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A surrogate mother is a woman who agrees to carry a child for an individual or couple. Generally, a surrogate volunteers to do this for people who are medically unable to carry a child of their own, but in some cases, surrogates carry this out for people who prefer to not get pregnant themselves. Surrogacy is typically available by means of in vitro fertilization (IVF), a process that involves a fertility specialist inserting a fertilized egg into the surrogate's uterus.
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Surrogate Mother Job Overview
A surrogate mother begins the process by applying to be considered for surrogacy. Several surrogate providers operate in U.S. states and they may require that applicants live within the state borders in order to be considered. After applying, a surrogate is matched with a couple or individual that may be in need at the time. She will then begin receiving IVF medications to help her body accept the transferred egg. After the IVF procedure is completed, she will visit the doctor to check on the welfare of the embryo. If the doctor confirms a fetal heartbeat, then the surrogacy process will continue on through until labor and delivery. Surrogates often stay in contact with the baby and its parents after childbirth.
Surrogates are compensated for every step they complete in the process. Payments can range from $500 to $5,000 for specific circumstances such as carrying multiples, pumping breast milk after the birth, and having to undergo a hysterectomy as a result of surrogacy. These payments are issued in addition to the base surrogacy fee, which usually ranges from $25,000 to $30,000.
Surrogate Mother Education
There is no formal education required in order to become a surrogate mother. However, many surrogacy providers require that applicants be at least 21 years of age and that they pass medical and psychological counseling to make sure that they are ready for the surrogacy process. Surrogate mothers must also be willing to accept hormone injections for an extended time, give up the use of tobacco and alcohol, and to maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise before and during the pregnancy.
Surrogate Mother Training
During the surrogacy process, mothers must attend several doctors' visits, receive psychological check ups, and agree to regular monitoring of the developing baby's health. Mothers may have to stop working or be placed on bed rest during the pregnancy, especially if there are medical concerns. Surrogates are typically compensated for any time lost from work.
What Does Surrogacy Involve