One of the most common questions we get from intended parents is: what's the best way to choose a surrogate? After all, the surrogacy process can feel like a whirlwind if you're unsure how to move forward.
Our surrogacy agency family is here to help!
We can perform the initial screening and qualification before matching you with a surrogate of your choosing. Otherwise, you'll have to do it all yourself, which can be daunting when you have to vet a dozen candidates or more.
Our surrogacy progress sorts through the best surrogates who've been vetted against our professional wellness criteria. They've been professionally vetted.
You'll also have more options, in general, by working with a surrogacy agency. Best of all, you're in complete control of the selection process, so here are the basics of choosing a surrogate.
What kind of surrogacy is right for me?
When it comes to the type of surrogacy journey you select, intended parents general have two options: gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy.
Each type of surrogacy route has its pros and cons to consider, but in the end, they both have high rates of success. Sometimes, intended parents come to us with an altruistic surrogate already in mind, like a sister or a close friend, but they don't qualify beyond the medical screening. In this case, we can provide alternatives.
Still, intended parents may not know where to find surrogates in the first place, and that's where we step in to connect them with someone with an excellent medical background to be successful as a surrogate.
A traditional surrogate will use her own eggs or egg donors to become pregnant via intrauterine insemination (UIU). During UIU, sperm reaches the uterus directly and increases the chances of pregnancy.
On the flip side, gestational surrogacy involves implanting a fertilized embryo into the carrier. This embryo is fertilized in a laboratory with reproductive material from the intended parents.
Via this methodology, the child will not share any genetics with the surrogate, and that's sometimes crucial for intended parents with a thorough, pre-planned surrogacy plan already in mind.
How to choose between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy
Choosing the correct type of surrogacy depends on your situation. Each is unique!
Some intended parents, given their jurisdiction, may only rely on gestational surrogacy. For example, the surrogacy laws in your state may be strict, or you may not be able to produce a healthy ovum. If this is the case, a gestational surrogacy may be the better option.
Although you shouldn't let infertility discourage you from seeking a traditional surrogate, traditional surrogates must still go through the same procedures to become pregnant. The main difference lies in how many fertility services and treatments the surrogate will need.
If a traditional surrogate has a healthy ovum and a history of giving birth to healthy babies, the pregnancy has a higher chance of success.
Why is choosing the right surrogate important for your family?
For some intended parents, the type of surrogacy isn't as important as finding the right person to be a surrogate. You want to ensure that the surrogate lives a healthy lifestyle and can build a rapport with the intended parents.
Surrogate pregnancy is just as sensitive as a natural pregnancy, if not more so because fertility treatments and hormones are involved.
You can choose whether or not to have a relationship with the surrogate, but in our experience, it’s a bond that forms naturally.
As long as you and your surrogate share similar lifestyles and backgrounds, you shouldn’t have a problem building a relationship!
Once a child is born, breastfeeding will be required, so some surrogacy contracts specify whether or not the surrogate will breastfeed for a period after giving birth. If intended parents choose, they can have the surrogate pump breast milk, but those stipulations must be in the surrogacy contract to avoid miscommunications.
But sometimes, intended parents simply may not "click" with a surrogate candidate, which is perfectly fine.
The search for a proper surrogate is very personal for some intended parents, so that's why some approach us with a candidate already lined up!
Nevertheless, we still require that they satisfy our essential health criteria.
What criteria are most vital when choosing a surrogate?
Choosing a surrogate involves several criteria, but the good news is that they’re reasonable. A surrogate should be able to pass a background check and have a healthy reproduction history.
Additionally, we recommend that surrogates also:
- Live in a state with legal surrogacy
- Be between 21 years old and 40 years old
- Have a body mass index between 18 to 32
- Have a healthy reproductive history
- Give birth to at least one healthy baby
- Have no history of alcohol or substance abuse
- Be a non-smoker who doesn't reside in a home with active smokers
- Wait six months until after giving birth to be a surrogate
Aside from those basics, you have complete freedom regarding which surrogate you choose, provided they can meet these qualifications.
Ultimately, the process of choosing a surrogate can be lengthy, but we minimize all risks! It matters most to us to create families via safe surrogacy practices.
Contact us today to start your surrogacy journey!