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             The Best Advice for Those Considering Surrogacy

Surrogacy is an increasingly important choice for those struggling to have a family. Is this a reproductive option that should be part of your life? shares some pointers for navigating the ins and outs of surrogacy, and how this life-changing choice could apply to you.

What is Surrogacy?

Surrogacy is a reproductive method designed to help families struggling to begin or grow a family. There are two general types of surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother typically donates the egg and receives the sperm of the father. In this case, she is the biological mother of the baby. In gestational surrogacy, the woman carrying the baby either receives an embryo, or she receives a donated egg which is then fertilized. In this case, the baby may or may not be biologically related to both parents.

How Do People Become Egg Donors?

Egg donors are carefully screened to ensure the best possible experience for everyone involved. For instance, they must meet certain age restrictions and have some postsecondary education. Egg donors are also required to meet particular health criteria. Their family history can have no more than one occurrence of the same cancer unless that cancer is non-genetic. Donors also must be within certain body mass index limitations. Donating an egg can be a fulfilling and unique way to contribute to the lives of others, and donors can be known, semi-known, or anonymous.

Becoming a Surrogate

There are two general categories of surrogates, compensated and compassionate. Compassionate surrogates are sometimes referred to as altruistic, although the term is considered by some to be outdated. Compassionate surrogates generally receive only minimal reimbursement of their expenses, while compensated surrogates receive other funds and incentives. Some states restrict whether a surrogate can be compensated, and some states restrict who the intended parents can be. This chart reflects what various states allow.

It may be worthwhile for the parents to arrange for the surrogate to move closer during pregnancy. This arrangement could entail paying for an apartment or home rental, which ensures that all parties are near each other and near physicians’ offices. Those living in or near Alexandria have their pick of nearly 580 available rental units, most of them conveniently located near parks and grocery and retail shopping.

Regardless of the financial arrangement, as Elle notes, women who become surrogates do so for many reasons. Some women love being pregnant and find satisfaction in connecting life from their bodies with another family. Some find joy in helping others realize their dreams.

Who are the intended parents?

Surrogacy is a viable option for a wide variety of circumstances. Some research indicates the majority of intended parents are heterosexual couples. However, gay couples and singles are choosing surrogacy with increasing frequency. There are no race restrictions, and people often carry babies for parents from other ethnic backgrounds.

As The Chicago Tribune explains, one of the advantages of surrogacy is those who are single or in a same-sex relationship can fulfill their desire for biological children through the unique experience of surrogacy. Single or gay men choosing surrogacy need both an egg donor and surrogate, and those circumstances are increasingly common.

Although different situations drive people toward considering surrogacy, it can be an immensely rewarding experience for everyone involved. Many people worry about connecting in person. However, research indicates a favorable experience for all parties when intended families and surrogates or donors elect to interact, both during and after pregnancy. Sometimes the bond is strong and the relationship becomes long-term, although there is no requirement in that regard.

Preparations for Your Baby

Once you’ve made the decision to have a child, it’s time to start preparing for their arrival. Baby proof your home by securing heaving objects, adding guards to outlets, removing blinds with looped cords, and storing dangerous cleaners and chemicals. Purchase a high-quality rear-facing car seat and a sturdy crib, and always paint your baby’s nursery at least eight weeks ahead of time so your baby won’t inhale any fumes.

Your baby’s first few months can be a stressful time, so find ways to care for yourself as well. For example, you can create a meditation space in your home or start a regular yoga practice. Find relaxing and comfortable clothing to wear around the house such as loose-fitting leggings and T-shirts.

Surrogacy is an opportunity to see the dream of parenthood become reality. For those wishing to add to their family, or who would love to help someone else fulfill that desire, it’s a unique and satisfying experience. Weigh the opportunities of surrogacy, and how it could change your life for the better.



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