Becoming a Surrogate Mother
The photo above is an actual surrogate; our director, Jenny, to be exact. She has carried as a surrogate three times for two very special couples. The journey through surrogacy has its share of hurdles but the joy and pride far outweigh any hardship. We encourage you to ask every question that comes to mind about the reality of being a surrogate mother.
The first decision you must make when deciding to become a surrogate mother is whether you wish to become a Traditional or Gestational Surrogate.
* At this time, our agency works only with Gestational Carriers.
We highly recommend you ask many questions and thoroughly explore whether surrogate motherhood is right for you. You will be required to take daily injections, have medical testing performed in addition to psychological testing. Your family will need to help with things so you are able to get adequate rest. There is a chance with Gestational Surrogacy that you could end up pregnant with twins (triplets is rare, but possible. If twins is the most you are willing to carry you may request this). A multiple pregnancy could mean possible bed rest at some point, so a good support system is crucial. Consider the type of couple you are willing to help (Baby Steps works with married couples, singles and gay couples as well). Travel may be required of you (traveling to the couples clinic for the IVF procedure if your couple lives in another state).
You will never pay any expenses related to travel.
Most couples prefer to have the freedom to make decisions regarding selective reduction and/or termination. If triplets occur the Intended Parents may wish to selectively reduce one fetus so you will only carry twins. If the resulting fetus is found to have birth defects, the Intended Parents may wish to terminate the pregnancy. Most couples are not sure whether or not they would terminate the pregnancy in the case of a birth defect, but they will want the right to have the final decision. Please be sure you are fine with this as it will be in your contract with the couple.
Please read the FAQ's below for more information.
Can you be a surrogate mother if your tubes tied?
What are the age requirements to be a Surrogate Mother?
Can I still be a surrogate if I have had a miscarriage?
Can I be a surrogate mother if I've never given birth?
Do I have to be financially stable?
Do I have to have health insurance? While most couples prefer a surrogate who already has health insurance in place, it is possible, in some states, to obtain a policy if needed.
What is the weight requirement to become a surrogate mother?
How much do Surrogate Mothers receive for compensation? First time surrogate mothers with our program typically receive $20,000 base compensation, plus a monthly allowance of $200, $500 for maternity clothes and all medical bills relating to the pregnancy are paid for by the couple. Experienced surrogates in our program typically receive $25,000 to $30,000 (depending on how many surrogacies they have done previously). Compensation is not payment for a child, but rather, payment for your time, discomfort and the risk involved.
The Process Overview:
*Fill out the surrogate application and sign a medical release so we may obtain records from your OB.
*We will follow up and begin screening process (additional questions, medical review, home visit (if you live local), etc)
*Once accepted into our program, your profile will be presented to a couple in need.
*Once a couple expresses an interest, you and the couple will have a phone call.
*If both sides are interested, our agency will arrange for you and the couple to meet in person to solidify the match.
*You will have a formal PAI or MMPI performed. Your spouse and you will have an interview with a psychologist.
*Once testing is complete, you and the couple will enter into legal contracts.
*You will be put on the birth control pill to sync your cycle with the intended mother or egg donor.
*You will begin taking your daily injections. You must be able to give yourself these injections to ensure you take them at the same time each day and you must never miss a dose. The clinic will instruct you on how to do your injections.
*You MUST refrain from sexual intercourse in the weeks leading to the IVF as well as the few weeks after to prevent accidental pregnancy with your husband or boyfriend. If you accidentally become pregnant by your boyfriend or spouse this will be discovered when paternity tests are done and you could be sued, so its important to avoid sexual intercourse during the times your doctor instructs you.
*You will undergo the IVF procedure (the embryos will be placed into your uterus). Most clinics will transfer two or three embryos. If you conceive triplets, your Intended Parents may request a selective reduction. If you conceive twins, there will be no selective reduction and you will be expected to carry twins.
*You will continue your daily injections for several weeks after the IVF procedure if pregnant. Please follow all doctors instructions regarding injections.
*Once you are successfully pregnant and the fetal heartbeat is confirmed via ultra sound, you will begin receiving your surrogate payments. Your surrogate fee will be paid in equal monthly installments over the course of the pregnancy.
*At approximately six months into the pregnancy, the intended parents and their attorney will obtain a pre birth order through the courts that allows the parents names to go directly on the birth certificate. You will be expected to cooperate in order to expedite the PBO process.
*Once the child is born, the intended parents will make all medical decisions regarding the child. This will be a glorious day...watching the parents hold their child for the first time and knowing YOU made this all possible for them. There is no better feeling in the world!
Please let us know if surrogacy sounds right for you and your family. If you would like to fill out the full length/formal surrogate form: