The Four Cornerstones of Becoming a Gestational Surrogate

Victoria Ferrara

11/5/15

The decision to become a gestational surrogate, helping people to create a family, is a big decision. With all the considerations to taking this step, here are some of the most important things you need to do or know:

1. Work with a surrogacy program with a caring staff

There are a lot of rights and protections you should have if you become a surrogate. Who will make sure you know what these are? How do you even know what rights and protections you may have? A reputable surrogacy program or surrogacy agency will give you advice and instructions, will make sure you have your own lawyer, will draft contracts that have built-in protections of your rights to medical treatment and decision-making, and will have a dedicated support person whom you can go to with your questions and concerns. At , we have a team that will make sure you are treated with care and dignity, especially because we have Serena Lugo as one of our Vice Presidents who was a gestational surrogate twice. She is the main support person for the surrogates who come through our program.

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2. Know that you have choices

Your choices include:

  • Who will you carry for? You can ask for profiles and choose the couple or single parent that you really want to carry for.
  • You have a right to and a choice of legal counsel. Although note that you really should work with a lawyer who is knowledgeable about surrogacy law in the state where you live.
  • You have a choice of medical treatment, doctors and the hospital where the birth takes place. These choices should be discussed with your intended parents so that everyone is on the same page and is content with the choices regarding medical care.

 3. You will have responsibilities

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Getting all your paperwork in order. Initially you will have to fill out applications, get your pregnancy medical records, submit your medical insurance policy, and go through a psychological evaluation. The more organized you are, the sooner you will be matched with intended parents.
  • Considering your views on termination of pregnancy for birth defects or selective reduction in the event of a high-risk, multiple pregnancy. You will want to be matched with intended parents who share your views.
  • Taking good care of yourself while pregnant. This includes going for proper medical treatment and avoiding any activities, foods, or substances that might be risky for of the pregnancy.
  • Cooperating with legal proceedings to make sure the intended parents are named as the legal parents of the baby to be born.
  • Making sure you're responsible to your own family. You'll need to explain to your children what you are doing and why (most children respond very positively to their moms helping to create a family for someone else!). The more organized, thoughtful and able to plan ahead that you are, the better off you and your loved ones will be as you go through a surrogacy journey with your intended parents.

4. All involved in the surrogacy journey are due mutual respect

Realize that you are deserving of gratitude and appreciation. At the same time, you are carrying for intended parents who are most likely very nervous and scared about having a baby through surrogacy. As long as you are being treated respectfully, give your all to your IPs and try to give them courage and confidence by your behavior and the care of yourself and the baby you are carrying. With mutual respect and care, the surrogacy journey can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences that you will have in your lifetime.

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