How Does A Surrogate Work?

For some couples, the unfortunate reality of their situation is that while they would like to start a family, the traditional approach of a woman becoming pregnant is off the table. This is typically due to factors beyond their control, such as a medical condition that would put both a woman and baby at risk, or even surgical consequences, such as a hysterectomy to save a woman’s life from cancer resulting in the removal of the uterus, and thus making pregnancy impossible.

For these couples, there are, however, alternatives. One is adoption, where the couple takes on a child without parents and raises them as their own. The other, however, is surrogacy, which requires a surrogate mother, but how does a surrogate work?

An Important Role

Understanding how surrogacy works goes all the way back to the basic concept. Surrogacy is not a new technique, and in fact, even the Bible has examples of surrogacy being used. It is when another woman agrees to become pregnant on behalf of a couple who cannot naturally conceive a child together. In earlier periods of history, surrogacy could only occur through the proposed surrogate mother having sexual intercourse with another man. Today, of course, artificial insemination techniques are used to make the process more comfortable and precise for everyone involved.

In the 21st century, the surrogate mother is just as important as ever in surrogacy; however, the way the surrogacy process works has changed a lot. Couples have many more choices to make as they search for a surrogate.

Deciding On Altruistic Or Compensated

Before even looking for the surrogate herself, couples must decide on whether an altruistic surrogacy or compensated surrogacy is what they’re looking for. Altruistic surrogacies are where the surrogate mother volunteers for her role, accepting only financial support for medical and living expenses when required during pregnancy. Compensated surrogacies are where the surrogate mother receives substantial payment for her role and profits significantly.

While altruistic surrogacy is the lower-cost choice and more widely permitted around the world, it also means far fewer women are willing to take on this role. Compensated, while adding cost and being legal in fewer countries, also means much greater availability of suitable surrogate mother candidates. So, an added benefit of investing more in compensated surrogacy is often a much shorter wait versus the potential years it may take to find an altruistic volunteer.

Finding An Agency

While hopeful couples can find a surrogate mother candidate themselves, it’s highly inadvisable for people concerned with efficiency and timeliness. A reputable surrogacy agency already has a roster of available surrogate mother candidates, and they have already been screened, interviewed, and medically evaluated as physically suitable, as well as having an appropriate lifestyle.

People who try to find a surrogate mother themselves will need to arrange for interviews and medical evaluations, and even at the end of all this, there’s no guarantee that a woman’s lifestyle doesn’t involve drinking and smoking that would impact a developing baby’s health. The best result, especially if a couple is traveling to another country where they don’t speak the language, is to entrust the search to a surrogacy agency.

Establishing A Partnership

If you and your surrogacy agency have found a suitable surrogate mother candidate, it’s time to solidify things and make it official. Today, surrogacy often involves negotiations and legally enforceable contracts, so it’s important to make sure that you acquaint yourself with the surrogate mother and enter into this experience with the same kind of respect people would have for a business partnership.

Couples can’t just look at a name on a piece of paper and then arrive on the day of delivery to pick up a newborn baby. A relationship must be established and nurtured. No one should have to work with someone they don’t know or like, so it’s crucial to start and maintain a respectful partnership with the surrogate mother.

Monitoring Progress

Once the surrogate mother has undergone whatever technique is desired for fertilization, the nine-month journey begins. The surrogate mother must take care of herself and submit to regularly scheduled medical checkups to ensure her health and that of the baby, in addition to maintaining a lifestyle that ensures healthy growth.

Couples must take every opportunity not just to assist the surrogate mother but to maintain the partnership. While visits aren’t necessarily mandatory, they are always welcome, and it’s important to maintain regular contact with both the surrogate mother and medical staff to see how things are going.

Birth & Residency

The final step, or steps, is the final visitation for the birth of the child. This isn’t a big problem for people with a surrogate mother in their own country and city or town, but it will require travel scheduling and investment for those with a surrogate mother in another country. Added to this is the necessary process of following the protocols for citizenship of the baby, as not every country automatically grants citizenship to surrogate newborns.

As you can see, there is a lot of planning and coordination to make the surrogate process work.