Searching for someone to help you build your family is never easy no matter what you read in the magazines or online. Because of the long list of requirements and qualifications, even the most warm hearted and kind women can be rejected for seemingly the simplest reasons. This makes it very difficult to find the right surrogacy candidates even for agencies. Think of it this way: First, the age group of 21-38 (sometimes through 40 depending), then only those who have had an uncomplicated pregnancy and birth are considered. Out of that group, healthy weight and lifestyle (BMI below 30, nonsmokers or drinkers, no STD’s or medical issues such as depression etc.) will continue on. The field is narrowed even further with only those women who are not on state or federal assistance and have their own transportation.
Now, if the woman you are looking for has passed all of these hurdles she still needs to pass a psychological and medical evaluation. More importantly she has to WANT to be a surrogate. Most women do not. They are raising their own families and/or have a career to consider. Or they hated being pregnant. These women may not have husbands or partners who would be supportive of the whole idea of surrogacy. Even if a woman wanted to be a surrogate and met every requirement listed above, if she lives in a state that criminalizes surrogacy, you are both out of luck.
On top of all of these guidelines, requirements, stipulations and so on….there are the “wish lists”. Intended Parents may want a woman who lives locally to them or at least in the same surrogacy friendly state, they may want someone who is of the same religion or race, or they may want someone who will follow a certain diet like vegan or vegetarian for example. They may want a “stay at home mom” or someone without very young children. How about a woman who has her own insurance that allows surrogacy arrangements? And what about her base fee? Low compensation in order to save money? Or maybe money isn’t a issue and the IPs are wanting someone who has been a surrogate before. Not just an experienced surrogate but a successful surrogate. Oh! And someone who would be willing to carry twins! The list can grow very long.
Let’s not forget the surrogate’s side of things. She has her own ideas on who she carries a baby for. She may want a couple who are gay….or not. She might consider carrying for someone who is single or International. She will want her husband or partner to like the Intended Parents too. She might want someone who will allow her to keep in touch after the birth, pump breast milk, or she has visions of lifelong friendship. Maybe she has plans for the money she will make as a surrogate so she is asking for top compensation for her services. She might sign on with an agency or feel like she can “go independent” with no representation. The surrogate’s list can be very long too!
Now I know I haven’t listed all possibilities but this post is just to highlight why finding a surrogate mother, gestational carrier is anything but easy. However, don’t give up hope! Keep your wish list short and your expectations reasonable. You can hire an agency to help you but know that it’s not usual for you to find a match in a week or even a month. These things take time and patience. Surrogacy is not for the faint hearted but for those who persevere.