With the conversation around surrogacy becoming more open, more couples are having honest discussions about what might be their only option for having a baby. Surrogacy isn’t a very common procedure, but it can be a solution for women who cannot carry a pregnancy because it would kill them, or who don’t have a uterus and cannot carry a pregnancy.
When a couple determines that surrogacy is their best option, the dialogue around the procedure can quickly shift to worry. Opting for a surrogate can be overwhelming, confusing, and wrought with emotions, but at the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we want you to know it’s a viable option that doesn’t have to be stressful.
Here are five things you can stop worrying about when it comes to surrogacy.
The Health of the Surrogate
It’s very important when you choose your surrogate that they are motivated to be as healthy as possible during the pregnancy. When looking for someone to carry your baby, you always have two options: to ask someone you know or work with a surrogacy agency.
Regardless of who becomes your surrogate, they’ll be thoroughly screened for potential health risks that could be passed on to the baby. We typically conduct a personal interview and conduct several medical tests, so the surrogate’s mental and physical health are both considered.
The Health of the Baby
The health of the surrogate is so important to the process because she determines the health of the pregnancy and baby. Once pregnancy has been achieved, your baby will be as healthy—if not healthier—as if the pregnancy was conceived naturally. We can even perform several tests during the early stages to screen for Down syndrome and other potential chromosomal problems.
Not Being Connected to Your Child
If you’re worried that you won’t bond with your baby because you haven’t carried them in your own womb for nine months, you’re not alone. Many women have this fear, but truthfully, they all get over it.
It’s important to remember that the baby is yours. The DNA is half yours and half your partner’s. The surrogate is simply carrying the baby to term, and then you and your partner resume the role as parents as soon as the baby is born.
If you still find yourself struggling, there are a few things you can do to feel connected to baby before he or she is born.
- Become a part of the process. Go to as many appointments as possible with your surrogate, and keep communication open so you know how she’s doing as the pregnancy progresses.
- Turn to a support system when things get too difficult. Your partner is in this with you and likely shares some of the same concerns. There may even be surrogacy support groups in your neighborhood or city. Blogs from other mothers in your situation can also give you encouragement.
- Celebrate your baby as if you were carrying him or her yourself. Register for baby gifts and throw a baby shower; it will help you get excited for baby and connected to their upcoming birth.
The Cost of Surrogacy
The cost of surrogacy can vary widely depending on the route you take. Using a friend or family member as your surrogate can save you money, since that person is volunteering to carry the baby. When hiring a surrogate, the price is determined by the agency and can be quite expensive for some couples.
The good news is that regardless of the cost of a surrogate, at AZCREI, we keep all other costs of our fertility services affordable. Our team works with you to find the lowest priced medicine and hormones (needed for egg retrieval) possible.
Regardless of the how you find your surrogate, you want to put yourself in a situation where you can avoid any legal battles regarding custody. Because the laws around surrogacy can often be murky, a lawyer who specializes in reproductive law can help you properly navigate any paperwork or contracts you’d need. These attorneys can easily create a legal contract between you and your surrogate to keep relations smooth once baby is born. AZCREI does not provide legal advice – we encourage patients to seek legal advice on their own.
Ultimately, surrogacy can be a wonderful option for couples when other options have failed. It doesn’t have to be as stressful as you might think. To make an appointment and learn if a surrogate can help you, visit Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility online or call us at 520-326-0001.