In the old days, it used to be that if a couple was not able to conceive naturally, then that was it – they stood no chance of having their own biological children. These couples thus decided to adopt, or not have children at all. This was in part because of religious inclinations, in addition to medical technology not being as advanced as it is now.
With the advancements in medical technology came a new option for infertile couples, surrogacy. In this method, an egg is first extracted from the woman and fertilized with the sperm of her husband in a laboratory. This is similar to in-vitro fertilization, except that instead of implanting the fertilized egg back into the biological mother, the egg will be implanted into a gestational carrier.
Those women who decide that they would like to volunteer to participate in the surrogacy process will already need to have had at least one child of their own. This proves to the clinic that the woman signs up with that she is actually able to give birth. Of course, all of this cannot yet be done without first finding a clinic or agency that the prospective gestational carrier is comfortable with.
The policies for different agencies and clinics tend to differ, so that is something that the woman will need to look into. Some women are under the impression that surrogacy means using their own egg, which is untrue. In most cases, the woman will just be implanted with the egg of the couple she will be carrying the child for, or via the egg of a donor.
In order for a woman to be accepted into any surrogacy program, her age will be also be a source of consideration. The idea candidate will be anywhere from 21 to 35 years old. Of course, the woman will need to be physically and psychologically health as well. Many agencies require women in their surrogacy programs to attend support groups during their pregnancy.
Many women are curious to know what the surrogacy application entails. Usually, the application will ask questions about the woman's background, such as education. Of course, many of the questions will pertain to the woman's fertile background, with questions about her sexual activity (birth control, etc.) and how regular her periods are.
It should be noted that no matter the situation, a gestational carrier will be reimbursed for all expenses that occur regarding to the pregnancy. The woman will also get an additional payment, as negotiated in her contract. Another thing that women will need to understand is that her significant other will need to fully agree to the entire process, as well as get any additional counseling that might be needed while she is pregnant.
All of the technical rules aside, there are the social aspects of the gestational carrying process to keep in mind as well. The woman will need to get along well with the other party, so that the entire experience will be memorable for all of those involved. It is all about making new friends, and creating a new life.