Choosing a close friend or family member to become a Surrogate?
There are friends who feel like family. They know us well. There are certain family members/friends who are there for holidays, kids’ parties who belong to our support group. It would be very logical to think that someone that is so close to this network would be an ideal candidate to become your Surrogate.
While wanting to become a Surrogate for a family member or a friend is a very noble thing to do, many things need to be considered before using a family member and/or close friend as a Surrogate. When we are close to someone, we tend to assume a lot about them without ever realizing it.
- Medical History Although having blood ties can help you assume what sort of medical history a family member may have, you may not know everything. There are medical conditions that maybe a family member does not want everyone to know about and wish to be kept private from the family. If information was revealed or something was to turn up on a test, the family member would be caught in a very delicate situation.
If, on the other hand, you were to work with an agency, the medical information is shared between the Intended Parents and the Surrogate from the beginning. This helps everyone prepare for the pregnancy the best way possible. There are times when the agency provides information to one party or the other, easing communication.
There are times during the pregnancy when the Surrogate may feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable explaining something to the Intended Parents. Maybe the doctor has the Surrogate undergo a test for Down syndrome; this is something that the agency can communicate to the IPs and not have it come directly from the Surrogate.
- Psychological Preparation: You may think that because the potential Surrogate is family, you know them well. Their psychological stability to be able to go through the Surrogacy is never questioned. This is natural; at no point will a family member knowingly offer to be a Surrogate and at the same time believe she could not go through with it. Some family members could even take offense because a phycological evaluation has to be performed.
One of the most important psychological factors that must be considered for a Surrogate is that the baby she is carrying is not hers, and she must understand that it belongs to his or her parents after birth. If the person is not ready to be a Surrogate, an agency can help her prepare for the Surrogacy Journey, providing needed education, guidance, and support.
- Payments: Money is a very delicate matter. If a friend or a family member offers to become your Surrogate, there may be a chance that they will do it for “free”. Free means that they will not charge for carrying the baby, but all the medical costs that are related to the pregnancy must be covered. It is very important to work with an agency that will understand these payments and is familiar with them. The friend/family member/Surrogate may recall what it was like when she was last pregnant, but there may be new things or a new insurance and/or doctor that create differences that must be dealt with. All of these little details are very important to foresee if going with a friend/family member and not with an agency.
- Insurance: Another topic that must be taken into consideration is insurance. The medical insurance that covers the Surrogate must be specifically designed for surrogacy. Once that is determined, it is important to see if the Surrogate’s doctor belongs to this insurance. Not all OB/GYNs work with Surrogates.
- Privacy: The baby that the friend or family member is carrying brings a sense of entitlement to the parents concerning how the Surrogate should take care of herself. There must be someone who can bridge between the Surrogate and the Intended Parents so that conflicts regarding how each party should do things can be addressed.
A Surrogacy Agency takes care of this by engaging the trust of both the Surrogate and the Intended Parents. They also provide a professional third-party ear about all that is happening with the Journey without getting the whole family involved. Not using an agency can lead to family discord or maybe the loss of a friendship.
- Location and Regulation Not all states allow Surrogacy, or compensated Surrogacy. It all depends on the rules and regulations that each state has. To practice Surrogacy, make sure that you are in a state that allows surrogacy and regulates all circumstances related to it. You must feel comfortable that the what-ifs that may come into your mind are already taken care of.
An agency can help you because it is aware of all the rules and regulations that apply to the state in which the Surrogate resides. Make sure that the person you choose, whether it be a family member or a friend, lives in an area where Surrogacy is regulated, to keep your baby, your Surrogate, and yourself protected legally, financially, and emotionally.
Although family members and friends are wonderful people, valuable to your support group, it is recommended that you work with an agency to deal with the many small decisions and details that are found within the Surrogacy Process. Omega Family Surrogates offers an all-in-one approach to Surrogacy for both Intended Parents and Surrogates, which eases the relationship between both parties and provides an excellent platform for Surrogacy to develop.