Surrogacy has become quite popular among couples who are unable to have a baby and even among same-sex couples. It is an excellent alternative to starting a family but requires a thorough understanding of several legal aspects as they might vary across jurisdictions.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term ‘surrogacy’, it refers to a process in which a baby is carried by a woman with the knowledge that he/she would not be her own. Women who are unable to have their own children may look for a surrogate. A doctor typically implants the woman’s eggs and the man’s sperms into the surrogate for the birth of the fetus. In other words, the surrogate is like an incubator for the couple’s future baby.
Here are 8 important things that you need to take note of when planning for surrogacy:
Finding a surrogate may take time
Not every woman can qualify to be a surrogate. In fact, most agencies have highly strict requirements for surrogates. For instance, the woman should have had at least one healthy pregnancy with an uncomplicated delivery. In addition to this, she would have to undergo various psychological and health screenings besides reporting financial stability.
Get information about your state’s surrogacy laws
Several people assume that the state surrogacy laws are one of the last things that they need to deal with. In reality, this is one of the most important matters in surrogacy. While some states have “surrogate-friendly” laws, such as California, others might have multiple restrictions that could interfere with the process. For instance, paid surrogacy is absolutely banned in some states. Therefore, some couples might think of finding a surrogate living in a different state, where the delivery can take place smoothly without any legal hassles.
Pick an IVF clinic as soon as possible
Selection of an IVF clinic is a key step in surrogacy planning. This is where all the parties involved, that is, the surrogacy agency, the surrogate, the parents, and the egg donor will come together. The IVF clinic will be able to analyze the case thoroughly and raise any red flags regarding the component parts. This will help address potential issues immediately.
Consider family or friends for surrogacy
Sometimes, it is a good idea to ask a relative or a friend to become your surrogate. While this could be controversial, it may help save a lot of money since surrogacy is quite an expensive procedure and involves a number of complicated legalities.
Don’t ignore the insurance aspect
It is important to understand everything about insurance when planning for surrogacy. You need to know if your surrogate has a personal insurance or if you need to get her coverage. The to-be parents might also like to think about whether their new-born baby will be covered under their insurance or a new-born coverage needs to be purchased.
No payment for surrogacy
The majority of the surrogacy arrangements globally are altruistic. This means that besides covering certain medical costs, the surrogate mother does not take any money for her womb services from the parents. But commercial surrogacy is also being commonly practiced worldwide, including various states in the U.S.
The matching process
Intended parents and potential surrogates are matched on the basis of various factors, like common beliefs. These could include selective termination of the plan of action in unexpected scenarios such as if the baby comes out with a birth defect.
You can be a part of the experience
Don’t hesitate to participate in as many doctor appointments as possible. This is a magical experience and something that you will cherish forever.