Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Gestational Surrogate
Navigating the surrogacy process, including finding the right gestational surrogate to help build your family, can be overwhelming and stressful. Fortunately, experienced case managers like those at Surrogacy America aid and support clients with every step along the road to parenthood, from finding a surrogate mother who meets the ideal criteria, to selecting a fertility center, to providing a template for a surrogacy agreement once a match is made.
Surrogacy America advises intended parents to do these 10 things to avoid common mistakes when going through the surrogacy process, from the time a gestational surrogate is chosen to the moment the cycle is complete:
1. Consider if you’re truly ready to move forward with surrogacy.
For those who need a gestational surrogate to have a baby, it’s very important to avoid rushing into the surrogacy process until you are ready. The transition to gestational surrogacy from unsuccessful fertility treatments or a difficult infertility diagnosis shouldn’t be forced. We advise that couples and individuals take the time they need to carefully consider surrogacy before contacting a reputable agency.
2. Debunk old surrogacy myths and misconceptions.
Some old myths about gestational surrogacy persist today. There are many reasons why a couple may choose to use a gestational surrogate and a variety of motivations for a woman to become a surrogate. Misunderstandings about the surrogacy experience are harmful to those families who are grateful that they can benefit from assisted reproductive technology (ART).
3. Don’t skimp on research.
Not all surrogacy agencies are alike, so intended parents are strongly advised to do their due diligence while researching surrogacy agencies. Experienced, qualified surrogacy agencies have strong, well-regarded reputations.
4. Don’t forget to ask for testimonials.
Most reputable surrogacy agencies can provide detailed testimonials from intended parents and former surrogates alike. These stories will give a real feel for what it’s like to work with this agency.
5. Consider your gestational surrogate criteria.
Being matched with a surrogate mother is a similar process to being matched with an egg donor. You will search through your chosen agency’s surrogate database to find a suitable surrogate. The more specific criteria you have, the fewer options you will have to choose from.
6. Be open to different types of surrogates.
The journey to surrogacy may not have been your first choice, so choosing a surrogate that best fits your needs may require open consideration as to your surrogate’s location, depending on the laws of the state in which you reside.
7. Don’t ignore your wishes and expectations when drawing up a surrogacy agreement.
Be very honest about your expectations for the surrogacy process prior to signing an agreement. Decisions about your relationship with your surrogate during and after her pregnancy will need to be made during this time.
8. Immediately voice your questions and concerns.
Questions or concerns about your match or the surrogacy process should be discussed as soon as possible. There is no need to put off seeking answers if you are worried about an issue.
9. Plan how you will discuss surrogacy.
Knowing what you will say to your family and friends can make conversations about surrogacy much easier. Your level of openness is entirely up to you, but it can be helpful to plan and know beforehand what you will and will not share.
10. Seek support, even if you think you don’t need it.
There are many organizations and forums dedicated to supporting those using third-party reproduction, including surrogacy-specific groups. Support groups can be online or in-person, and they can cater to men-only or women-only groups if preferred. They can also cater to couples or individuals.