What to Know about Becoming a Surrogate in Virginia
The decision to become a surrogate is life-changing, and there is a level of commitment required that only the most generous of women can handle. Here’s what to know if you’re considering becoming a surrogate in Virginia.
Qualifications to Become a Surrogate
There are some basic requirements to become a surrogate mother in the state of Virginia. These include:
- Between the ages of 21 and 43 years old
- The mother of one or more children
- Enjoy being pregnant
- Healthy, with body mass index (BMI) of 32 or less
Gestational surrogacy requirements may be more in-depth and strict. Some of these may include:
- Be a non-smoker
- Had no preterm deliveries before 36 weeks, except if delivering multiple babies
- Be financially stable and not on any sort of government assistance
- No criminal history
- No serious health problems or medical conditions
- Have support from family and others close to her
- Be willing to undergo medical and psychological evaluations, along with spouse or significant other
Compensation for Surrogates
While surrogates often become a surrogate out of the kindness of their heart, financial motivations partially drive some women’s decisions. Surrogates receive compensation, and it can vary, but some may receive as much as $45,000 or more for their time and effort. They are typically compensated for all fees, travel expenses, and other out-of-pocket expenses. The amount of compensation is based on a list of personal factors, including whether they’re a first time or repeat surrogate. Repeat surrogates receive higher compensation.
Additional compensation is often included for a variety of procedures, such as embryo transfer fee, any invasive procedure, or a C-section. Expenses that are reimbursed typically include things like out-of-state travel; attorney fees in gestational surrogacy cases; lost wages, or housekeeping if on bed rest; maternity clothing allowance; uncovered medical expenses; insurance deductible; and life insurance up to a certain premium.
Finding a Match
Surrogacy agencies work to match potential surrogates with prospective parents. Some agencies consult with the surrogates on who they would like to work with – down to details like whether parents live locally or are overseas, whether it’s a single person or married couple, same-sex couples, etc.
Once a match has been made, then the screening process begins, which can take at least six weeks or more. Some of the screening tests may include:
- Medical Tests: Ultrasounds, bloodwork, and a pap smear. Fertility clinics’ requirements vary.
- Psychological Screenings: A psychologist or social worker will typically do a screening to ensure the potential surrogate is aware of all implications
- Partner Screening: If the surrogate mother has a sexual partner, the partner may need to undergo blood tests to screen for sexually transmitted diseases.
- Mock Cycle: Sometimes, the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) doctor may prescribe the same medications to the surrogate that she would be on for the embryo transfer to see how the uterine lining responds.
The surrogate mother’s cycle has to be synchronized with the egg donor’s cycle through birth control pills and injections. There is also the need to start taking estrogen.
Retaining an Attorney
If you’re a couple looking to use a surrogate, or you’re considering being a surrogate yourself, you should contact an experienced Virginia surrogacy attorney. The attorneys at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC are skilled in a variety of surrogacy matters. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.