If you are considering looking into finding a gestational carrier to carry a child for you there are several issues that should be addressed upfront before you share any personal information. This will help address the main issues that may make or break your match without investing too much time and emotional energy on someone that just may not be the "one". It can be very exciting to connect with someone but remember to not rush, take a step back and consider getting these 6 main issues out in the open before moving on to the next step.
Here are the top 6 topics to address when first connecting with a potential surrogacy match:
- Has the potential surrogate had healthy, non-complicated, full-term pregnancies in the past? Ask for things like gestational diabetes, how many weeks her prior pregnancies went, pre-eclampsia, placenta previa, etc., or any other complications. Later, these should all be backed up by medical record review by your clinic.
- How many c-section births did she have? Many clinics do not approve surrogates with more than 2 or 3 prior c-sections so this is important to ask. Multiple c-sections can be risky for the surrogate and thus your baby.
- What are her beliefs about selective reductions (reducing multiples) or termination for genetic diseases such as downs syndrome? No one ever wants to be in the situation where a baby would get reduced or terminated but it's important to know whether or not you share the same beliefs and know these upfront.
- Is the surrogate willing to carry multiples or does she prefer a SET (single embryo transfer)? Many surrogates prefer to transfer only one embryo to reduce the change of multiples for the safety of the pregnancy. But many intended parents may opt to transfer more than one embryo to increase the chance a singleton.
- Does the surrogate live in a "surro-friendly" state? Some state it is illegal to do gestational surrogacy. Others are much more "friendly" such as Pennsylvania, Maryland, Colorado, Illinois, & Ohio. Some states it's ok for surrogacy if the parents are a heterosexual couple. Having a surrogate give birth in a surrogate friendly state where you can obtain a PBO (pre birth order) in advance is a huge plus!
- Does the surrogate have insurance with "no surrogacy exclusions" or will you have to purchase a separate health insurance policy? The later will add to the overall expense for the intended parents. Ask for a copy of her health insurance plan and review it with someone who can help you understand the policy.
Knowing where you and your partner stand on these issues will help make the surrogacy process an easier one from the get go. Remember to consult with legal and medical professionals in the field of assisted reproduction and or consider using an agency to help you navigate through this difficult path. There is a lot of due diligence involved but the hard work in the beginning should only pay off in the end.