Women who are considering surrogacy in Pennsylvania often have many questions before they commit to this life-changing process. While it’s important to learn about the legal and medical process involved, surrogate compensation and more, another question is equally as important: What does being a surrogate entail, and what is it really like to be a surrogate in Pennsylvania?
There are typically two facets to what surrogate mothers go through during the surrogacy process: the physical process and the emotional process. Both are critically important, because how surrogacy mothers are affected during the surrogacy journey can be a deciding factor for women considering this path.
The surrogacy professionals at Bierly & Rabuck can explain in more detail what the physical surrogacy process may look like for you, personally. However, because each surrogate will have a unique emotional journey during her surrogate pregnancy, every woman should also consider the emotional requirements of surrogacy, as well.
Here are some things you may expect, both physically and emotionally, if you choose to become a surrogate in Pennsylvania.
What Does a Surrogate Mother Do, and What Does Being a Surrogate Mother Entail in PA?
There are many aspects to being a surrogate in Pennsylvania, and the professionals at Bierly & Rabuck will guide every prospective surrogate through this process. From the beginning, prospective surrogates will understand what is required of them at every step in the process.
Each surrogacy process is unique but, in general, the expectations for what surrogate mothers go through during this journey can include:
- Screening to assess readiness: Before a woman can become a surrogate, she must prove she is mentally, physically and emotionally ready for the challenges and rewards ahead of her. All surrogacy professionals, including those at Bierly & Rabuck, thoroughly screen prospective surrogates with background checks, psychological evaluations and more. This will also include medical screening once you are matched with intended parents.
- Making important decisions: Surrogacy is a partnership and, just like intended parents, prospective surrogates will need to make decisions along the way to create the best surrogacy journey for them. This will often include determining compensation requirements, the types of intended parents you are comfortable working with, your feelings about termination and selective reduction, and more. Surrogacy specialists can play a role in these decisions, but prospective surrogates should consider what’s important to them as early in the process as possible.
- Building relationships: As a surrogate, you will work closely with your intended parents throughout the surrogacy process. Therefore, you’ll need to prepare for investing the time and energy into building a positive relationship. For many surrogates and intended parents, these relationships naturally grow into greater friendships that last beyond the birth of the baby. There will also be set contact responsibilities for each party based on the legal contract.
- Taking fertility medications and undergoing the embryo transfer: Many medical procedures are involved in a surrogate pregnancy, and a fertility clinic will always explain what’s involved ahead of time. As a surrogate in Pennsylvania, expect to commit to taking certain injections and oral tablets to regulate your hormones. You may have to travel for the embryo transfer procedure (but any travel costs will be covered by the intended parents).
- Staying organized and attending important appointments: Being a surrogate requires a great deal of organization throughout the entire process. You will need to attend many doctors’ appointments and be responsible for updating the intended parents with important information throughout your pregnancy.
- Experiencing pregnancy and delivery: Perhaps the most obvious responsibility of being a surrogate is carrying the intended parents’ baby. Your pregnancy may be no different from a traditional pregnancy after the embryo transfer is complete, which means you may experience all the side effects and risks any pregnancy brings. Your surrogacy professional will coordinate with you, the intended parents and the hospital to create a delivery plan.
How Does it Feel to Be a Surrogate Mother?
While the physical responsibilities of a surrogate are important to understand beforehand, prospective surrogates should also consider the emotional complications that a surrogacy journey may bring them.
One of the biggest questions people seem to have about surrogacy is, “Do surrogate mothers get attached to the child they’re carrying?” Not all prospective surrogates may ask this question specifically, but many do ask, “How does it feel to be a surrogate mother?”
Most surrogates choose this path because they have an emotional desire to help create another family. They are aware of the emotions they may experience in a typical pregnancy, but they also enter this process with no intention of having and raising another child. Surrogates are satisfied with “babysitting” the intended parents’ child until they are developed enough to “go home,” in a sense, and have no desire at all to keep the baby they carry. Instead, they often feel a greater connection to the intended parents and look forward to when they can meet their baby.
That’s not to say there aren’t any emotional challenges to surrogacy. Surrogates should consider the requirements of the surrogacy process and consider how this commitment may affect their spouse, family, work and personal life. Pregnancy hormones can also affect how surrogates feel during their surrogacy journey, and there is still a risk for post-partum depression as a surrogate.
Overall, the women who choose to be surrogates in Pennsylvania will have their lives positively changed by their experience. Prospective surrogates should contact Bierly & Rabuck or surrogate support groups to find out more about how surrogacy mothers are affected by their experience to determine whether it’s the right fit for them.
To learn more about surrogacy in Pennsylvania today, please call Bierly & Rabuck at 814-237-7900.