If you want help to make your dreams of becoming a parent a reality, it is the right time to find a surrogate. The process will be difficult and costly but totally worth it. To help you get started, here are the factors to consider when choosing a surrogate mother:
At the onset, you should know about your options. In surrogacy, it can be traditional or gestational. Traditional surrogacy means the surrogate’s egg is fertilised with sperm from the intended father through IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) or artificial insemination. In essence, the surrogate mother and the child are genetically related.
Another option is gestational surrogacy. This is the most popular method. In this method, the surrogate mother becomes pregnant by means of IVF using the eggs of the intended mother. This means that the baby is not genetically related to the surrogate.
Agencies have different requirements for surrogate mothers but in general, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine laid out the following standards:
• Age range: the American Society of Reproductive Medicine recommends that
surrogates should be between 21 and 45.
• Healthy BMI (Body Mass Index): you must know that BMI is a gauge used to determine the level of body fat. If you have a high BMI, you may have an increased risk of developing certain diseases. For a surrogate mother, she should have a healthy BMI of 30 or less.
• Pregnancies: at the minimum, the mother should have at least one successful pregnancy. However, it should not be more than 5 vaginal births or 3 cesarean deliveries. More importantly, the mother should have no complications from previous pregnancies.
• Personal history: the mother should have no government assistance or no felony convictions. Aside from that, she should not smoke or use illicit drugs. More importantly, you should look at her stable lifestyle and support system.
• Medications: it is crucial that the surrogate mother discontinue the use of anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants at least 12 months before the surrogacy.
• Medical screening: the surrogate mother will go through medical screening. This is to ensure that she has no STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) as well as communicable diseases. This is also another way to determine if the body is ready for surrogacy.
• Mental evaluation: you also need to determine if she has no history of postpartum depression. For this, the surrogate mother should meet with a mental health professional. This is to ascertain if the surrogate mother is mentally ready for the challenges of surrogate motherhood.
If you consider agency, they will handle the screening process and after that, they will match you with a surrogate mother. The match is critical because you are embarking on a new partnership – you should be comfortable.
You have to check with the agency if you have a say or if the choice is made for you. Your goal here is to find someone that will meet your expectations. After all, you entrust the first nine months of your baby’s life to the surrogate.
The screening process is laborious and it will take time. It is not cheap but it is important that you get involved in the process. Do not hasten the process because it takes time to find the right one. When you find the right one, it is time that you foster the relationship for a positive outcome.