Whether you are a single man or woman or a couple, you may choose to use a surrogate to help bring your dreams of parenthood to reality. When you’ve decided to choose a surrogate mother to help you start a family, there are still further options to consider, like whether you’ll use traditional or gestational surrogacy. With a gestational surrogacy, the carrier becomes pregnant by means of in vitro fertilization (IVF) using the eggs of the intended mother or an egg donor. This means that the surrogate baby is not genetically related to the carrier.
With a traditional surrogate, the surrogate’s egg is fertilized with sperm from the intended father or sperm donor through IVF or artificial insemination, making the carrier and the child genetically related. This form of surrogacy is less common than gestational surrogacy.
Choosing a Surrogate
If you do not already have a surrogate in mind, such as a friend or family member, you can contact an agency or fertility clinic who will help you find one. There are a number of important factors to consider when choosing a carrier for your surrogate baby including:
- The surrogate’s medical history—this should include a genetic profile (traditional surrogates only), blood tests and obstetric history.
- The surrogate’s lifestyle choices including their history of drinking and substance abuse.
- The cost of the surrogacy process—this includes surrogacy compensation, health and life insurance, legal fees, agency fees, psychological screening and monitoring, travel costs, medical expenses, and egg donation compensation and expenses (if applicable) .
- The legal issues—the laws on surrogacy vary from state to state, so the location of your surrogate is an important issue to consider.
- What kind of relationship you wish to have with the surrogate after the child is born—you may wish the surrogate to remain an integral part of your child’s life, or have the relationship complete upon delivery.
When you are looking for a surrogate with whom you can entrust the first nine months of your baby’s life, you will want to find someone who will treat the pregnancy as if it were her own. If you do choose to find your surrogate through an agency, ask them about their screening process for surrogates, what they are like and why they do this to determine if the agency is able to provide you with the right surrogate for you. Ultimately, the key to making the right choice, is finding a surrogate that you can trust completely and with whom you can feel at ease.