Written by guest writer Janice Russell of Parentingdisasters.com
When you think about surrogate pregnancies, you may only think of this as an option for the wealthy. In reality, however, surrogacy is more commonplace than you think. This once rare method of assisted reproduction is rising in popularity, especially in the U.S. where more than 77,000 surrogate pregnancies were recorded in 2019 according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Even though surrogacy is indeed becoming more common, the mystery surrounding the process can be just as confusing as ever. If you’re curious about surrogacy and what to know more, Fit Dallas Mom outlines a few things to help.
Working With an Agency Makes Surrogacy Simpler
Before you get into the details of surrogacy, you need to know that actually being involved in the process can be complicated. For that reason, you should consider working with an agency to get a better understanding of surrogacy steps and surrogacy costs.
Any reputable agency will be transparent and upfront about what is involved, for the intended parents or surrogate mother, and will be more than willing to provide this information in full. Working out details around cost can be especially helpful, since the expenses for average services are substantially different from those incurred by celebrities.
Finding a Surrogate Can Take Time for Intended Parents
Surrogacy can be a wonderful option for hopeful parents who are experiencing fertility issues. One of the first steps in this lengthy process is finding a surrogate mother. For many, a friend or family member may be the best option and may lessen expenses as well as potential emotional complications.
But even if a friend offers to be a surrogate, What To Expect suggests it’s still wise for both parties to work with an agency so that everyone involved is properly screened for health issues and emotional concerns that could lead to complications. Emotional assessments can be especially important since carrying someone else’s child can be a challenging experience for some surrogate mothers.
Figuring Out Which Form of Surrogacy to Use is Important
There are two forms of surrogacy: gestational and traditional. Gestational surrogacy, the more common of the two, is when a surrogate is implanted (via in vitro fertilization) with a fertilized egg from the intended mother or an egg donor, meaning the surrogate has no biological link to the embryo.
Traditional surrogacy is when a woman donates one of her own eggs as a surrogate; this is more complicated and less common due to the challenging legal nature of this scenario. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to enter this process with a clear understanding of the surrogacy laws in your state, and involving an attorney in this process will be beneficial for everyone.
Becoming a Surrogate Involves So Much More Than Payment
For women who wish to become surrogates, financial considerations may come into play. It’s common for surrogate mothers to be paid a fee for their services, in addition to having all medical costs covered by the intended parents. But finances should not be your sole reason for wanting to be a surrogate. Having a deep desire to help other parents enjoy the beauty of parenthood should be a part of this decision.
There are also risks to consider. Pregnancy can carry complications for even healthy women. Aside from temporary effects, like morning sickness and weight gain, pregnancy can also have additional long-term consequences for the health of surrogates.
One way to ease the physical discomfort of pregnancy for the surrogate — before the baby is delivered and after — is by wearing comfortable clothes with fabrics that stretch throughout the pregnancy. Kindred Bravely’s lounge dress, for example, also serves as a nightgown and has a nursing panel, making feeding the newborn easy and convenient. But perhaps more than the physical effects, you also need to be fully prepared for the emotions that are involved with carrying and caring for someone else’s child for so many months.
As more people look to become parents, there’s no doubt that surrogacy will increase in popularity. That’s why it’s helpful for people to educate themselves around the steps involved, whether they are interested in using the services, providing services or simply want to know more. Surrogacy can be a wonderful way to experience the miracle of life, just be sure to enter it with a clear understanding.
Photo credit: Pexels
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