ASC Surrogacy Agency | Becoming a surrogate mother requires a generous heart. There are numerous physical, emotional, and legal issues involved. So it is important to carefully consider all of the pros and cons before deciding that this is the right decision for you. The laws regarding surrogacy are different in each US state. Then having a good lawyer is a must. Whether you are working with a surrogate agency and are compensating, or you are trying to help a loved one have a family. You should do your homework to learn all about surrogacy before you make your final decision.
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Part1-Preparing Yourself for Pregnancy
Find out if you are a good candidate for surrogacy.There are not established legal requirements for being a surrogate, but most agencies have their own guidelines. In general, a woman must be between 21 and 45 years old, be in good physical health, have a stable family life, and have had a previous pregnancy that did not result in any complications in order to be considered a good candidate.
Have a preconception checkup.Before you become pregnant, you should see your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough. Your doctor may perform a physical exam, perform blood tests, and ask you about your personal and family history.
・If you have any chronic medical conditions or a history that cause you to develop complications during pregnancy, your doctor will talk to you about the risks involved and what you can do to reduce them.
・If you are on birth control, be sure to ask your doctor how long you need to stop the medication before you try to become pregnant.
・You may need to get vaccinated for certain diseases that could be dangerous to an unborn child, including chickenpox and rubella.
・You should also consider getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV and chlamydia. These diseases can be harmful to an unborn baby, and may also result in pregnancy complications or fertility issues. If you are working with a surrogacy agency, these tests will likely be required.
・The intended parents may also be required to undergo certain screenings, including tests for diseases that may be transmitted to you or to the child during pregnancy, as well as psychological and genetic screenings.
Have a psychological screening.If you are using a surrogacy agency, you will be required to undergo a psychological evaluation to ensure that you do not have any underlying desire to keep the child. Even if you aren't required to talk to someone about these issues, it is a good idea to do so for your own emotional well-being.
It is very important that you understand how difficult it might be for you to part with a child that you carried for nine months. Surrogacy is a controversial issue because some people do not believe that a surrogate mother can truly give informed consent to give the baby up before it is born.
Start taking prenatal vitamins.In order to provide the most benefit to the unborn child, you should start taking prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid before you start trying to get pregnant. Folic acid is most important to a fetus during the first few weeks of development, so if you wait until you know you are pregnant to start taking the supplements, you may have already missed the most crucial window.
Part2 - Arranging a Surrogacy Agreement
Know the different types of surrogacy.There are two different kinds of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy (also known as partial surrogacy or straight surrogacy), and gestational surrogacy (also known as full surrogacy or host surrogacy).
・With traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother is artificially inseminated using sperm donated by the intended father, or in some cases by a sperm donor. The surrogate mother's own egg is fertilized, so she is the child's biological mother. This can create lots of legal complications because in some areas, the surrogate mother may be able to claim guardianship of the child based on the genetic link.
・With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother undergoes a procedure called in vitro fertilization (IVF), during which an embryo that was created in a lab, using eggs and sperm either from the intended parents or from donors, is implanted in her uterus. With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother is not genetically related to the baby.
・You can become a gestational surrogate for a close family member. You cannot become a traditional surrogate if the intended father is a close relative of yours because this increases the risk that the child will have a genetic disorder.
Understand the laws in your area.The laws regarding surrogacy are extremely complicated in the United States. Because there is no federal law regarding surrogacy, each state has its own laws. In some states it is illegal to enter into any kind of surrogacy agreement, and you may even go to jail for doing so. In other states, it is perfectly legal to enter into a surrogacy agreement and to be compensated for doing so.
・Many states allow contracts for gestational surrogacy, but not for traditional surrogacy, due to the potential for custody battles.
・If you live in a state that does not recognize surrogacy agreements as legal, you may end up being legally responsible for supporting the child, especially if the child was conceived using traditional surrogacy methods.
・The laws in some states also require that the intended parents undergo formal adoption proceedings after the child is born. In other states, legal guardianship can be established before the birth of the child.
Decide if you will use an agency.If you choose to use a surrogacy agency, the agency will take care of matching you with a couple who wants a child. If you want to become a surrogate mother to help someone you already know have a child, you do not need to use an agency.
・It is also possible to arrange for a surrogacy agreement with a couple you don't know by answering or placing an ad, but keep in mind that agencies screen all potential candidates, and you will not have this protection if you do not use one.
・You will need to fill out an application and undergo certain medical tests in order to be accepted by a surrogacy agency. In some cases, the agency may have specific requirements for surrogate mothers beyond a clean bill of health.
・Whether you use an agency or not, it is very important that you trust the intended parents. You will have a great deal of contact with them during your pregnancy, so it is important that they be supportive and reliable.
・Make sure you look into the agency's background before signing any agreements. Not all agencies are reputable.
Have your lawyer draft a contract.Because of all of the potential legal issues involved with surrogacy, it is extremely important to have good legal representation throughout the entire process. Your lawyer should draft a comprehensive contract that outlines the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved. This should be done before you undergo any medical procedures.
・Make sure your contract addresses important issues such as the amount of compensation the surrogate mother will receive, who will be responsible for paying medical bills, who will have custody of the child in the event that something happens to the intended parents during the pregnancy, what will happen if the surrogate mother gives birth to twins or triplets, what will happen if one party wants to terminate the pregnancy, and what will happen in the event of a miscarriage. Your lawyer should advise you of any other issues that need to be addressed in the contract.
・You should have your own lawyer, not the same one who represents the intended parents.
・If you work with a surrogacy agency, they may take care of the contract for you. It is still a good idea to have your own lawyer look it over before you sign it, just to make sure that you are fully protected.
Part3 - Having a Surrogate Pregnancy
Visit a fertility doctor.Once you have undergone all of the necessary medical screenings and finalized your surrogacy contract, you will need to undergo a procedure, either artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization, to become pregnant. Both of these procedures involve the insertion of a thin catheter into the surrogate mother's uterus, and are typically performed at fertility clinics. After the procedure, you will be required to undergo tests to confirm if you are pregnant.
・Intrauterine insemination is the most effective type of artificial insemination because the sperm is inserted directly into the uterus. This procedure is very quick and should not cause any pain.
・You may be given a mild sedative for IVF. You shouldn't feel any pain, but it may be slightly uncomfortable.
・You may be required to take hormonal supplements prior to the procedure in order to increase the likelihood that you will successfully become pregnant.
Follow through with your obligations.The surrogacy contract will likely include clauses regarding your obligations to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Make sure to attend all of your required doctor's appointments and follow your doctor's recommendations for living a healthy lifestyle.
・It is also very important to maintain a good, open relationship with the intended parents. They will likely want to be very involved throughout your pregnancy.
Get the support you need.If you find that it is more difficult being a surrogate mother than you expected, don't be afraid to talk about your feelings. Many surrogate mothers deal with complex emotions during their pregnancies, so you are not alone.
・Confide in your spouse or partner, if you have one.
・Attend support groups for surrogate mothers or seek out help online. These women will understand exactly what you are going through.
・See a counselor if necessary. Some surrogate mothers may need to seek professional help in order to cope with the psychological difficulties involved in carrying someone else's child.