If you’re considering becoming a surrogate, this article will cover everything you need to know about the process. From what’s involved in the screening process to what happens during the surrogate pregnancy itself.
What is surrogacy and how does it work?
Surrogacy is when a woman carries a baby for a couple or an individual. The surrogate mother is not the biological mother of the child, but she provides her womb for the pregnancy and gives birth to the child.
Who can be a surrogate mother in California and who can’t?
When considering becoming a surrogate, California based women may wonder if they qualify.
The first step to finding out if you are eligible is to consult with a fertility clinic or surrogacy agency, as they will have specific requirements that potential surrogatemothers must meet.
In general, women who want to become surrogate mothers must:
- Be between the ages of 21 and 40
- Be in good physical and mental health
- Have a support system in place
- Not currently using tobacco, drugs, or alcohol
- Have a BMI under 30
Once a mother knows if they meet the basic surrogate California requirements, the next step is to fill out an application and go through a screening process.
The process of becoming a surrogate mother
The screening process for surrogate mothers is extensive and includes a psychological evaluation, medical history review, and a home study.
After the initial screening, the potential surrogate mother will undergo a series of tests to make sure she is physically able to carry a baby. These tests include a pap smear, blood work, and a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), which is an x-ray of the uterus.
If the surrogate mother passes these tests, she will be matched with the intended parents. The process of matching can take weeks or even months, as there are many factors to consider.
Once a match is found, the surrogate mother and intended parents will sign a legal contract that outlines their roles and responsibilities.
Pregnancy and delivery
After the legal contract is signed, the surrogate mother will undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. This involves retrieving eggs from the intended mother or a donor and fertilizing them with the intended father’s or donor’s sperm.
The embryo is then implanted into the surrogate mother’s uterus. If the IVF treatment is successful, the surrogate mother will carry the baby for nine months and give birth to the child.
After the baby is born, the intended parents will take custody of the child and the surrogate mother’s role is complete.
After the surrogate pregnancy
After the process is complete, the surrogate mother may stay in touch with the intended parents, or she may choose to have no contact with them. It is important to discuss these expectations before becoming a surrogate mother.
There may also be discussions about feeding and pumping that will be discussed in the initial meeting and included in the legal contract before implantation occurs.