There are many instances when, for one reason or another, an individual or couple is unable to have children of their own. Over the past few decades, however, a number of people have found a solution through a process called surrogacy.
Surrogacy involves taking the sperm from a male donor or intended parent and the egg of a donor, intended female parent, or even the surrogate mother herself, and having the embryo carried and birthed by the surrogate mother.
Oftentimes a surrogate mother will be compensated for her services, as well as reimbursed for her medical expenses and other costs such as maternity clothing, meals, and incidentals that are related to the pregnancy.
Recently, women who are healthy and of child bearing capacity have found opportunities in becoming surrogate mothers. Reasons for doing so are varied, however, it has been stated by some that they enjoy helping others in starting the family that they otherwise would not have been able to have.
One of the most wonderful benefits of being a surrogate is that one is changing the lives of another individual or couple in a positive way forever – all while being well compensated. In California, for example, one agency advertises that surrogate mothers may earn between $27,000 and $37,500 in reimbursement for their services – adding in the additional benefits of staying home with any of their own children if applicable.
While the process of surrogacy is not as prevalent in certain areas of the country, there are some states such as California that are considered to be more progressive and open to accepting "new" and alternative ways of doing things.
Even as far back as 1993, the California Supreme Court decided that a same-sex couple in a gestational surrogacy agreement should be recognized as the natural and legal parents of their child.
Today, there are a number of opportunities for becoming a surrogate mother in California. Often, however, it is best to go through a surrogacy agency that will help both the surrogate and the intended parents through the entire process, starting with a thorough health and emotional screening to ensure that the surrogate is healthy enough to have a successful pregnancy.
In order to begin the process of becoming a surrogate in California, a potential candidate must fill out an application and schedule an in-home interview. In addition, a psychological evaluation will also be needed in order to determine that the potential candidate is emotionally strong enough to deal with situations that will be encountered such as giving up the child they have carried for nine months to his or her intended parents.
Once approved, a surrogate will be presented with profiles for selection of intended parents. Should there be a seemingly good match, the next step is to meet with the intended parents to decipher whether all involved will make for a good fit. In addition, the surrogate agency will typically assist in drawing up the legal paperwork that will be necessary for a successful overall transaction.