7 Tips to Consider When Choosing Your Surrogate or Gestational Carrier
Here are 7 Important Criteria to Review Before You Meet with a Prospective Gestational Carrier
You've either found your gestational carrier (often called a “surrogate”) on your own or through a surrogacy agency. While the relationship between prospective dad and carrier is dependent on the personalities involved, here's a checklist of 7 items that should accurately describe all gestational carriers interested in helping gay men become dads.
1. She’s gay friendly.
Generally, gestational carriers are allowed to choose which types of families they are comfortable working with and which they are not. A good agency will take the time to ensure your gestational carrier is not only comfortable helping gay men become dads, but she is in fact truly excited by the idea!
2. She’s already successfully carried a child to term.
Roughly 10 percent of couples are affected by infertility. As a result, surrogacy agencies only work with women who have already successfully conceived and carried a child to term. This also ensures that the carrier will know what it's like to be pregnant and to deliver a baby.
3. She’s completed her own family.
A gestational carrier’s willingness to carry your child to term shouldn't make it impossible for her to complete her own family; therefore, make sure that your gestational carrier has completed her own family before she embarks on your family-creation journey.
4. She’s younger than 40.
While there are some exceptions, most surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics will only work with adult women between 21-40 years old, which represents their peak childbearing years.
5. She has a healthy BMI.
A body mass index (BMI) over 35 can complicate a woman’s ability to conceive. As a result, agencies work with gestational carriers whose BMI is typically no more than 33. (For an egg donor, the standards are typically stricter, since being overweight can affect the quality of a woman’s eggs.)
6. She has no recent history of mood disorders.
Surrogacy agencies will screen potential gestational carriers based on whether they are currently taking (or have recently ceased taking) anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. Most agencies and fertility doctors require carriers to be free of such meds for a full year before entering a surrogacy contract.
7. She has emotional support from loved ones.
A gestational carrier must provide proof that her spouse is supportive of her decision to embark on a surrogacy journey. If she is not married, she must have other people in her life who are supportive of her decision to act as a carrier, and who plan to provide love and support throughout for your carrier throughout the journey and in case of an emergency.
One bonus consideration that is very important!
Make sure you genuinely like your carrier and enjoy spending time with her. You are going to share many moments with each other, and you'll become intimately involved in each other's lives throughout the journey. Carriers deserve our utmost respect and support, and should be treated like a family member. So it's very important that you get along well.
Over 2 years ago, we spoke with experienced filmmaker Carlton Smith about his documentary featuring gay dad families created through foster-adopt. It was a heartfelt project that shone a light on the number of children in foster care (roughly 400,000 as referenced at the time) who desperately needed a home. And the large population of same-sex couples, many newly married, who were interested in starting families of their own.
"Let's skip," my daughter said on our way to school the other week. She took my hand and started skipping along, pulling me forward to urge me to do the same.
Wouldn't it look, well, gay, for me to skip down the street? In public? I wasn't willingly going to make myself look like a sissy.
As part of our ongoing #GWKThenAndNow series, we talk to dads who have gone the distance and been together a great many years. Terry and Michael have been together 15 years, have two children, and live in Orlando, Florida. We find out how it began, and what they look for in a partner in life, love and fatherhood.
Johnathon and Corey, both 29, met in 2011 working for the same employer. And since their first date, they've been inseparable. Johnathon is a full-time student pursuing a degree in Human Services, and once he completes his degree, he will return to his Native American tribe to help fellow Native American families in need. Corey is a stay-at-home dad. Together they adopted 6-year-old twins, Greyson and Porter, from foster care on June 1, 2017. We caught up with the first-time dads to see how fatherhood was treating them.
The Long Island Adoptive Families support group was created by parents going through the adoption process or who had already adopted. It was a great way to help members navigate the path of adoption whether it be private domestic, international agency, domestic agency or foster care. We spoke with Chemene, one of the founders, and found out how this group is supporting local gay men interested in becoming fathers.