How Can I Become a Surrogate
Becoming a surrogate is a life-changing experience. Between 1999 and 2013, over 3,380 deliveries and 18,400 infants resulted from the use of a gestational carrier, or surrogate in the US. Surrogacy is an extraordinary gift given to intended parents, but there are many steps that must be carefully taken in order to achieve this end. As a surrogate, you may help families who are struggling with infertility, are unable to carry their own children, and/or LGBTQ+ couples fulfill their dreams of starting a family.
At Elevate, our surrogacy specialists (many of them have gone through the process themselves) help you every step of the way, from deciding whether it’s deciding if surrogacy is right for you, preparing you for the screening process, and finding the perfect intended parents. When you are prepared to take the next steps, we can provide in-depth information on how to become a surrogate with our surrogate agency in Beverly Hills.
Screening Requirements for Surrogates
Becoming a surrogate is a personal decision that requires an understanding of the surrogacy process to ensure that it is the right choice for you. After finding a surrogacy professional in Beverly Hills, the first set of expectations is to meet the agency’s requirements and screening process. This process is meant to ensure your protection and safety as well as the baby’s. It may also help determine whether you are psychologically and emotionally prepared for the surrogacy process.
Elevate meets and often exceeds the guidelines set forth by The American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Some of the general requirements for becoming an Elevate surrogate are:
- Surrogates should be between 21 and 40
- Must have a BMI of less than 32
- Experienced at least one previous successful pregnancy
- Have had no more than five vaginal births or three cesarean deliveries
- Currently raising your own children
- Experienced no major complications from previous pregnancies
- Cleared of treatable STDs for at least 12 months
- No history of postpartum depression
- For at least a year before surrogacy, discontinued use of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications
- No tattoos or piercings within 12 months before beginning surrogacy
- Ability to travel to appointments as needed
- Have a stable support system and lifestyle
If you meet the criteria above for surrogate mothers, you may proceed with your agency’s screening process, which may vary depending on the agency you work with, and include the following elements:
- An application: Asks some general questions about you and your reasons for wanting to be a surrogate. After submitting, you may be contacted by a surrogacy specialist who may follow up to collect more detailed information.
- Social and medical history: Social and medical history may be included in your application and require you to submit detailed information about your family, your health history, and your personality.
- A physical: A fertility specialist will conduct a physical examination and do other essential lab work to determine you are healthy enough for surrogacy.
- In-home assessment: A social worker may come to your home to talk in-depth with you about your motivations for wanting to be a surrogate mother. This meeting also provides you an opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the process.
- Background check: You may need to consent to a background check during the screening process.
- Psychological evaluation: You may be required to meet with a mental health professional to ensure you are emotionally prepared for the challenges of surrogacy.
While the screening process may be comprehensive, it is essential for everyone involved to feel at ease in continuing the process. Intended parents are also screened to determine whether they are ready for surrogacy.
Medical Requirements for Surrogates
For a successful surrogacy, your health is essential to the process and will be closely monitored throughout every phase of the journey, from initial screening to delivery. As a surrogate, you will be required to undergo medical testing, procedures, and take necessary fertility medications.
The following are medical requirements for surrogates that may begin in the initial screening process:
During the initial screening, you will be required to undergo a comprehensive physical, including a variety of laboratory tests. This may include testing for sexually transmitted diseases, as well as other diseases, viruses, and infections that may affect fertility. You may also need an ultrasound done of your uterus to ensure able to support a surrogacy pregnancy. . Screening for drug and nicotine use may also be required.
After signing a contract with the intended parents, you may need to prepare for surrogacy pregnancy with fertility treatments such as bloodwork, injections, and ultrasounds up to the embryo transfer and into the beginning stages of pregnancy. You may be prescribed several medications, such as hormones, to regulate your cycle and prepare you for In Vitro fertilization (IVF).
Frozen Embryo Transfer
Next, the Intended parents will work with the embryology lab at their IVF clinic to carefully select an embryo for implantation. An embryologist will thaw an embryo that has been cyropreserved and a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist will skill transfer the embryo to your uterus.
Lastly, you will be required to make routine appointments at the fertility clinic to receive blood tests and ultrasounds. Once a pregnancy is confirmed and fetal heartbeat is detected, you may then be transferred to the care of your OBGYN. Throughout the entire process, you will stay in contact with the intended parents and may want to have them present for doctor appointments so they may experience this exciting pregnancy.
Contact Elevate for More Information Regarding Surrogacy
The process of becoming a surrogate may be complex, but the reward is unimaginable when you are able to provide the gift of a child to intended parents. At Elevate, our Beverly Hills surrogate agency are committed to helping you throughout the entire process and understanding how to make your journey seamless and comfortable. The surrogates that make it through our process are the best of the best and we are proud to help you connect with a couple who desires nothing more than being parents.
Whether you are interested in surrogacy or egg donation as an intended parent or potential donor, the process can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Begin your journey today!