Parenting

Before, During, and After: The Process of a Surrogate Pregnancy

For many people, becoming a parent is a lifelong dream. When there is an obstacle to something that has the potential to be so fulfilling, the yearning doesn’t automatically go away. Plenty of would-be parents confront unexpected struggles in their journey to becoming a larger family. One of the options available to these people is surrogacy. This process opens the door to parenthood for so many people who would otherwise have great difficulty achieving their dream of raising children.

Choosing a Surrogate Pregnancy

For parents looking at their options to expand their family, surrogacy might not be the first one to jump out. The decision usually follows a diagnosis that impacts fertility or the intended parents being in a same-sex relationship. Some people look into surrogacy when hoping to start a family without a partner, as it can be the best way to fulfill their desire for parenthood. Regardless of the specific circumstances, anyone considering a surrogate should take time to weigh up all the factors before coming to a decision.

Finding the Right Surrogate

Parents either contact a surrogate independently or reach out to an agency. Surrogates sign up to agencies so they can easily be matched with intended parents. The relationship between parents and surrogates is an unusual one and so requires particularly open communication. There needs to be a solid foundation of trust in order to proceed since the emotional, medical, and legal complexities have the potential to cause future friction.

Who Can Become a Surrogate?

Potential surrogates must meet specific criteria if they want to help others achieve their dream of parenthood. It’s important to know what the surrogate requirements are before registering to save time and avoid disappointment. For anyone curious about becoming a surrogate, you must be within a certain age range and in good health, both physical and mental. You must also have given birth before and experienced an uncomplicated, healthy pregnancy.

What Does Becoming a Surrogate Entail?

It’s a huge commitment to become pregnant on someone else’s behalf. Pregnancy is one of the most drastic changes the human body can experience and going through it for forty weeks requires dedication and certainty. On top of this, giving birth is often reported to be one of the most painful experiences, meaning that surrogates must be prepared to endure delivery when the baby is due. In general, surrogates are compensated for their medical expenses and lost income, although this varies depending on location. A surrogate is expected to maintain excellent physical health throughout the pregnancy to ensure that the parents’ baby is protected and nourished.

Preparing for Pregnancy

To begin the medical process of a surrogate pregnancy, there are several preliminary treatments. The surrogate will receive hormonal treatments to adjust their menstrual cycle, so the doctors have more control over the process from the start. This may also involve the intended mother or egg donor receiving similar treatment so her eggs can be retrieved at the best time for implantation.

Medical Checks

Just as a traditional pregnancy requires plenty of medical supervision, a surrogate pregnancy is closely watched to keep the baby and the surrogate healthy and safe. Ultrasounds help to monitor the growth stages of the baby and check for signs of possible problems so they can be quickly addressed. In some cases, tests such as amniocentesis are performed to gather more detailed information about the baby’s health. This can assess whether or not the baby will have certain medical conditions that the surrogate and intended parents must know about.

Parental Involvement

The more the intended parents are able to involve themselves throughout the surrogate’s pregnancy, the closer they will feel to the whole process. One of the biggest challenges of surrogacy is the potential for resentment or distance occurring between any of the parties, as this can impact the parent-child relationship. When intended parents actively engage with the surrogate’s pregnancy, they will begin to bond with their unborn baby in a similar way to a traditional pregnancy. Of course, this all depends on the individuals and their preferences. The key is to outline expectations from the start so that there is no confusion or intrusion.

Delivering the Baby

Birthing plans for traditional pregnancies involve details about location, methods, and potential issues. In surrogate pregnancies, these same concerns are present, as well as planning for the intended parents and their involvement. A balance must be found where both the surrogate and the parents are happy with their roles. Since she will be enduring the delivery, the surrogate’s safety and comfort are the priority. A decision must be agreed beforehand whether or not the intended parents will be present for every stage of the delivery.

Legal Rights

Attempting to enter into a surrogacy without proper arrangements can quickly lead to painful complications. To avoid this, make sure that everyone involved agrees to the same terms. Think about financial responsibilities, custody, access rights, and other important details when discussing your legal agreement. Don’t let any ambiguity get in the way of a smooth and communicative surrogacy.

Coping with Complex Emotions

You won’t be able to predict exactly how you will feel on the day of the baby’s birth. Whether as a parent or a surrogate, the birth will be filled with an array of emotions such as relief, joy, gratitude, and anxiety. This is normal for any type of pregnancy. When everyone is supportive and respectful of each other, even difficult emotions can be dealt with kindly.

Apart from the medical miracle that is surrogate pregnancy, the whole process can be unexpectedly complex and hugely rewarding for everyone involved. There are rigorous medical and psychological checks to ensure that both surrogates and intended parents are primed for the full process. To improve the chances of everything going smoothly, it is best to understand each stage of surrogacy before making a firm decision. Once you know that it will be the best choice for you, it can be an amazing way to either grow your family or help someone else grow theirs.

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