Here's What You Need To Do If You Want To Become A Surrogate

Want to do a good deed that will change someone's life for the better? Becoming a surrogate will allow you to do just that. As a surrogate, you are the woman who will give birth to a child for someone who might be unable to do so on their own (via American Fertility) — and that makes a huge difference. Whether you choose to become a traditional or gestational carrier – aka someone who donates her own eggs to the process or someone who uses the intended parent's eggs — you will be doing something incredible for someone who wants your help.

But how do you become a surrogate? The process might be easier than you think. American Surrogacy offers a quick and easy way to get in contact with a professional who can connect you to hopeful parents. Your success in becoming a surrogate, however, depends on how prepared you are before you meet up with the parents and sign any contracts.

Familiarize yourself with the surrogacy process

Becoming a surrogate is a total commitment and not one to be taken lightly. It's a promise to a family that requires even more dedication than a nine-month pregnancy. According to Family Tree Surrogacy Center, the average length of the surrogacy process is 18 months. The reason for its lengthy duration is that there are a series of steps that come before the pregnancy. These include finding the right match, screening, and — if you plan to be a gestational carrier — the in vitro fertilization procedure.

In vitro fertilization, or IVF, can be a long and arduous journey well before the surrogacy process. Per New York Reproductive Wellness, IVF is a procedure that involves impregnation outside the womb. Doctors introduce sperm to the egg in a petri dish. If the egg and sperm join, the developing embryo is then implanted within the mother-to-be. Since there is usually a 30% to 50% chance of a successful live birth, researching ways to boost the chances of becoming pregnant when undergoing IVF could be beneficial to anyone who wants to become a surrogate.

You must meet the basic standard requirements

When the genetic parents make the choice to have their child carried by a surrogate, they'll want to ensure they're working with the best candidate possible. How can you be sure you're a good fit for becoming a surrogate? That depends on how closely you meet the basic standard requirements.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, you'll need to be a woman who is at least 21 years old and in good mental and physical health if you want to be a gestational carrier. The ASRM recommends a complete psychosocial evaluation and counseling for all surrogacy candidates to ensure they are ready to carry the child. It is also recommended that you have carried at least one pregnancy all the way through birth and are currently in a stable family environment. Doctors want you to have all the support you need during your pregnancy, since stress can be harmful to both you and the unborn child (via Healthline).