The process of surrogacy involves using one woman's womb to carry and the deliver the baby for another. Some reasons for this may be that the "biological" mother is unable to have children, has a history of miscarriages, or is whose age is considered to be too much of a risk to the developing child.
Typically, a potential surrogate mother will be at least 18 years of age and will have delivered at least one baby at term without any type of complications. In addition, most surrogates must be non-smokers and must also live in a non-smoking household. This helps to ensure better health for both the surrogate mother and the baby.
In most cases, surrogacy is done through the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) whereby the egg and sperm of the intended biological parents will be implanted into the surrogate mother's uterus where she will carry the embryo until the baby is ready to be born.
Many women may wish to help individuals or couples in having a child. There are some important steps that are involved in becoming a surrogate mother. Once these have been completed, the new surrogate mother will be ready to begin the process of carrying an embryo for an individual or couple who are ready to become parents.
The first step in becoming a surrogate mother is to convey interest to the surrogacy institutions through which individuals and couples go to begin the process of having a child. Typically, a trained nurse will explain how surrogacy works and will also ask health related questions in order to determine the health condition of the caller.
If it is determined that the individual is a suitable candidate, arrangements will be made for her to receive more detailed information regarding the surrogacy program and a personal meeting will be set up so that the potential new surrogate mother can be evaluated.
A thorough physical and psychological evaluation will be performed in order to better determine whether the potential surrogate is physically and mentally healthy enough to proceed. In addition, if the surrogate has a spouse or partner, both individuals will likely be required to submit a blood sample to further ensure health conditions.
Once accepted into the surrogacy program, the surrogacy institution will begin to suggest the new surrogate mother to individuals and couples that may be a good match. If a compatible match is determined, the surrogate and the biological parent or parents will meet in person. This helps them all in getting to get to know each other and to become more comfortable working together throughout the surrogacy process.
If it is decided that the process will take place between these individuals, a legal agreement will be put into place. This involves putting in writing the legal requirements that are related to the surrogacy arrangement. Specific needs of the surrogate mother and the biological parent or parents will all be taken into consideration and put into a legal contract form. Once all parties are in agreement, signatures will be obtained. At this point the medical process may begin.