Same sex male couples desiring to grow their family have a wonderful opportunity to do so via surrogacy. A surrogate or gestational carrier is a woman who carries the embryo, created via IVF, for a couple who cannot carry it themselves. Parents-to-be utilize surrogacy in situations when a pregnancy might be dangerous or for those women who don’t have a uterus. Obviously a single man or a same sex male couple need a gestational carrier for their child as well.
In the United States surrogacy isn’t legal in all 50 states, and the laws vary widely from state to state. In California we have some of the most surrogacy-friendly laws in the nation. Gestational Surrogacy is the term for a woman who carries a non-biological baby for another couple. This is the standard approach for surrogacy so for same sex male couples it’s necessary to choose an egg donor as well.
What to Look For in A Surrogate
Some same sex male couples already have a surrogate in mind. For those who choose a surrogate from an agency it can be stressful. Currently, there are no hard rules or regulations about who your surrogate can or can’t be. Of course you do want someone who is of sound mind and healthy body. Here are a few more tips surrogacy experts agree you employ when choosing your gestational surrogate.
- Your Surrogate’s Age: Choose a surrogate who is at least 21 and in her primary childbearing years and not over 45. This helps ensure the chances of a healthy pregnancy and delivery without complications.
- Your Surrogate is of Optimal Health: This is important so that your surrogate is cleared medically by your IVF doctor. Certain medical issues can complicate pregnancy.
- A Healthy BMI is Critical: A BMI between 19 and 32 is preferred. Doctors associate a BMI that’s too high with pregnancy complications like hypertension and preeclampsia and a too-low BMI increases the risk for preterm birth and low birth weight.
- Pregnancy, Labor and Delivery History: Your surrogate must have a previous pregnancy in order to offer proof that she is able to carry a baby safely to term. Doctors use previous pregnancy and delivery history to predict the outcome of a next pregnancy. A good history is very reassuring. If your intended surrogate had a previous cesarean, the doctor wouldn’t rule her out providing she recovered easily. The emotional aspect of previous pregnancies is also examined to ensure suitability.
- Location: It is much more sensible for your surrogate to live close by as you can journey through the pregnancy together. If not close by at least easily accessible for the parents-to-be. If your surrogate is in another state, it’s important to understand the surrogacy laws in that state. This ensures no complications regarding your full parental rights to your child once they are born. If your surrogate isn’t close to you and your partner take advantage of your frequent flyer miles or start racking some up. And you can always utilize technology to set up video get-togethers with your gestational surrogate.
- Relationship Status: As your surrogate is a mom already she very likely is in a relationship. Make sure her partner is completely on board with her decision. If she is a single parent, make sure she has friends and family members who support her and her decision to carry your child. Surrogacy is an interesting journey for her, and having supportive people in her life makes it a lot more enjoyable.
- Lifestyle: Of course you want your baby to have the healthiest start possible. To that end you want a surrogate who doesn’t come with bad habits such as smoking, recreational drugs or excessive alcohol consumption or any other addiction. Is your surrogate committed to living a healthy lifestyle? Sometimes the parents-to-be facilitate the lifestyle by providing financial support for nutritious food, self-care and pregnancy-related relaxation sources such as yoga, massage and the like. If you would like to incorporate these types of healthy and supportive measures you may want to include in the surrogacy contract.
- Connection: Quite often it all boils down to the feeling of connection. You genuinely like and trust this person. There is a reason people put a lot of stock in their intuition so if you feel drawn to a specific surrogate perhaps you should go with your gut.
We’re Here to Help
This is a big step in your life together, just as it is for any couple embarking on parenthood. You probably have plenty of questions and concerns. No worries. LA IVF has the answers. Contact our office today and we’ll help you begin your adventure of a lifetime!