A surrogate mother is a woman who chooses to carry another couple's child for the duration of a pregnancy. To become a surrogate mother, you need to educate yourself and give surrogacy a lot of thought. There are two ways to go about becoming a surrogate mother. One is through an agency. The other is to be an independent surrogate.
Educate yourself about state laws and pregnancy. Each state has different laws concerning the rights of a surrogate mother. Read books and articles about pregnancy and surrogacy to understand exactly what will be expected of you.
Assess your needs. Take time to think about the effects of a pregnancy on your life. Do you have health insurance or will the couple you are a surrogate for need to provide it? Will it interfere with your job or family? How would you deal with complications in the pregnancy?
Talk with surrogate agencies and independent surrogate so you can decide which direction is right for you.
Choose an agency that is right for you. There are many Internet-based agencies as well as agencies in most large cities. Research as many different agencies as you need to. Many will have references you can contact.
Apply to the agency to become a surrogate. You will have to fill out an application as well as meet certain health requirements with most agencies.
Interview with potential families. The agency will set you up with potential couples who are seeking a surrogate mother.
Choose a couple. This is probably the most important step, so choose your family carefully. You will be working with them for at least 9 months. The couple you choose needs to have the same ideas about pregnancy as you do. The couple will also have to choose you in order to continue with the surrogacy.
Sign a contract. You will be asked to sign a contract with the potential parents to make sure everyone gets what they expect from the pregnancy.
Understand that as an independent surrogate you will have to handle all the paper work and fees yourself.
Find the couple you wish to be a surrogate for. This may make take a while. There are many forums and Web sites devoted to connecting couples and surrogate mothers.
Meet the couple and discuss what everyone expects from each other.
Discuss payment and other medical or financial arrangements with the couple.
Draw up a contract everyone agrees on. Make sure the contract covers insurance, payment and living expenses if that's what you require.
Visit more than one agency or meet with many couples before you make any decisions about surrogacy. Be honest with the agency and the couple. Express all of your fears and concerns.
Most agencies and couples require you to have had at least one successful pregnancy in order to be a surrogate mother. Being a surrogate can put stress on other people around you. Talk to your partner, family and friends before you devote yourself to the process.