International surrogacy has been gaining popularity in a lot of countries. It is a very cost-effective way of having your own biological child without much complication. Although in some countries, it is banned altogether, due to concerns about exploitation of surrogate mothers. And when it comes to international surrogacy, the surrogate mother is geographically far away from the intended parents. This makes it important for them to choose the right surrogate mother for their child. Hence, we will list the 5 most important tips and steps to choose an international surrogate.
International surrogacy involves different laws, travelling to a foreign country, and finding surrogates in an unknown land. Therefore, it is better to go with a surrogacy agency since they have the means and resources to help you with the entire process of surrogacy in another country.
Here are 5 important tips to choose an international surrogate:
Finding a good agency: When going for international surrogacy with an agency, finding a reliable agency becomes one of the most crucial steps. Before selecting an agency, you should ask several questions, which include:
- How long have they been in business?
- How many international surrogacies have they successfully carried out?
- What are their overall costs compared to other agencies?
- Are they in compliance with all the laws in the home country as well as the surrogate country?
- What is their screening process for surrogate mothers?
Surro Moms Abroad fits all the necessary criteria and their staff is happy to answer all your questions and queries.
Screening process: After you’ve signed up with an agency you think would be reliable and successful, they will require that you complete pre-screening to ensure that you are physically and mentally prepared for going through the process of having a child through surrogacy. Similarly, the surrogate mother candidates go through a thorough screening process. The agencies run a background criminal and social history screening, amongst other health and lifestyle tests.
- Physical health – Make sure if the surrogate is in perfectly good health and does not have any genetic or chronic diseases. The surrogate must be able to demonstrate that she lives a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and personal wellness habits. These traits are imperative during pregnancy. She must also live in a well-maintained house.
- Healthy body weight – The surrogate must maintain a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index). Overweight women are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes, which can be a risk to the pregnancy.
- Age – Generally, the minimum acceptable age for a woman to become a surrogate is 21, in order to have the emotional stability to become a surrogate. The maximum age differs from clinic to clinic, but as a general rule of thumb, you should go with women up to the age of 35.
- Mental health – The surrogate mother candidate should go through a psychological review to ensure that she is emotionally stable enough to fulfill the requirements of a surrogate. A surrogate mother must be able to care for the growing baby responsibly throughout the pregnancy, and then she must relinquish her parental rights when the baby is delivered.
- Legal history – Make sure that the surrogate does not have any criminal record. This ensures that there would be no legal hindrances in the surrogacy process.
- Drug use – Make sure that the surrogate does not intake drugs of any kind. Moderate alcohol use is fine otherwise, but not during pregnancy. Heavy drinking should be a reason for exclusion. Moreover, the surrogate can’t smoke while carrying the baby. She should also agree to regular drug screenings throughout the pregnancy.
Create a Surrogacy Plan: Once the screening process is done, a specialist will work with you to create a plan for your surrogacy process, specifying what you are looking for in a surrogate mother. This will include things like:
- Your budget for the entire process
- Your desire for contact and involvement with the surrogate
- A surrogate’s location
- Whether a woman has been a surrogate before
- A surrogate’s opinions on selective reduction, abortion on the recommendation of a physician.
Create an Intended Parent Profile: They will help make your intended parents profile, which is essentially an introduction to who you are and what your goals are for your surrogacy. They will then present this profile to surrogates who match your preferences to see if they are interested in getting to know you better for a potential match. Likewise, they will show you the potential surrogates’ profiles for you to see and select the ones based on your goals and requirements.
Selecting a surrogate: The final step is to select a surrogate based on your goals and requirements. Look for the following things while making a decision:
- Look for a surrogate who has already given birth to at least one child of her own, and is actively raising that child. This is recommended by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine because a woman who has given birth is better able to make an informed decision about the process while understanding the difficulties of pregnancy and labor and the emotional issues that come with the birth of a baby.
- Look for a surrogate who is physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.
- Interview several candidates before choosing one. You shall ask questions like:
- Why do you want to be a surrogate?
- Do you want to maintain contact after the birth, and if so, what do you hope that looks like?
- If there were complications with the fetus and the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy, how would you feel about that? Would you be OK with it if that was our choice?
Based on all aspects, you shall finally make an informed decision and finalize a surrogacy contract. Your agency would help you make the contract with their lawyers. Surro Moms Abroad is one such agency that specializes in international surrogacy. For more tips on how to choose an international surrogate through our surrogacy programs, give us a call on +1 (303) 722-0066.