For anyone considering becoming a Surrogate, you must know there are two types of Surrogacy. Before the medical advances of IVF or (In Vitro Fertilization), the only option in third-party reproduction was Traditional Surrogacy. Traditional Surrogacy is where the Surrogate Mother is artificially inseminated with the sperm from the Intended Parent and the Surrogate is the biological mother to the baby she is carrying. There is a 50% genetic tie to that child and for this reason, most people who select Surrogate Mothers nowadays prefer to choose Gestational Surrogates.
Gestational Surrogacy allows the Intended Parents to use their own genetic makeup (eggs and sperm) and the Surrogate merely assists them by providing her uterus in which the child will grow to term in 9 months. In cases where the Intended Mother cannot provide her own eggs, she is able to select an Egg Donor who has similar features as she. There is much more flexibility in Gestational Surrogacy, as well as the increased chances of success.
In Gestational Surrogacy, the physician is able to place more than one embryo into the Surrogates uterus to increase the changes of a successful pregnancy. With Traditional Surrogacy, quite often multiple attempts are required to achieve the same result.
If you are trying to decide between signing up with an agency or finding Intended Parents on your own, there are a few things to consider. A Surrogate Agency can provide you and your Intended Parents with the following benefits:
1. Quality Service and Support
2. Presenting your profile to couples
3. Sharing their profile with you
4. Arranging the initial meeting
5. Scheduling your screening appointments
6. A friendly voice when you have questions or concerns
7. Experience and Knowledge of this field
8. Fund Management to ensure your payments are made on time
9. Mediation if a situation arises that you are uncomfortable with
10. Ensuring insurance is in place to cover your pregnancy and birth
Many people choose to place an ad online and wait for potential Intended Parents to find them. The Surrogate then has to negotiate with them on the amount she is asking for her fee and reimbursable expenses. It can be a longer process and there is no protection should one of the Intended Parents lose their job 5 months into the pregnancy when you have not received your full compensation or the insurance payments lapse due to non-payment. The risks are high and unless you elect to help a family member or do a compassionate surrogacy, an agency is experienced in handling almost any crisis and makes sure your best interest in protected.
Why should I become a Surrogate, how can someone give away their child, aren’t people going to think I am selling my baby? These are some of the questions I hear from people who are intrigued by the idea, but are afraid of the public criticism of their choice. Surrogacy offers a unique, and oftentimes, immensely fulfilling experience for women who enjoy being pregnant, and have the strong desire to help others facing infertility. Surrogates not only benefit financially, but the emotional rewards are worth more than the money to many women who are Surrogates. Each agency offers different compensation packages which typically include the following:
1. Monthly Stipend that begins the month after contract execution ($150-$400)
2. Monthly Stipend that begin the month after confirmation of pregnancy ($1,500-$2,600)
3. Maternity Clothing and expense allowance ($500-$1,000)
4. Health and Life Insurance for a Minimum of 1 year
5. Misc. Expenses such as travel, invasive procedures, etc…
Ultimately, the best thing you can do is research this unique field, make the choice that is right for you and choose a couple you feel a connection with. The experience can be remarkable, inspiring even, but the key is to surround yourself with a solid, respectable team of professionals who have the knowledge to ensure you receive the outcome you are hoping for.
1. An IVF Clinic-La Jolla IVF
2. An Reproductive Law Specialist-IFLG
3. A Psychologist who is also the parent of Surrogate Twins-Dr. Sylvia Marnella, Ph.D.
4. A Surrogate and Egg Donation Agency-Surrogate Alternatives, Inc. (SAI)