How Can I Become a Surrogate Mother

How Can I Become a Surrogate Mother

The number of couples who start looking at their surrogacy opportunities in Ukraine increases with every year due to more and more successful stories from other people who have already completed their journeys here. Ukraine has become quite a popular country for IVF and surrogacy journeys because of the high quality of the full set of services involved in such a program and the affordable prices at once. Due to this fact, a lot of women from Ukraine start questioning themselves if they would be a good fit as a surrogate and make a change to someone’s life.

How does the surrogacy process start?

Considering surrogacy motherhood is completely allowed on a legislative level in Ukraine, there are certain requirements which must be met by surrogate either from the legislative and the medical perspectives. Some of them are common, however, there are such created individually by every clinic or agency.

The general requirements at our agency are:

  1. The age from 20 to 35 years.
  2. The presence of a biological and healthy child.
  3. No more than 1 c-section during the previous pregnancies.
  4. The healthy index of body mass.
  5. No bad habits, such as smoking and drinking alcohol.
  6. No hereditary and chronic diseases.
  7. It is essential to have healthy habits.
  8. If a surrogate candidate is married, a notary certified consent from her official husband.

Women should first correspond to the above-mentioned criteria before proceeding with the medical screening. Please, note, that the range of initial questions may vary.

Medical requirements to surrogates

At Parens Fertility the positive medical evaluation result is in the number of important steps to confirming a woman as a surrogate. Therefore, the entire set of medical screenings needs to show that the woman is healthy, ready to get pregnant, carry the baby to term and to have a delivery.

The key objective of this screening is to ensure the woman’s possibility to easily get pregnant through IVF and to exclude or, at least, minimize risks of complications throughout the program. That is why every woman who is eager to become a surrogate needs to be prepared that the medical staff of the clinic has to do the full health check. The most common list of screening procedures includes:

  1. Fertility hormone tests (LH, FSH, E2, Prolactin).
  2. Thyroid function tests (TSH, T4, TPO antibodies, etc.).
  3. Screening for infections, PAP test.
  4. Different types of ultrasounds.
  5. Complete blood count, urine test, and blood chemistry test.
  6. Consultations of IVF specialist, endocrinologist, general practitioner, and psychotherapist.

This list is a must for any potential surrogate as determined by the law of Ukraine. In case of some serious deviations from the norm on some testing levels, woman cannot be accepted as a surrogate candidate. Judging from our experience, around 50% of all women who contact us with the desire to help other people cannot be accepted due to the medical reasons and issues which show up during the testing procedures. 

Surrogates-to-be should keep in mind that every clinic may add up to this list their own tests or screening procedures in case of necessity. COVID-19 test is relatively new but obligatory for each surrogate at Parens Fertility, it is done by PCR method. Before the beginning of the stimulation our surrogates are performing this test to be certain it is negative and they can start one of the most important pieces of the program. If result comes back positive, the lining preparation, and, eventually, the transfer, have to be postponed.

Legal requirements for surrogates

Giving attention to the legitimacy of surrogacy in Ukraine, every woman who makes up her mind to take part in a surrogacy program must remember the conditions. Among the most significant ones is a must to have one or more healthy babies of her own. She should also be in full health, and ready to get pregnant. Another important requirement is related to an embryo to be transferred - it mustn`t have any genetic link to the surrogate.

For a woman to actually begin the program in Ukraine, it’s required to sign a set of documents provided by the current law, including the contract. There are standard documents related to the application of medical procedures, such as consents for certain manipulations required for the completion of the program via IVF. On the whole, all three parties sign most of these documents - the medical institution, surrogate and biological parents.

Surrogacy contract is the paper signed in the presence of notary between the intended parents and their surrogate. It regulates your relationship during the surrogacy motherhood program and includes the rights and obligations of both parties. As a general rule, clinics and agencies hire attorneys to produce such a document. Surrogates at Parens Fertility can always get answers to their questions connected with the legal side of surrogacy because we have a cooperation with attorneys who specialize in the family law. This contract has to be thoroughly examined by both intended parents and their surrogate before its signing. Our surrogates receive the draft of this document some time before the appointment at the notary`s office and have enough time to review it carefully, ask questions, make remarks and offer any changes if they want to.

