This post is in response to an anonymous comment/question left at my blog entry titled: Officially An Experienced Gestational Surrogate
The comment says …
"hey :) i live in Puerto Rico have a baby boy and would love to be a surrogate mother...how do i do that? my email is … "
As I told the poster, I would post my reply as a separate blog entry because it could help someone else with the same question.
So here is my answer …
First and foremost, you only have one child, and if I am not wrong you now have a profile at SurrogateMother (recently noticed this site does NOT exist anymore) and I can see you are 18, so before doing a surrogacy you have to be sure that in the event you lose your uterus from any sort of complications at birth, you would be ok with not being able to have any more children.
Going the Gestational Surrogacy route ensures it is a more mechanical/medical process for the surrogate, and maybe aid in her feeling less attached to the pregnancy in general. AND, it will ensure that if she changes her mind, she can be taken to court and the baby given to the rightful parents, since she is not the biological mother anyway.
Intended Parents SHOULD NOT give those 9/10 installments before an achieved pregnancy as this is frowned upon. Most surrogates will have added fees in place for procedures/doctor's visits before the embryo transfer, and that is ok. There is nothing wrong, for example, in asking for a "transfer fee" since after transfer you have to rest for 24 hours and that fee can help you pay for child care and take-out food for your family so you can concentrate on getting the rest required. Plus, it can pay for your gas and maybe for you to give something to the person who drives you to/from the RE on the day of the transfer, since you shouldn't drive yourself afterwards anyway.
Also, if your partner needs to take off from work, this can compensate for his missed wages. Many people think some surrogate fees are silly until you break it down for them like this. Then, it makes more sense to them. Many Intended Parents (IP's) are strapped financially because they have maybe already done IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) many times themselves, and they will question any and all of your fees, so you MUST be able to understand and explain why you ask for the things you do in your terms.
Explain to them you need to have for gas, tolls, parking, food on the road, child care, your time, etc.
Lupron is another drug used during IVF, it has to be administered daily in the abdomen. It’s most notable side effects are headache, hot flashes and mood swings. During this surrogacy I had to use it for 40+ days. So that in itself is food for thought!!! And I don’t mean to scare anyone. It’s just that the RE might not explain this to you, and when time starts passing, you might get impatient. I know it happened to me every time, and I still can’t believe I got through it! Going into this with some knowledge might help.
Many times you will also have to think about your Intended Parents (IP’s) and the struggles they have gone through trying to become parents, and compromise on terms because you really want to help them. It's just something that'll evolve over time for you. The outcome of your compromise can make you feel very proud afterwards. I know from experience.
After you give birth, you will sign a contract before leaving the hospital. You must not feel bad about this. Even though the IP’s will hopefully hold you in high regard for what you have done for them, they still have fears in place and their lawyer will advice them to do this to protect themselves. Then, the lawyer will start requesting the court hearing for the final relinquishment of custody and parental rights, as this is how this is done in P.R. At least for my first surrogacy, this whole process took 8 months before we finally went to court, and we only had to do that one hearing.
You can also read this previous post where I talk more about beginning a journey: