What is a Surrogate Mother?

If you are a family who has been trying to conceive for some time to no avail, or if you are a same sex couple or a couple with fertility issues, you may be considering alternatives for adding to your family.

Surrogacy is a great option for couples or individuals who are unable to get pregnant on their own.

Here, a woman, referred to as the surrogate mother, will carry your child for you so that you can fulfill your dreams of having the baby you’ve always wanted.

There are a couple of different types of surrogacy you can choose from: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother will provide her own egg to be fertilized with either the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm to become pregnant, whereas in gestational surrogacy the surrogate mother will undergo in vitro fertilization with the intended mothers egg or donor egg and the intended fathers sperm or donor sperm.

You can discuss the benefits of these types of surrogacy when you schedule your first appointment with the surrogacy agency. Continue reading to learn more about potential surrogate mothers and what you should include in your surrogacy contract.

Criteria Surrogate Mothers Should Meet

Whether you are interested in becoming a surrogate mother or if you are an intended parent searching for the perfect surrogate mother to carry your child, you should be aware of the very specific criteria that the surrogate mother will need to meet in order to carry your future child. Some of these requirements might include:

  • Having a Body Mass Index of less than 30
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 45
  • Have no sexually transmitted infections
  • Abstain from smoking & illicit drug use
  • Have had at least one uncomplicated, full-term pregnancy & birth
  • Be prepared to undergo mental health evaluations
  • Having their own transportation to and from doctor’s visits
  • Not be receiving any sort of government assistance benefits

This is not an exhaustive list of all of the qualifications that will need to be met, but rather should give you an idea of the extensive screening a high quality surrogacy agency will complete prior to making a surrogate mother available for your choosing.

Aspects of Your Surrogacy Contract

When writing your surrogacy contract, there are numerous details that will need to be addressed, as you’ll want to ensure that a plan of action for every possible scenario is included so that you and your surrogate are prepared and know what to expect. The most common components to a surrogacy contract are the financial aspects including:

  • base compensation rates for surrogates
  • healthy lifestyle requirements the surrogate mother will need to adhere to throughout the pregnancy
  • provisions that discuss if the intended parents will be present for prenatal appointments and the birth of the child
  • confidentiality agreements
  • legal issues surrounding pre-birth orders or what happens if the intended parents pass away or decide to divorce
  • what contact between the surrogate and the intended parents and the child will be like after birth, if any

Your surrogacy agency should be able to work with you to draft a surrogacy contract that covers every situation that could potentially arise. This way, your family and your surrogate can move forward without worry and be able to focus your energy on your future baby.

Get Help from a Reputable Surrogacy Agency

There is much to consider before you take the leap and decide to pursue a surrogacy arrangement. When you’re ready to move forward and take the steps necessary to have the baby you’ve longed for, get help from a good surrogacy agency who can stand by your side every step of the way through your surrogacy journey.