Understanding the Different Types of Surrogacy and How to Choose a Surrogate
Surrogacy is a family-building option for individuals or couples who are unable to carry a pregnancy themselves. There are two primary types of surrogacy, and choosing the right one and selecting a surrogate involves careful consideration. Here's an overview of the different types of surrogacy and steps to choose a surrogate:
Types of Surrogacy:
- In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is also the biological mother of the child. This occurs when the surrogate's own egg is fertilized with the intended father's sperm or donor sperm through artificial insemination. Traditional surrogacy is less common today due to legal and emotional complexities.
- Gestational surrogacy is the more common type and involves the surrogate carrying a pregnancy conceived using the eggs of the intended mother or an egg donor and the sperm of the intended father or a sperm donor. In this case, the surrogate is not biologically related to the child.
Steps to Choose a Surrogate:
Decide on the Type of Surrogacy:
- Determine whether traditional or gestational surrogacy is the right option for you. Gestational surrogacy is generally recommended due to the legal and emotional clarity it offers.
Consult a Surrogacy Agency or Attorney:
- Consider working with a surrogacy agency or attorney experienced in reproductive law. They can guide you through the legal and logistical aspects of surrogacy.
Set Your Criteria:
- Create a list of criteria that are important to you when selecting a surrogate. These may include factors like age, health, location, willingness to undergo medical and psychological evaluations, and compatibility with your values.
Choose Between Independent or Agency Surrogacy:
- You can choose to find a surrogate independently or work with a surrogacy agency. Agencies often have a pool of pre-screened surrogates, which can simplify the process.
Screening and Matching:
- If working with an agency, they will match you with potential surrogates based on your criteria. Independent surrogacy may involve self-matching or using online platforms for matching.
Meet with Potential Surrogates:
- Arrange to meet potential surrogates either in person or virtually. This meeting is an opportunity to discuss expectations, compatibility, and establish a rapport.
Background Checks and Evaluations:
- Ensure that all potential surrogates undergo thorough background checks, medical evaluations, and psychological assessments. These assessments are crucial to ensure the surrogate is physically and emotionally prepared for the journey.
- Work with legal counsel to draft a comprehensive surrogacy agreement that outlines the rights, responsibilities, and expectations of all parties involved. This agreement should address issues like compensation, medical decisions, and the surrogate's role.
Insurance and Compensation:
- Determine how the surrogate's medical expenses and compensation will be handled. This includes covering prenatal care, labor and delivery expenses, and a reasonable surrogate fee.
Stay Involved and Supportive:
- Throughout the pregnancy, maintain open communication with your surrogate and offer emotional support. Attend medical appointments and establish a respectful and trusting relationship.
Prepare for Parenthood:
- While the surrogate carries the pregnancy, use this time to prepare for parenthood emotionally, financially, and logistically. Attend childbirth education classes and create a birth plan.
Celebrate the Birth:
- Be present for the birth of your child and celebrate this joyous moment with your surrogate. Ensure that all legal requirements are met for the transfer of parental rights.
Finalize Legal Matters:
- Work with your attorney to finalize any legal matters related to parental rights, such as obtaining a birth certificate with your names as parents.
Choosing a surrogate and embarking on a surrogacy journey is a significant decision. It's essential to work with experienced professionals, adhere to legal requirements, and establish a supportive relationship with your surrogate to ensure a smooth and successful surrogacy experience.