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How to Become a Surrogate [In 5 Simple Steps]

Are you thinking about being a surrogate mother?

Do you want to help a couple have a baby and grow their little family?

We know that the process may sound scary and it’s a journey of ups and downs, but you’re not the only one to consider this decision. 

Many women agree to become surrogate mothers just to help other families have their own bundle of joy.

So if you want to know how to become a surrogate, keep on reading.

An Overview of Surrogates: A Primer

Surrogacy, or surrogate pregnancy, is when you, as a woman, decide to lend a helping hand to a couple who are incapable of having a baby on their own. 

In other words, it’s a form of reproductive medicine. However, not all surrogacies are the same.

There are two types of surrogacies: traditional and gestational. 

Traditional surrogacy is when the baby is conceived with a surrogate’s egg. Meanwhile, in gestational surrogacy, doctors transfer an IVF embryo, which is created with the intended mother’s egg, or a donor’s, into the surrogate mother’s womb.

The procedure may sound simple, but the physical and mental burden of the surrogate mother’s pregnancy is most definitely not simple.

Surrogate mothers are subjected to many pregnancy complications, hormonal fluctuations, and body aches. 

But despite being tough and tiring, you help create a family for a couple who are unable to be pregnant for multiple medical reasons. 

How Much Do Surrogates Make? 

Surrogates aren’t known to make a lot of money. Some places don’t even pay the surrogate mother compensation for her service. 

The intended parents reimburse the surrogate mother for medicine, check-ups, maternity clothes, and any other pregnancy-related expenses — but nothing for the surrogate herself as profit in exchange for her service.

Luckily, that system isn’t applied everywhere.

In many states, surrogacy law entitles surrogates to get paid between $30,000 and $55,000, plus reimbursement of all surrogacy requirements. 

The exact number depends on a few factors, such as the surrogate’s experience, the type of surrogacy, and the number of embryos carried.

Each surrogacy journey has different details than the other because each case depends on the baby and the intended parent. 

That is why some people consider surrogacy an uncommon side hustle to increase their income. Many even apply through a surrogacy agency and get help from a surrogacy specialist.

What You Need to Become a Surrogate [& Associated Costs]

A happy pregnant woman standing in front of a window

Being a surrogate mother means you’ll be literally carrying around an enormous responsibility for the next nine months. That is why you need a few requirements to ensure you’re fit to become a surrogate mother. 

The following list is made to preserve your safety and the baby’s well-being. 

1. Age Limit

The age of a surrogate mother needs to be within the range of 21 to 40 years old. 

Any woman younger than that limit isn’t legally an adult yet, and any woman above that limit has a high risk of facing complications during her pregnancy. 

2. BMI Within the Healthy Range

A BMI, or a body mass index, is a general indicator of your health based on your weight. Potential surrogate mothers need to have a BMI that falls within the range of 19 to 32, which is roughly the range of normal weight to slightly overweight. 

If the BMI of the surrogate is below that range, she’ll be considered underweight and not in the best shape to be pregnant. That’s because her body is weak, and pregnancy might not be safe for her and the baby.

Similarly, if the BMI of the surrogate is above 32, it means that she’s in the obesity zone. Once a person enters the obesity zone, they start noticing various side effects of the extra weight. In that case, pregnancy might add to the person’s health problems.

3. No Psychotropic Medications

For the baby’s well-being, most mental health-related medicines are prohibited during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

For that reason, surrogate mothers must stop taking psychotropic medications, including anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds, for at least 12 months. 

4. At Least One Successful Previous Pregnancy

To qualify as eligible, the surrogate mother must have carried at least one pregnancy successfully to term without complications. 

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Surrogate? 

The best thing about being a surrogate is that it costs you absolutely nothing. You pay zero expenses. The intended parents reimburse everything you need for the baby and your pregnancy during your surrogacy period.

That includes doctor appointments, commutes to and from these appointments, meds, vitamins, maternity clothes, and anything you might ever need. So, in this case, any surrogate compensation is pure profit. 

Is It Hard to Become a Surrogate? 

The eligibility-checking process to become a surrogate mother isn’t hard.

All you have to do is take some tests and pass psychological screening to ensure that you’re healthy and in good shape to be pregnant. You need to ensure that this pregnancy won’t affect you or the baby negatively.

After passing all the tests, you’ll officially be eligible for surrogacy. This is where the hard work begins.

For the following nine months, you’ll be committed to growing and caring for a baby until you deliver it safely to its parents after birth. Believe me, it’s not an easy job. 

How Long Does It Take to Become a Surrogate? 

The amount of time you need to prepare for your first surrogacy is mainly the time you need to do your checkups and screenings.

