You know in your heart that your friend would make a great parent, but without some outside help she will never experience the joy of parenthood because of medical or other issues blocking that path. You have decided to offer your services to your friend as a surrogate mother. It is one of the most incredible gifts you can give to another person, but you want the process to goes smoothly.
Seek the advice of a local psychologist to determine whether you are emotionally ready to provide surrogacy for your friend. You might have all the best intentions in the world, but it will only help if you are in a place in your life where carrying a baby, giving birth and then giving it up is something you will be able to do when the time comes. It is better to find this out at the beginning.
Research your state laws to be sure that surrogacy is legal. Some states do not allow for surrogate parenting arrangements. If this is the case in your state, you and your friend will have to discuss and agree that you will carry a baby. You will then choose your friend as an adoptive parent, once the child is born.
Develop and sign an a agreement about financial responsibility during your pregnancy. Even though the two of you are friends, it is important to have clear-cut expectations on both sides with regard to who pays what medical costs, what happens if you are put on bed rest and cannot work, and other details. A written contract will avoid resentment or hurt feelings if something comes up during the pregnancy, and it has already been addressed.
Discuss what will happen after the birth. In some cases, the baby is born, the parents take him home, the surrogate mother signs over all rights and leaves the hospital alone. In this case, however, you are a friend of the potential parent. At some point, you are probably going to come into contact with the child. Document what that relationship will be. Will you be invited to birthday parties? Will you be invited to attend ball game? Would you and the friend prefer that after the baby is born you maintain a distance or that your friendship be conducted away from the child? Having these things openly and honestly discussed and determined before you get pregnant can prevent severe emotional stress later on.
Choose an agency carefully. You must make preparations to be a surrogate parent. Even though the intended parent is your friend, there will be medical tests, physical exams, hormone preparations and other measures that must be completed for the success of the partnership between you and your friend. Choose an agency that has a long track record. Ask for references and call them to ask about their experiences with the agency you are considering.
- Giving up a baby can be a significant emotional experience, even in the best of circumstances. Have a therapist on hand to help you through any sad feelings you may have when it is over.
- Pregnancy image by Andrey Andreev from Fotolia.com