Starting a family through surrogacy is an approach many people around the world take. However, whilst pursuing this avenue it is important to take into consideration four main areas. Gaining clarity around the legal, medical, emotional, and financial implications of this route is the best way to ensure this is the right option for you.
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As the legalities of surrogacy vary from country to country, it is important to understand the legal requirements and risks involved in the process in your geographical location and to work with a reputable lawyer who can guide you through the process.
Once you feel comfortable with your chosen baby surrogate, linking up with a fertility lawyer is the next step. Clarifying the process is a must when planning to have a child using a surrogate. Legal and family counselling and fertility services offer a range of guidance and services that can help you lay the foundations for surrogacy negotiations.
Remember to always get appropriate legal advice before entering into any arrangement.
As your surrogate is responsible for the healthy carrying and delivery of your child, it goes without saying that they should undergo a thorough medical evaluation to ensure that they are able to carry a pregnancy to term. These checks are also a way to consider any potential genetic risks that may be present.
These checks can be undertaken via a health screening at either the surrogate’s general practitioner, another medical advisor, sexual health clinic, or a fertility centre. Medical histories will be ascertained and a range of blood tests carried out.
Medical checks are also important to ensure the safety of the surrogate and can provide clarity around whether the intended parents carry any possible contractible illnesses which could endanger the surrogate.
Surrogacy can be an emotionally taxing process for all parties involved. You may choose to work with a therapist or counsellor who can help you navigate the emotional challenges that may arise.
This is obviously a personal choice, and it is important that when choosing a surrogate there is an ease and friendliness which would aid a smooth onward relationship moving forward. Meeting on your own terms, and creating space for all parties to get to know each other, is a good way to keep the process low-stress and establish firm bonds before taking things to the next stage.
Psychological health screenings can also be undertaken as a part of the above medical checks. An independent clinical psychologist will conduct an evaluation of the surrogate’s emotional and mental health and well-being.
From this perspective, it is useful for the prospective parents to check in with their therapist just to gain clarity around their own mental state, and of course to have support throughout the process.
Surrogacy can be a costly process, and it is important to understand and plan for the expenses involved. This includes legal fees, medical costs, and compensation for the surrogate.
The compensation referenced above relates to the expense payments the surrogate will receive throughout the process which will need to be covered. It is worth noting, however, that this amount may vary depending on the agreement you all come to in your negotiations.
Fertility treatment and IVF costs will also need to be covered. Again, your location will depend on what national or state funding there is to support you with this. Health screenings can also contain fees if you choose to have them undertaken at a private clinic. Any other professional services you utilise, such as agency or organisation fees, as well as legal costs will add to the total amount you need to invest.
Although these costs definitely need to be considered, if you have been looking into surrogacy for a while and have done your research, it will not be a surprise that it could be a costly process. It is also important to not be dissuaded by this. If surrogacy feels like the right approach for you, you feel comfortable with the prospective surrogate, and you are able to cover the financial outlay, then there is no reason not to continue onwards.
As there is a lot to consider, and many varying legal implications depending on the area where you are living, it is important to consider all factors before making a decision. It is also necessary to gain all the relevant information, liaise with the appropriate professionals, and ensure you and your surrogate are comfortable with everything before moving forward. Of course, ensuring you choose the right surrogacy professional that can guide and help you all through the process is key.