pay taxes for the pain incurred during pregnancy, but again, there is more to it than the money. It is no easy feat going thru nine months with a swollen belly, sometimes swollen feet, and not to mention swollen everywhere else.
Being a surrogate mother is as big a responsibility as it is a risk of her own life. So why take on the role? Most women who have joined the bandwagon understand the frustrations of infertility. Intended parents are often infertile couples, same-sex married couples looking to build a family together, and single men or women who have always wanted to raise children but have not had the chance to find a suitable life partner.
Most often than not, these women who step up to the role have once been plagued with infertility, have friends or family who have experienced it, or are blessed with a healthy family and they want to give back to the community. Some do it as a form of support to the gay community while other admittedly do it for the money.
Surrogacy is a very important vehicle for couples who want to have children but do not have the capacity to do so. The physical and psychological experience won’t always be pleasant for these surrogate mothers, but the capacity to give other people their dream is a feat that will always make it worth it.
Requirements to become a surrogate
Surrogacy takes after new life, which means it relies heavily on a healthy and able host in order for the initial stages to be successful. In order to b a surrogate, a woman should be of legal age from 21-41. Most surrogacy agencies would require the woman to have delivered her own child while others that do not require it.
For more strict health requirements, women should have a Body Mass Index (BMI) no higher than 35. Some states have restrictions on pre-birth orders that other agencies do not accept women who live in states with surrogacy restrictions. Most agencies also only accept middle class women with a healthy lifestyle as this ensures that the body is well nourished and capable for normal delivery. This means that there are no drugs or anti-depressants taken in the recent months, STI or STDs that would affect the baby’s development and certain other procedures that would affect the gestational process.
An open mind with an optimistic outlook is also a requisite to become a surrogate mother. Pregnancy will make a woman feel different kinds of emotions and with the right support and outlook, it will be a more pleasant experience. There will be clauses that would involve selective reduction or abortion, so it is one of the few things that one should seriously consider when deciding to be a surrogate.
Motherhood Is No Easy Task
Knowing all these key facts prove that motherhood is after all a grand affair. There are millions of couples lining up to get a surrogate today which means that not everybody is given the gift of life. How else to pay it forward than to help others have the same beautiful experience of having a child? There are pros and cons to surrogacy but if one looks at the bigger picture, there’s a lot of good things that surrogacy offers to human kind. We should be thankful as well that there are women out there who are willing to give months of their lives for other people’s dreams to come true.
Have you ever been a surrogate, thought about becoming a surrogate? Share your thoughts and comments with us below.