Being a surrogate is an incredible gift to a family and the rewards can be lifelong. Nevertheless, it is emotionally and physically demanding. You will need to consider what support you will have throughout your pregnancy and after delivery, and what practical and emotional help you will have from your partner, your family and your friends. You will also need to think carefully about the medical, legal, emotional and practical issues of giving up a child at birth. You will need to think about how being a surrogate affects your existing children if you have them, as well as any effect on your partner if you have one. Counselling will help with this and you will be offered this before treatment. Our experience shows that this sets up your relationship with your intended parents so that it is mutually happy and fulfilling.
No, is the short answer. Your intended parents will pay for all your reasonable expenses which might include:
Yes. You need to be in good health, with an optimum BMI of between 19 and 28 (with a maximum of 35 and a minimum of 19). You must also be a non-smoker. You must not have any medical problems or be on any medication which could put you or the child at risk during pregnancy. The upper age limit is 50 although, given the greater risk of pregnancy complications as you get older, surrogates over the age of 35 may need extra medical screening. We do not accept surrogates under the age of 18 and will only in exceptional cases accept surrogates under the age of 21. You will also have had one successful pregnancy resulting in a child.
If you have a medical condition for which you are being treated, you may be precluded from becoming a surrogate. However, some conditions and treatments can be managed throughout a pregnancy without risk to you or the baby.
You must be well supported and in a stable living situation.
You will need to have filled in a detailed questionnaire which will request details of your home life as well as your medical history. We will also undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service check (what used to be the Criminal Records Bureau check).
You must be screened by us and any counsellor as being emotionally fit and ready to be a surrogate.
We will help you to find the best match. You will want to work with intended parents you feel comfortable with and like. More than that, you will need to think about what kind of surrogacy relationship the intended parents are looking for, and whether that is what you want too. As you will be working closely with the intended parents before, during and after pregnancy, personalities are important to consider. Other things to think about are:
There is no perfect calendar; each arrangement is different. You may find the right intended parents straight away or you may need to meet a few before finding the ones you want to work with. It is important to establish a good relationship with open lines of communication with your intended parents. Once established, you will undergo medical treatment prior to becoming pregnant and then hopefully have a successful pregnancy. Our strong advice is to consider this a long term, possibly lifelong, commitment.