Can You be Declined from Being a Gestational Surrogate?

June 14th, 2013

For many women, becoming a surrogate is a dream come true. Many surrogates have expressed that although their family was complete, they missed being pregnant and wanted the opportunity to give another family the gift of a child; these feelings are not uncommon. While becoming a surrogate is an extremely rewarding journey, it is also one that requires many important standards to be met in order to proceed. Of course the most important qualification is the decision that becoming a surrogate mother is the right path; however, some potential surrogates do find themselves in the position of being declined the opportunity to become a surrogate. Although specific prerequisites vary from agency to agency, standard requirements include:

  • Physical health. Any woman considering becoming a surrogate must be between the ages of 21 and 45 and be in overall good health with a BMI under 30. She must be a non-smoker living in a smoke-free environment and free of any sexual diseases or infections. A full physical exam is required.
  • Previous births. To become a surrogate, a woman must have given birth to at least one child she is raising. She cannot have had more than two C-sections and have never experienced any serious medical problems during pregnancy or delivery. She must be cleared by her OB, able to provide delivery records, and have had no pre-term deliveries before 36 weeks.
  • Personal life. Intended surrogates must submit to a psychological evaluation. The woman must have full emotional support from her spouse or partner and in certain situations, the spouse or partner may be required to undergo psychological evaluation as well. The intended surrogate must be willing to have a criminal background check completed, must not be receiving government assistance, and must be willing to attend counseling sessions throughout the surrogacy if recommended.

Although these qualifications are standard, women can be declined from becoming a surrogate for various other reasons depending on their surrogacy agency of choice or preferences of the intended parents. The best way to determine if surrogacy is truly the right path for you is to work closely with your surrogacy agency that can explain the requirements in full detail, match you with intended parents who will be a good fit, and if necessary, help you determine an alternative to surrogacy as a way to give back. If you are interested in becoming a surrogate or simply learning more about surrogacy options, contact us today at Surrogate Solutions!

Gestational Diabetes and Surrogacy: What This Means For You

March 29th, 2013

Just like traditional pregnancies, surrogate pregnancies run the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood sugar or glucose levels that happen for the first time when a woman is pregnant and goes away after the baby is born. Almost all women have some degree of impaired glucose intolerance as a result of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy; gestational diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to counteract these pregnancy hormones that increase blood sugar levels. Approximately 4% of pregnant women will develop gestational diabetes and run the risk of the baby becoming too big.

Typical symptoms of gestational diabetes include increased thirst, increased urination, and blurred vision; however, many women won’t experience any symptoms at all. Most women will be tested to check for gestational diabetes during their second trimester, but women at higher risk for developing gestational diabetes may be tested sooner. Most cases of gestational diabetes can be controlled with a high fiber diet that is low in sugars. Some women experiencing gestational diabetes may need to take daily insulin injections or a prescription drug called glyburide, which is safe during pregnancy. While gestational diabetes usually disappears after the baby’s delivery, approximately half of all women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Although gestational diabetes will be viewed as a complication in pregnancy history, it does not mean you will be automatically disqualified from becoming a surrogate. Each case is unique and every agency and clinic may have a different policy they follow. If you have had gestational diabetes, it is always a great idea to have your OB/GYN or primary care physician write a letter releasing you to have another pregnancy.

While it is a common complication, you can reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight throughout pregnancy, eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet, and exercising regularly. Surrogate Solutions is always available to answer questions and discuss opportunities with anyone interested in learning more about surrogacy. If you have a history of gestational diabetes and are looking for additional information on what this means for you as a surrogate, contact the experts at Surrogate Solutions today!

Texas Surrogate Shares Her Story

November 12th, 2012

Making the decision to become a Surrogate is the first step of a rewarding journey. For Melissa, her path to becoming a Surrogate began when she became pregnant with her first son and then turned into a reality after her second son was born. Feeling the joy of motherhood made Melissa think about all the people who could not have children of their own, and she wanted to help them experience the joy she felt, too.

During a doctor’s visit, Melissa mentioned her interest in surrogacy. Her doctor responded warmly, telling Melissa that she would not only be a wonderful Surrogate, but she even happened to know a couple looking for one. Since an agency was not involved, the couple’s doctor contacted Melissa to set up an initial meeting. Although both parties hit it off and the process began, Melissa did not get pregnant. The Intended Parents learned they would need to use an egg donor to proceed, something they were not comfortable with, and so they parted ways. However, Melissa’s surrogacy journey was far from over.

Soon after her first attempt, Melissa contacted her lawyer for help finding surrogacy assistance. During her first journey, Melissa felt unable to speak openly with the IPs because she didn’t want to burden them more, but did not want to go through feeling alone again. Her lawyer put her in contact with Gayle from Surrogate Solutions, and Melissa was soon matched with a couple. This time, she had an advocate by her side every step of the way.

Melissa’s second journey was a double success – at 35 weeks, she delivered twins! Melissa still hears from the twins’ parents on occasion and receives photos showing her how happy and healthy both of the babies she carried are today.

Melissa’s surrogacy journey did not end there; seven months later, she was matched with another couple and is currently 10 weeks pregnant with their baby. According to Melissa,

“Being a surrogate is the second most rewarding thing I have done so far in my life – second only to being a wife and mother of course!”

Each surrogacy journey is unique and will have its own sets of joys and challenges. For Melissa, her greatest challenge to overcome was communication. Although all of the couples Melissa has worked with have been thankful to her, each had a different level of involvement. While her current IPs attend every doctor appointment and check in on her frequently, her previous IPs lived out of state and were unable to attend any appointments until the delivery, so Gayle stepped in and accompanied Melissa to her most important doctor visit, the anatomy scan.

The relationship between you and your IPs is very important and should be discussed in depth with the help of the agency, who will be there every step of the way. As Melissa puts it,

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  No one is going to chastise you for asking questions.  Ask your agency, ask your lawyer, ask your IPs, or find a supportive group on the internet.  Most likely, your IPs will be just as confused with the process as you are!  You are never alone – many women are going through exactly what you are!”

Your agency exists to help you through every step of your journey. Their job is to be an accessible advocate for you, clear up any confusion between parties, and make the dream of having a child a reality. If you are interested in learning more about surrogacy, do not hesitate to contact Surrogate Solutions today!