Selecting a surrogate is a significant step in the surrogacy journey for the intended parents. It’s a decision that can impact not only the success of the surrogacy process but also the overall experience. In this detailed guide, we’ll walk you through the process of choosing a surrogate and the key factors to consider.
The Role of a Surrogacy Agency
One of the primary considerations when choosing a surrogate is whether to work with a surrogacy agency or undertake the process independently. Opting for a surrogacy agency offers several advantages:
1. Screening and Qualification: Surrogacy agencies conduct thorough screening and qualification of potential surrogates. This ensures that surrogates meet specific wellness criteria, giving you peace of mind about their suitability.
2. Selection Options: With a surrogacy agency, you’ll have access to a pool of pre-screened surrogates. This widens your selection options and makes the process more efficient.
3. Expert Guidance: Surrogacy agencies provide expert guidance throughout the process, helping you make informed decisions.
Types of Surrogacy
Before choosing a surrogate, it’s essential to understand the two primary types of surrogacy:
1. Gestational Surrogacy: In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries an embryo created using the intended parents’ reproductive material. The child does not share genetics with the surrogate.
2. Traditional Surrogacy: Traditional surrogacy involves the surrogate using her eggs or egg donors for conception. The child may share genetics with the surrogate.
The choice between these two types of surrogacy depends on your specific situation and legal considerations in your jurisdiction.
How to Choose Between Gestational and Traditional Surrogacy?
The decision to opt for gestational or traditional surrogacy is influenced by various factors:
1. Legal Considerations: Some jurisdictions have strict surrogacy laws that may limit your choice. In such cases, gestational surrogacy may be the only viable option.
2. Fertility Issues: If fertility issues are a concern, gestational surrogacy may be the preferred choice, as it offers a higher chance of success.
3. Genetic Connection: For some intended parents, a genetic connection with the child is crucial. In such cases, traditional surrogacy might be the more suitable option.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Surrogate
Selecting the right surrogate is a critical aspect of the surrogacy process. Here’s why it matters:
1. Health and Lifestyle: A surrogate’s health and lifestyle play a significant role in the success of the pregnancy. Ensuring that the surrogate maintains a healthy lifestyle is crucial.
2. Emotional Connection: Surrogate pregnancy is emotionally sensitive, and an emotional connection between the surrogate and intended parents can make the process smoother.
3. Post-Birth Considerations: Consider whether you want the surrogate to breastfeed the child after birth. Such decisions should be clearly outlined in the surrogacy contract.
Criteria for Choosing a Surrogate
When choosing a surrogate, certain criteria are essential to consider. These criteria ensure that the surrogate is a suitable match for the intended parents:
1. Background Check: A thorough background check should be conducted to confirm the surrogate’s suitability.
2. Age: Surrogates should typically be between 21 and 40 years old.
3. Body Mass Index (BMI): A healthy BMI (between 18 and 32) is important for a successful pregnancy.
4. Reproductive History: Surrogates should have a history of healthy pregnancies and deliveries.
5. No Substance Abuse: A surrogate should have no history of alcohol or substance abuse.
6. Non-smoker: Surrogates should be non-smokers and should not reside in homes with active smokers.
7. Waiting Period: A waiting period after giving birth is recommended before becoming a surrogate again.
Choosing a surrogate is a significant decision on your surrogacy journey. While it may seem like a daunting task, the right choice can lead to a successful and fulfilling surrogacy experience. Working with a reputable surrogacy agency can streamline the process and offer you a range of pre-screened surrogates to choose from.
Remember that your choice should align with your values, needs, and legal requirements. It’s a personal decision, and with careful consideration and the right support, you can embark on your surrogacy journey with confidence.