4 Things You Need to Understand About Gestational Surrogacy10:45 AM
Since making the decision to become a surrogate, I have come across a lot of questions from others. I have also seen women ask questions elsewhere who wanted to become surrogates themselves. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about surrogacy and the process involved to become one. So, I figured why not make a post? Whether you are considering becoming a surrogate yourself or are just curious about the process, these are four things that I think everyone should understand about surrogacy.
1. It is Not a Fast Process
Surrogacy is not quick and if you don't have patience and a true desire to help others create a family of their own, you should definitely pass on the idea. You can't just waltz up to someone, shake hands and transfer the next day. Every journey has a different timeline. Some clinics don't have strict standards and require less testing, but either way, it will likely take several months to get through the testing phase. That is on top of the months that it takes most surrogates to get matched with a couple either through an agency or on their own like I did. By the time I make it to transfer, it will be about a year since the time I matched with my IF's (Intended Fathers.)
2. You Do Not Make a Fortune
Sadly, many people believe that surrogates get paid a fortune for carrying a baby. This leads to many hateful remarks and also unfortunately draws a lot of women to surrogacy who are doing it for the wrong reasons. If my transfer this year works the first time, by the time I have the baby it will have been close to 2 years since I started the process. There will have been endless hours of testing, hundreds of shots, and many other painful or uncomfortable procedures. For all the time and inconvenience, most surrogates comp, including my own is under $20,000.
It may sound like a lot, but when you break it up over the course of two years, there would be much easier ways to earn that income. Do not get into surrogacy for the money, because you won't see a payment until you even achieve a pregnancy and have a 6 week ultrasound. We are not in it for the money. In fact, by getting into surrogacy without another way to provide for yourself, you are only setting yourself up for failure and a hard row ahead.
3. You Are Not Selling Your Baby
Some people have already implied that by being a surrogate I would be selling my baby. These people did not mean any harm, but were making a casual observation without checking their mouth at the door. It could not be farther from the truth though. I will not be biologically related to the baby I carry at all. Will there be emotions when it is time to say goodbye? Of course there will be, but not sadness and grief. There will be happiness and joy for its parents and maybe a bit of sadness to saying goodbye to this beautiful family that I helped create. There will however be no regret and no thought that I just sold my baby, because it simply isn't true.
4. There is a Lot of Testing
You can't just walk in off the street and decide to be a surrogate. They don't just throw an embryo in you and hope it sticks without a second thought. The whole process is a very in-depth meticulous process that comes with loads and loads of testing. Below is a list of testing that my clinic has required. Most of it I have been through, some is still to come.
1. Medical records review from previous pregnancies and births.
2. Psychological MMPI 2 test to ensure you are not crazy.
3. Psychological evaluation with the psychologist alone, with your spouse and with the couple.
4. Up to date Pap Smear
5. Tons of blood work
6. Sonohysterogram or saline ultrasound
8. Birth control pills before cycling to sync up.
8. Mock medicated cycle - serious of shots followed by an ultrasound to check the lining of your uterus.
9. Cycle for transfer - daily shots and a serious of other medicine in preparation for transfer.
10. IVF transfer to implant the embryo(s)
Do you have any questions about surrogacy or becoming a surrogate? You can leave them below or email me and I am happy to answer them.