Once you’ve passed all the physical and psychological tests, you’re good to go.

With time, you become an experienced surrogate and the process won’t be as confusing as your first time. 

Pregnant Woman in Jumper Sitting on Bed and Using Tablet

How to Become a Surrogate in 5 Simple Steps

The process of becoming a surrogate isn’t complicated at all! All you need to do are 5 simple steps to become a surrogate mother. 

Step 1: Take Physical and Psychological Tests

The first step of the process is medical screening to check yourself for eligibility. You need to see a doctor to check up on your health, both physical and mental, and prepare your medical records.

This is to ensure that you’ll be fully capable of being pregnant without it affecting you or the baby. Your body and mind must be ready to host a baby for the upcoming nine months. 

Step 2: Find the Intended Parents

Whether you’re doing it for a friend or a relative, or you’ll fill out a surrogate application at an agency, you need to find the right parents whom you feel comfortable with. 

Remember, you’ll be in each other’s lives for quite some time. So both of you need to feel comfortable about working together. 

Step 3: Discuss the Surrogacy Arrangement

After finding the intended parents, you must agree upon the type of surrogacy, your benefits and healthcare, surrogacy requirements, and the price you charge for your service. 

All these topics need to be discussed and agreed on before moving forward with the process. 

Step 4: Become Pregnant

After agreeing on all the rules and conditions of your surrogacy, you move on to the crucial phase: getting the baby in your womb. Of course, this depends on the type of surrogacy that you’ve agreed on. 

Whether you’ll go with traditional surrogacy and use your own egg, or with gestational surrogacy and carry an already fertilized embryo in your womb, your doctors will apply the right technique that suits each type. 

Sep 5: Deliver the Baby to Its Parents

Throughout the nine months of pregnancy, you must take extra good care of yourself and your health. You must stay in tip-top shape for yourself and the baby until you give birth. 

Go to your doctor appointments regularly, take your vitamins, eat clean, and avoid anything unhealthy for your body. Once you’ve safely delivered the baby, give it to its parents, and you’re good to go. 

Reasons to Consider Becoming a Surrogate

Each woman has her own reason to become a surrogate, but among the common reasons are

  • Extra Income: Along with having everything related to pregnancy for free, surrogate mothers get paid every month for their service until they receive the agreed-upon amount.
  • Helping the Community: You get to offer the gift of life to a couple who can’t make a baby on their own. 
  • Access to Healthcare: Once you seal your deal with the intended parent, you get access to healthcare to cover any medical costs related to your surrogacy as part of your surrogate requirements.
  • The Love of Pregnancy: Some women love being pregnant. They’ve had uncomplicated pregnancies in the past, and they loved every second of it till the moment they gave birth. So why not do it again?

Frequently Asked Questions

Doctor is talking with pregnant woman in hospital delivery room

Does a Surrogate Mother Share DNA With the Baby? 

The answer to this question depends on the type of surrogacy. If it’s traditional, then yes. The baby will have the surrogate mother’s DNA because her egg was the one fertilized to create that baby. 

Meanwhile, if it’s only gestational surrogacy, then no. The baby will have only the DNA of the egg and sperm used to create it.

They could be from the intended parent or from a sperm or egg donor. The surrogate mother will only be a gestational carrier.

How Many Times Can You Be a Surrogate?

You can be a surrogate for as many times as your heart desires. You decide how many times you’ll be a surrogate. 

However, given the intensity of the process, most people don’t go over five times in total. Anything more than that may come with some risks and complications. 

Similar Gigs to Check Out

Your regular 9 to 5 isn’t always rewarding. You’re missing out on your life because you’re either working or too tired to do anything else. 

Your life’s schedule doesn’t change a lot, so remember to find a job that makes you happy and fits into your life’s schedule. 

If you’re looking for another cool gig to try, check out these three gigs below. 

  • How to Become a Doula: This article will teach you how to be a doula and bring the little ones into the world.
  • How to Become a Lactation Consultant: Most mothers need help from a lactation consultant during their first few weeks of breastfeeding. If you want to offer them the help they need but don’t know where to start, this article is for you. 
  • How to Become an Ordained Minister: Many people become ordained ministers to conduct weddings of their friends and family. This article walks you through the whole process. 

Wrapping Up

Being a surrogate mother or a gestational carrier isn’t an easy job. It takes a lot of physical and psychological energy to bring a baby into the world.

However, it’s as rewarding as it is difficult. You get to help people who almost lost hope of having a baby. 

We’ve covered everything you need to know before taking such a huge step. If you still have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments.

Also, if you know of a person considering being a surrogate, share this article with her to help her on their journey. 

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