If you are considering becoming a gestational surrogate, congratulations! One of the best things one human being can do for other people is to help them make their dreams of parenthood come true; it takes a special type. At the same time, being a surrogate is a serious task – it’s essential to be emotionally and mentally prepared.
Reputable gestational surrogacy agencies specify that surrogates must be mothers who have given birth without complications and who have a child at home. Having been through the process helps ensure that surrogates have a firm grasp of what is involved in pregnancy and childbirth, that they will already have experienced the miracle of parenthood for themselves, and are still enjoying raising a child of their own.
Even so, not every mom is the best candidate for gestational surrogacy. Here at Global Surrogacy Services, we are deeply concerned with ensuring all our surrogates have a good experience while engaged in the act of allowing intended parents to become actual parents. We employ a detailed screening designed to protect the welfare of surrogates along with the baby and intended parents.
Before anyone becomes a surrogate with a qualified agency, an agency must carefully screen them in multiple ways. However, the first screening should be conducted by the prospective surrogate herself.
You may not need us to tell you this, but it’s a good idea to try and imagine how you’ll feel at the beginning of the process when you are screened, meet the intended parents, and during the initial medical phases when you are given hormones to prepare your uterus for childbirth. Also, consider your feelings once the embryo is implanted and after the birth when the baby will go to the intended parents. You may also want to take stock of how the people in your life will react to the arrangements.
Listen to your feelings. If something is bothering you, don’t second guess yourself. Maybe becoming a gestational surrogate isn’t for you if you feel this way – and there’s nothing wrong with that! If you are unsure, maybe consider talking to a counselor or someone you trust to help you sort out your feelings about the pros and cons of gestational surrogacy.
If, however, you find that you are excited by the prospect of becoming a surrogate and don’t anticipate any major issues, then it’s time to get ready. Make sure you understand an agency’s surrogate mother requirements and fill out a form like the one on our “How to Become a Surrogate” page.
An Agency’s Psychological Screening
Once you have filled out your initial application, you will begin a thorough screening process that will include a criminal background check and ensure that you are in good health and may provide you and the baby with a secure and healthy environment.
Psychological testing will include some tools that mental healthcare professionals use to evaluate an individual’s state of mind. The primary goals are verifying that a prospective surrogate meets the criteria, does not have any disqualifying substance abuse or hidden serious mental health issues, and – perhaps most important of all – fully understands the nature of the task of having a child on behalf of intended parents. It ensures that surrogates can offer fully informed consent and be the best possible caretakers of a new life, all while emerging from the process as happy and healthy as ever.
Health experts agree that most people can benefit from some form of psychological therapy at times. Moreover, it’s no secret that the stresses and hormonal changes involved with pregnancy and childbirth can increase the possibility that individuals may need some additional support.
Since surrogates will have given birth in the past, they will have a frame of reference and may have some idea of what to expect from their bodies and minds during and after pregnancy. Even so, the experience will be different in many obvious ways and all kinds of feelings may arise. Therefore, once surrogates have passed through the screening phase, psychological counseling is covered as needed in a surrogate health and compensation plan with Global Surrogacy Services – and it should be with any other agencies you may look into.
Getting Serious about Gestational Surrogacy
If you think you are ready to become a gestational surrogate, we encourage you to look carefully and find a reputable agency. Global Surrogacy Services works with gestational surrogates anywhere nationwide where surrogacy is legal; our intended parents come from around the world. We’re based in the Los Angeles area but we are happy to get in touch virtually wherever people may live.
To get started, you can fill out the form on our aforementioned “How to Become a Surrogate” page or email through our contact page. Finally, you can call Global Surrogacy Services at the number on your screen.