Is it possible to become a surrogate if one is a single mother?
A woman’s marital status does not disqualify her from applying to become a surrogate.
If you are a single mother who has been toying with the idea of surrogacy but wondered if being a solo-parent would lead to discrimination you can rest assured now.
Surrogacy agencies are not as concerned with your marital status as they are with the fact that you are a responsible person with a solid support system to help you weather the surrogacy journey.
If this is you, here are the steps on how to become a surrogate mother.
1. How To Become A Surrogate
The first step to becoming a surrogate is doing some research. The more you know about the process, the better your decision-making. Surrogacy specialists such as those at Joy of Life Surrogacy are always ready to talk to you and answer any questions you may have.
You will discover in your reading that there are two types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational.
Traditional surrogacy is less common today as it is more complex legally. It involves the artificial insemination of donor sperm or intended father sperm into the surrogate’s uterus to fertilize her egg. This means the surrogate is genetically related to the baby she is carrying and becomes both the child’s birth and biological mother.
Gestational surrogacy is the preferred version as the surrogate has no genetic link to the child. An embryo is created using the intended parents’ oocyte (egg) and sperm or donated gametes (sex cells) via in vitro fertilization (IVF) and then transferred to the gestational carrier’s womb.
Surrogacy can be commercial or altruistic. It is defined as commercial when the surrogate receives financial compensation for carrying the child. It is altruistic when she is not reimbursed except for the medical costs incurred with the pregnancy. Most surrogacies today are of a commercial nature.
Armed with this information, the next step is finding a suitable surrogacy agency to work with. Here the hopeful surrogate is screened and ultimately matched with intended parents with the same surrogacy goals.
From here, legal contracts are drawn up and signed and the medical procedures to prepare the surrogate for pregnancy can begin.
2. Single Mothers Have An Advantage
Single mothers have a unique advantage in that they already know how to handle and juggle multiple responsibilities.
Such women make good surrogates because they already know their limits, what they can manage, and where they need assistance.
There is nothing preventing a single mother with an established network from pursuing surrogacy.
3. Explaining Surrogacy To Your Child
When considering how to become a surrogate as a single mother, a key aspect to think about is how you intend to explain surrogacy to your child.
The best way to approach this is to simply be honest with your child or children about surrogacy.
Depending on their ages, you can explain the science behind the process or find creative ways to help them process the information you are presenting.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources and surrogate support groups your surrogacy agency can refer you to where you will find women ready to share their own journeys and best practices concerning how to explain surrogacy to your child.
4. Build A Strong Support System
Surrogacy agencies require all surrogates regardless of marital status to have a solid, strong support system in order to proceed with surrogacy.
Surrogacy is a taxing, emotionally exhaustive, and trying process hence the need for a good community that will stand with you throughout your journey.
The average surrogacy journey can last anywhere from one year to two years.
Single mothers because of their situation often already have this rich network of friends and family to depend on. So this is typically something they can tick off easily from the list of requirements.
5. Why Wait If You’re Just Separated
If you consider yourself a single mother, you might say but, “I’m separated, why wait, can’t I just be a surrogate?”
In order to start your surrogacy journey and for legal reasons, a marriage should lawfully be over.
Additionally, commencing your surrogacy journey from a settled position in life tends to yield better results. This is why agencies need to know the exact nature of your singlehood.
Are you officially or unofficially ‘separated’? Are you recently divorced?
If your status hasn’t been officially recognized legally this can complicate matters slightly. Even with signed divorce papers, agencies prefer for you to wait a few months before beginning your surrogacy process.
It is for your own good to wait for a little while until things have settled down a bit.
6. Ensure You’re Ready For The Extra Stress
There can be no doubt that pregnancy brings with it additional stress!
From the hormone treatments a surrogate will receive to dealing with the questions that will undoubtedly come from society, it is vital to prepare for the extra stress that will come.
There will also be physical stresses such as nausea, swelling, fatigue, cold feet, and backache. Emotional stress triggered by thoughts of delivery and who will take care of your child if anything happens to you.
Figuring out a strategy for managing the various stresses ahead of time will prove beneficial.
7. Pick The Right Supportive Intended Parents
Fortunately, if you’re working with a reputable surrogacy agency such as Joy of Life Surrogacy, you don’t have to go through the arduous process of screening intended parents you would like to work with by yourself.
An agency will assist you in creating your surrogate profile and present you with the profiles of intended parents with similar surrogacy goals and plans.
In this way you can be assured of picking not only the right intended parents that you feel comfortable with, but indented parents who will provide you with the kind of support you would like to receive.
8. Work Through The Right Surrogacy Agency
Navigating surrogacy alone can be an uphill task. Many surrogates prefer to be guided by experienced professionals. That is why they choose to work through a surrogacy agency.
A surrogacy agency will provide legal, mental health, and general support. Having recourse to a trusted agency will lead to less stress for you as the surrogate.
Listening to the stories and testimonials of former surrogates who have worked with your chosen agency will give you peace of mind and assurance that you are in good hands.
9. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
Good health is advantageous to women considering surrogacy. Being in optimal health can make your pregnancy easier.
Doctors encourage women thinking of surrogacy to adopt a healthier way of life to increase the odds of a smoother pregnancy term.
A healthy lifestyle isn’t just good for the surrogate only but will prove beneficial to the baby she is carrying. Routine exercise can decrease post-partum depression, reduce potential complications during labor, and help to balance the hormonal changes a surrogate will potentially face.
Discuss your concerns with surrogacy specialists in California
If you would like to learn more about how to become a surrogate, feel free to contact our Joy of Life surrogacy agents today.