Typical Surrogate Mom Profile
The real question is not whether we accept you into our program, but whether being a surrogate mother is the right choice for you. We receive approximately 400 calls a month from potential surrogate mothers. We would be ecstatic if even 10% decided to join our program!! We spend time helping each applicant decide if becoming a surrogate mother is the right choice for her and her family and whether this is a good time in their lives to begin this journey. In the majority of cases, it is the applicants themselves who decide not to pursue becoming a surrogate mother. Although only 5-7% of all applicants ultimately join our program, most ladies decide not to pursue surrogacy, as opposed to our Center declining applicants. We do have strict criteria for participation, and although it may be to our benefit to lower our criteria, we do not believe this would be in your interest. Our years of experience has taught us that the process of surrogate parenting is not for everyone, no mater how caring and sincere a woman may be.
A typical surrogate mother would be described as a woman between the ages of 21-37 years old, who has 2 children and 13 years of formal education. Seventy-five percent are married and one third have full-time employment. The majority of surrogate mothers are raised in a Christian faith, with 25% raised Catholic. She can be described as a responsible and empathetic woman who looks forward to the experience of helping an infertile couple have a child of their own.
A recurring theme stated by surrogate mothers is that the true genesis of the child is its creation in the minds and hearts of the intended parents. (Based on Surrogate Parenting: Reassessing Human Bonding by Dr. Hilary Hanafin, 1987)
The motivations to become a surrogate mother include:
a) enjoy being pregnant
b) have a history of easy, uncomplicated pregnancies
c) an opportunity to feel special
d) empathy for childless couples
e) importance of their children in their lives
f) opportunity to make a unique contribution
g) financial gain for her family
h) an opportunity to make up for a pregnancy previously terminated.
Based on our years of experience, we have identified three basic requirements which must be met before a candidate can begin the screening phase of our program:
1. Must be between the ages of 21-42 years old. A surrogate mother younger than 21 year of age may not have the maturity to deal with and understand the intricacies of surrogate parenting and the effect her decision may have on her own children. The upper age limit is based solely on medical considerations, and the link between age and high risk pregnancies.
2. Must have a child of her own. CSP believes that only someone who has gone through a pregnancy, felt a child move, and given birth can understand "bonding" and know if she can become a surrogate mother and relinquish the child to the intended parents. In addition to having given birth, we require that she must be actively raising her child. We believe that only a woman who has experience in parenting a child, understands what it takes to be a parent, can be a surrogate mother. She understands that just as she does not want someone involved in raising her child, her couple needs to be left alone to raise their child. A woman who gave her child up for adoption, and has not been active in raising a child, may not understand the dynamics of parenting.
3. Must be financially secure. Since money should not be a major motivating factor in deciding to become a surrogate mother, anyone on welfare or receiving state assistance, is excluded from our program. (On occasion a surrogate mother who goes back to college for further education and receives state assistance, will be considered for participation in our program.) Financial consideration should not be the major motivating factor. "It is important to explore both conscious and unconscious motivations so as to assess whether being a surrogate serves as a functional or dysfunctional purpose for the participant and her family." Dr. Hilary Hanafin.
We must be sure that she understands what she is agreeing to, that she has the support of her family, that her children understand that she is not "giving away" a sibling. Most important of all, we want to be careful that she is not hurt because of her generosity in wanting to help a couple realize their dreams. By their very nature, surrogate mothers are very giving woman, and it is our responsibility to ensure they are not rushed into making a decision.
Choosing the Right Couple for Surrogacy - A Surrogate's View