People who decide to use the surrogate motherhood alternative to have a child are usually doing so very specific reasons. There’s a strong desire to have a child that shares the genetic characteristics of the parents, but it may not be medically feasible to allow a child to gestate naturally within the mother. Or a same-sex couple would like to have a child, but neither partner is biologically capable of carrying a child.
In these instances, it’s the surrogate mother that steps in to assume this critical role. She is the one that agrees to take up the heavy responsibility of receiving a fertilized egg. Then she reorders her life around making sure that her health and lifestyle choices have only benign or positive effects on the developing baby, so that, nine months later, she can give birth and unite the child with the hopeful parents.
So it’s obvious that the choice of a surrogate mother is a crucial one. But how do hopeful parents go about selecting an appropriate surrogate mother? It all starts with making a crucial choice from the very beginning.
Trusting Someone You Know
In some ways, this may be the simplest, fast way for hopeful families to find a suitable surrogate mother. From a legal standpoint, however, this may be the way that is fraught with the most risk. One way to find a surrogate mother very quickly is to simply look at your available pool of friends, family, and acquaintances, and see if one of them is willing to take on the enormous investment of agreeing to take this role.
In the best case scenario, this can be a wonderful and comparatively “cheap” method. A sister, or another family member, for example, who agrees to do this, may, in the most extremely generous situations, agree to do this experience at no cost. She may even be willing to take on the burden of financing her own health, welfare, and even medical treatment. For people who are concerned about finances, this is the dream situation.
Of course, cutting so many corners also means leaving a family potentially open to legal trouble in the future. Choosing to go this route in the state of Michigan, for example, means that a child never truly belongs to the intended family. In Michigan, surrogate motherhood is not recognized at all, so if a sister agrees to carry a child to term, as far as the law is concerned, she is the legally designated parent. If any disagreement ever occurs in the future, where she decides to take back the child, Michigan law completely backs her decision. The hopeful family may even have to surrender the child as they have no legal right of possession in this matter.
Going To Professionals
Although potentially more costly than the “find someone you know and hope for the best route“, a surrogate motherhood clinic is a comprehensive alternative. Hopeful families to decide to take the professional route are paying for techniques, support and a legal framework that is all aimed at the best possible chance for a successful experience.
With this choice, a hopeful family now engages the service of a clinic or agency. This means that the agency itself goes through a roster of available surrogate mothers, carefully screened to ensure they meet a high standard of criteria regarding health and lifestyle, and then presents these choices to the hopeful family. The family can then interview potential “finalists” get a feel for which candidate is the most suitable, and then make a choice. Once the choice is made, contracts are drawn up, and, depending on the country of residence for the family, legalities are addressed to ensure that when the child is born, he or she is 100% the legally recognized offspring of the receiving parents.
The Health Factor
Beyond whether to go with someone you trust or allow a clinic to conduct the search, both methods have one important foundation criteria; a surrogate mother’s health. While it’s true that the surrogate mother’s genetic characteristics aren’t quite so important in this scenario—she is not, after all, contributing DNA to the development of the child—her overall health affects the chances of success.
A woman with a smaller physique, in delicate physical condition, for example, may have a more difficult time giving birth, which can introduce complications. On the other hand, a woman who is physically fit, but has a lifestyle with an addiction to drugs may actually pass that addiction onto the child, or even harm the child’s development through drug or alcohol consumption.
Regardless of which method you choose, the choice of a surrogate mother should not be made quickly, impulsively, or lightly. Take the time to know what your choices are. And if you want more assurance, talk to professionals, and use their services to make a more informed selection.