Tips to Choose the Surrogate

By (embryologist), (gynecologist) and (babygest staff).
Last Update: 07/05/2019

The choice of the surrogate is one of the key stages of the surrogacy process, because, after all, she is the woman who is going to gestate the future baby.

Ways to Choose the Right Surrogate

The selection of the surrogate is perhaps the most complicated moment for future parents. It will be the woman who gives birth to the one who will be their child and, therefore, it is important that she is someone they trust.

There are situations in which the surrogate is a close relative or friend of the future parents. On other occasions, the choice is made through an agency. This is the most common and therefore, we detail below how to proceed in these cases.

Depending on the country in which the subrogation takes place, the choice of the surrogate is made in one way or another:

  • Prospective parents are part of the selection process
  • Prospective parents do not intervene in the election, so it is the responsibility of the surrogacy agency.

Whether or not to participate in the search for the surrogate will depend not only on the destination where the process is done, but also on the will of the parents and the way in which each intermediary agency works.

The preferences of each of the surrogates are also considered, as there are some who prefer that the future parents do not intervene in the adjudication and others who want to get involved themselves.

Participate in the search for the surrogate

In the case of having the option of choosing the surrogate, there are, in turn, two ways of acting:

  • The agency looks for a candidate based on the personality, values and lifestyle of the future parents. Only if both parties, surrogate and future parents, agree, will the candidate be finally selected as the surrogate.
  • The agency offers prospective parents a database of candidates and they themselves will select the woman who best suits their preferences. If the selected woman accepts, it will finally be the one who will carry the future baby.

Although there are slight variations between countries, this is the general way of choosing the surrogate when the process is carried out through a surrogacy agency.

Usually it is a double direction selection, that is to say, the future parents choose the surrogate but this one has to accept them to be able to initiate the process.

Some tips

At the time of making the decision to choose the woman who will gestate, it is recommended:

  • To know the candidate's personal information such as: criminal record, reports on previous births, medical insurance, family support, if she has children of her own, age, mental and physical health, hobbies, if she has previously been a surrogate, religion, city where she lives, economic situation, life habits...
  • Knowing her motivations is also very important. These can be entirely economic or also supportive. None of the options is 'bad' as long as the parents agree with the motivation of the chosen surrogate.
  • The initial feeling or sensation that a person gives us must also be considered, since the trust between surrogate and future parents is fundamental for the surrogacy process to take place in the easiest and most bearable way possible for both parties.
  • Ask the candidate for her opinion on aspects related to the surrogacy, such as her vision about abortion, multiple pregnancy (twins or triplets), fetal malformations, etc.
  • The relationship that the surrogate wants to have with the future parents during pregnancy is also an important selection criterion. If future parents would like to have a more personal and continuous pregnancy follow-up, they should choose a surrogate who is willing to make friends.

Friendship between expectant parents and surrogate

Once the surrogate has been selected, having a greater or lesser relationship with her will be a decision that both parties will have to make.

There are those who prefer to have minimal phone contact and those who establish a true friendship that often lasts beyond pregnancy.

The main advantages of this relationship are:

  • To be able to personally thank the surrogate for the great work she is doing.
  • Verify that the surrogate has freely and voluntarily decided to act as such.
  • Guarantee of transparency.
  • Allow the future child to know his/her origins. Some parents consider this a fundamental right of individuals.

On the other hand, there are future parents who prefer not to know the surrogate in order to reduce the bond and, with it, the possible internal debate or discomfort due to the process. Not feeling conditioned or the possibility of repentance are other reasons why the anonymity of the surrogate is preferred.

In the event that the prospective parents decide not to know her, it is most likely that they will not participate in the selection and that it will be the intermediary agency or clinic that will be in charge of searching for and awarding a candidate as a surrogate. However, it is possible for parents to make a choice but not to maintain a later relationship.

Although there are countries and agencies that offer both options to expectant parents (whether or not to know the surrogate), there are others, such as the United States, in which double direction elections are generally mandatory.

Therefore, this aspect should also be considered when choosing a surrogacy destination and intermediary agency.

FAQs from users

How are prospective gestational carriers screened?

By Dr. Joel G. Brasch (gynecologist).

Our clinic requires prospective GCs to pass extensive and intensive medical, psychological, and legal clearances. In addition to interviews, background check, and psychological evaluation, the surrogate will undergo infectious disease screening, drug tests, physical exam, and FDA questionnaire. If the surrogate has a partner, the partner also has to complete infectious disease screening.

How do I find a surrogate online?

By Andrea Rodrigo (embryologist).

Although you may find many advertisements on the Internet such as " I rent my womb", "I offer my surrogate womb", "I offer myself to be a surrogate" or "I want to be a surrogate", among others, they are not recommended.

It is advisable to make the process through a surrogacy agency for greater security. In this way, we will be able to guarantee that the surrogate candidate has passed medical and psychological tests that enable her to carry the pregnancy to term.

How is the surrogate mother chosen in the United States?

By Andrea Rodrigo (embryologist).

In most states in the United States where surrogacy is allowed, the choice of the surrogate is made in two directions, that is, the intended parents choose a woman and she agrees to gestate for them.

The subsequent relationship they maintain will be more or less intense depending on the preferences and what was agreed by both.

Are there surrogate who make it hard for a gay couple to gestate?

By Andrea Rodrigo (embryologist).

Each surrogate has to express her preferences so that the agencies can assign suitable and compatible intended parents. There are surrogate who do not want to gestate for gay couples or single people and others who only want to help couples of men or women.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a surrogate?

By Andrea Rodrigo (embryologist).

Choosing the surrogate gives greater transparency to the process and allows you to confirm that the surrogate is offered as such voluntarily and freely. In addition, it makes it possible to explain the origin to the future child.

On the other hand, there are people who prefer not to choose the surrogate themselves in order to avoid possible psychological consequences and a confrontation of feelings. Especially in heterosexual couples, it can be painful for the future mother to know the woman who is going to gestate, because it reminds her of her incapacity.

Suggested for you

As we have commented, the choice of the surrogate is usually carried out through agencies specialized in surrogacy that have large databases of candidates to surrogate. Therefore, before choosing the surrogate, it is necessary to choose an agency, another of the fundamental steps of the surrogacy process. If you want some tips for choosing agency, we recommend this link: Choose the Surrogacy Agency: How Does it Work?

Finally, since we are talking about the choice of the woman who is going to gestate the baby, the surrogate, I think it is important that you read this article on involvement, controls and other aspects related to her:What Is a Surrogate Mother? – Everything You Should Know.

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Authors and contributors

 Andrea Rodrigo
Andrea Rodrigo
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information about Andrea Rodrigo
Dr. Joel G. Brasch
Dr. Joel G. Brasch
Dr. Joel Brasch is the Medical Director of Chicago IVF, founded in 2005. He is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and has over 25 years of direct experience in fertility treatment and reproductive care. He is also the Director of Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. More information about Dr. Joel G. Brasch
Adapted into english by:
 Marie Tusseau
Marie Tusseau
Babygest Staff
Editorial Director of Babygest magazine in French and English. More information about Marie Tusseau

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