***This was originally posted on Facebook but I wanted to repost it here.***
Several months ago my husband and I tossed around the idea of me becoming a surrogate. I didn't think I was serious about it so I put it on the back burner but it was never out of my mind. I was really worried about becoming emotionally attached and how I would handle giving a child up. I read stories from other surrogates, talked with some one on one and finally realized that I was just trying to talk myself into it. I realized that I really did want to do it. My husband and I talked through every issue that we could think of. Ultimately, we both felt that this was the right path for me and he supports me 100%.
What I've learned since beginning this journey is that surrogacy is not regulated at all. The process is not black and white. There are no clear cut procedures. Surrogacy is very much like dating. You meet people to get a feel for them, build a relationship and define the rules as you go. There is joy and love but there is also a lot of heartbreak.
There are two types of surrogates. Traditional and gestational. Traditional surrogates provide the egg and carry the baby. The child is genetically related to the surrogate. Gestational surrogates only provide the womb. The embryo(s) are implanted into the surrogate and are not genetically related to the surrogate. I chose to be a gestational surrogate. I think I would have a harder time emotionally if I were a traditional surrogate. Its a very personal choice for the surrogate and one that she must be 100% comfortable with.
The next issue is to go through an agency or to seek a match on your own. I thought that going through an agency would provide some measure of protection. It seems that an agency's primary job is to match intended parents and surrogates. While I'm sure there are some really great agencies out there that provide more support to their clients, I haven't found one that gets raving reviews. At best, they receive mixed reviews. After the IPs (intended parents) and surrogates are matched, it is up to them to draw up contracts and work out the details. I chose to do it on my own. There are a lot of forums that provide the same services although it is more work on the IPs and surrogates. I like to have some control over it so this works out better for me. There are SO many scams out there though. Wow. I had no idea that there were so many people that prey on IPs and surrogates. If you do choose to go down this path, PLEASE be careful who you choose as your match and do some careful background checks. Take your time and don't rush into anything!
Currently, I'm still in the process of finding a match. I have interviewed several couples and have a few more interviews coming up. Finding the right match can be difficult. Not only do you have to be compatible, but everything has to fall into place too. Fees, medical coverage, distance, timing. I'm still waiting to find my perfect match. I have met some wonderful couples already but there have been details that just didn't work out. I'm confident that there is someone out there that is right for me though.
If you are interested in surrogacy, have been a surrogate, or are a surrogate's partner, we do have a closed discussion group. If you'd like an invite, please just let me know.