Around 65% of ladies who reach this decision and become surrogate in Ukraine are in a official relationship. They should take into account is that as stated in the law of Ukraine, the woman who is married must receive the permission from the husband. This document would confirm their mutual decision which won’t cause any conflict or misunderstanding inside the family during the preparation for the program or pregnancy. While recruiting surrogates Parens Fertility coordinators arrange the signing of this consent and check that this procedure is legally carried out. If you are not in an official relationship, no written confirmations are needed.

How to start

Firstly, you should be determined to become a surrogate for another couple. Please, be aware of the responsibility put on you during this program and be ready to accept it. It is clear that your life will change a lot during one year, you need to get used to it and to adapt. You should bear in mind that not only yours but your family’s life will change too - you are going to need some time to visit the clinic quite frequently, especially while preparing for IVF and during the first pregnancy trimester. This would require help and support from your closest ones. It is very important for any surrogate to have a loving, supportive and understanding atmosphere at home and to be certain that whatever happens they have someone they can count on.

You should come prepared to arrange your own life in a special way and to pay attention to have someone to babysit your child or children while you are away during your appointments to the clinic. It is also recommended to look for a clinic in a close proximity to your place of residence. It isn’t a necessary thing, but it would be much more comfortable to spend half an hour rather than several hours while getting to your appointment. Agencies will return your travel costs, however, you should think more about your comfort.

Another important point at the start is the selection of the agency and clinic you are going to cooperate with during the following year. This is a key choice for every woman which involves the absolute trust and full confidence in people who organize your program. There is only one way to check it and it is the initial consultation. You should feel these are the right people after the first talk. It is highly recommended to have meetings in several places to have enough information to compare and make a balanced choice.

Be prepared to ask anything you would like to know, they should be ready to answer all your inquiries connected with the preparation and the process. You have to see they are transparent and honest with what they are doing. You should also check whether they work legally and ask which couples they accept. Please, be aware that the program cannot be considered to be legal if intended parents need to use the surrogacy with donor oocytes and sperm or if they are not married.

You should also decide on the number of embryos you will agree to have for a transfer. Double transfer may sometimes result in a twin pregnancy which is often accompanied by more complications than pregnancy with one fetus only. This can be applied either to fresh transfers or to surrogacy with frozen embryo transfer. By making a decision in favour of double transfer you confirm that you are aware of all the risks and are ready to accept them. We do recommend having a conversation with the fertility doctor who will give you both advantages and disadvantages for you to choose rationally and knowledgeably.

Right after you select an agency, pass the evaluation, sign the documents and meet your intended parents, you will move to uterine lining preparation and embryo transfer.

Being a surrogate is an extraordinary experience which cannot be compared to anything. With the responsible people by your side, the time will fly by quickly and you will be able to become a part of the happiest event in another couple’s life. 

Be prepared to ask anything you would like to know, they should be ready to answer all your inquiries connected with the preparation and the process. You have to see they are transparent and honest with what they are doing. You should also check whether they work legally and ask which couples they accept. Please, be aware that the program cannot be considered to be legal if intended parents need to use the surrogacy with donor oocytes and sperm or if they are not married.

You should also decide on the number of embryos you will agree to have for a transfer. Double transfer may sometimes result in a twin pregnancy which is often accompanied by more complications than pregnancy with one fetus only. This can be applied either to fresh transfers or to surrogacy with frozen embryo transfer. By making a decision in favour of double transfer you confirm that you are aware of all the risks and are ready to accept them. We do recommend having a conversation with the fertility doctor who will give you both advantages and disadvantages for you to choose rationally and knowledgeably.

Right after you select an agency, pass the medical evaluation, sign the documents and meet your intended parents, you will move to the uterine lining preparation and embryo transfer.

Being a surrogate is an extraordinary experience which cannot be compared to anything. With the responsible people by your side, the time will fly by quickly and you will be able to become a part of the happiest event in another couple’s life.

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