When you are asked to serve as a surrogate mother for a family member, it is usually because your relative is unable to produce healthy eggs, or has a malformed or missing uterus. If you are asked to be a surrogate mother, follow many of the same steps as surrogate mothers who are hired by commercial surrogacy agencies, so your family can avoid future legal, financial and emotional problems.
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Read as many books on being a surrogate mother as possible to familiarize yourself with the process. While the majority of the books are written for surrogate mothers working for surrogacy agencies, they contain useful insights on how surrogacy works.
Make an appointment with your obstetrician or gynecologist. Get a thorough medical examination to ensure that you are currently able to bear a child. If you have never been pregnant, acquire books, DVDs and other materials on pregnancy.
Visit a therapist with your family member who has asked you to serve as a surrogate mother. Bring other involved family members to the meeting, such as your spouse or partner, and your family member's spouse or partner. Ask the therapist to help your family make sure that everyone present is comfortable with the proposed surrogacy arrangement.
Make an appointment with your family member's infertility treatment physician and find out exactly what procedures would be needed for you to carry her baby. You may be asked to carry one of her eggs that has been fertilized by her husband's sperm, or you may carry a baby resulting from the fertilization of one of your eggs.
Discuss with your family member the financial aspects of your surrogate pregnancy, including a budget for health insurance premiums, hospital costs, doctors' visits and other financial expenses. Create a draft surrogacy contract.
Review the laws about surrogacy in your state. Retain a lawyer, give the lawyer your draft surrogacy contract and authorize the lawyer to draw up a formal surrogacy contract. If your state law forbids surrogacy arrangements, your lawyer may be able to prepare the contract according to the laws of another state that is friendly to surrogacy.
Set up the appointments with the infertility specialist necessary to start your pregnancy. Get support from other surrogate mothers through in-person and online groups. Play recordings of your family member's voice and her spouse's voice daily, so that the unborn baby can hear its future parents. Keep in close touch with your family member as your due date approaches, so that she and her spouse can meet you at the hospital when your labor starts.