How to Become a Surrogate

410998_10150476845327960_979105626_oA key component of a surrogacy arrangement is the surrogate. One of the primary requirements of becoming a surrogate is that the applicant must have given birth previously. This rule is for both medical and psychological reasons. Typically, a surrogate is between the ages of 21 and 35. However, some of our returning surrogates have been a few years older.

For women interested in surrogacy, applying to a reputable agency is the perfect place to start. At Growing Generations there will be a thorough psychological and medical screening, which will include completing the MMPI and an in-person interview with a psychologist. The potential surrogate will have a complete medical screening that will focus on obstetric and gynecological health for implantation and pregnancy, but will also include their overall health. This will involve an evaluation of the medical history as it relates to alcohol or drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases as well as any mental health issues. These psychological and medical reports will be shared with the Intended Parents.

Another factor that is evaluated, is the potential surrogate’s motivation for becoming a surrogate. There are, of course, financial incentives, and while we know the financial benefit is important, it should not be the primary motivation. History has suggested that surrogates whose only motivation is money are less likely to have positive outcomes. What is evaluated more strongly is an altruistic motivation; that is to say, that the potential surrogate feels she is helping someone to have children and create a family. This is also why women who have previous pregnancies and families of their own, are often the most successful candidates.

In some cases, surrogates are found among family members or friends of the potential parents. This adds a layer of complexity to the psychological and social issues already involved with surrogacy. Carrying for friends or family can also bring pressures for the surrogate that you wouldn’t see in a typical surrogacy match. She may feel that she doesn’t really have a choice and can’t say no, without negative consequences, and that is not ethical. It also needs to be understood by potential surrogates that surrogacy is not legal in every state. There are several rules and regulations regarding surrogacy; who you can carry for, rules on who can be on the birth certificate, etc. Working with an informed agency is key because the legal process and ramifications of surrogacy are complex and continually evolving and changing.

Being a surrogate, helping others create or finish their family, can be an amazing and rewarding experience. Many women finish their surrogacy journey feeling proud, enlightened, and unstoppable! Contact Growing Generations to learn more.

Kelly Enders-Tharp

Kelly Enders-Tharp was a three time gestational surrogate with Growing Generations. Afterwards, she joined GG as their Marketing and Admissions Specialist.