One of the first questions couples considering surrogacy ask is “Who would carry the baby?”
It is only natural to want to know all the relevant details about your surrogate mother – her age, what she is like, what health indicators and habits she has, etc.
But one question leads to many. We prepared the most frequently asked questions from future parents.
✔ Who is the woman who decides to be a surrogate mother?
It takes a very special person to become a surrogate mother.
Usually, that is a young lady in her early 20s up to 30 years. In very rare cases she can be 35.
These are women who already established their families, have 1 or 2 or maybe even 3 children.
From a psychological perspective, they are usually very caring and have a big desire to help others to have a family.
But what is also important to realize that a woman from the very beginning needs to understand that she is carrying a child for someone else and there is no genetic connection between her and a baby. She needs to love and care about a child, but important to realize that after they give a child to parents without attachments.
Of course important to know that the surrogacy program is a paid service with compensation for a woman. But often ladies in a program need to leave their jobs in order to carry about a child as a primary job.
The woman is facing as well some limitations during this period of her life, so the compensation is fair. But above that, a surrogate mother is a special person to do that.
✔ How do we choose surrogate mothers? Is there psychological evaluation together with physiological?
Yes, of course. Along with physiological, a psychological evaluation is also happening. It is one of the first steps, that the candidate will go through. There will be an interview and evaluation.
In addition, she will have to present proof or record that she is not on any psychological watch list. Cause in Ukraine, if the person was in any institution for psychological care, she or he will be on the list.
But psychological evaluation and interviews for the psychological condition and mood swings of the surrogate are going through all the programs as well. And the woman is getting support immediately.
Surrogate mothers have 24/7 access for the head of the department and other team members when it is needed even for psychological support.
✔ Is there a long waiting list for the surrogate program?
From our side, in ADONIs we are not experiencing a waiting list. We do have a large number of candidates and the biggest waiting time can be 2-3 weeks. And this waiting is happening because of the examination process that the candidate needs to go through since we are doing a very deep evaluation.
If we provide you with a candidate, it means she is already completely evaluated and 100% healthy.
We have a large pool of candidates and we select only a small number of bests.
We time the selection of surrogate mother to other processes. Because all biological material and documents must be ready when we give you a specific candidate.
✔ C-section candidates vs non C-section. And how is it impacting the quality of the candidate?
These questions coming up quite often during the process of selection for most of the parents. And there is a trend that there are more candidates with C-section than without now. More women are getting C-sections not only Ukraine but also worldwide. C-section is not a contradiction for the surrogate program. A woman with 1 C-section in the past can carry one healthy embryo and give birth with no problems naturally or with another C-section.
Just the fact that the woman had a C-section does not mean that she will have a C-section again, she still can deliver naturally.
But if parents want to have 2 embryos, in this case, C-section is a contradiction.
✔ Is it true that a surrogate mother with RH- can have a negative impact on the success of the program?
As a part of the medical evaluation, every surrogate mother with an RH- goes through antibody testing. And if there are no antibodies she can go to the program.
From our experience, we had RH- surrogates and none of them had any negative issues.
So we can conclude that the RH- factor is not an issue.
✔ When is C-section normally scheduled? What week?
It is to be decided by the doctor. It is very individual. Normally yes, it is on later terms.
✔ How to build a connection with your baby while your surrogate is pregnant?
During the program, you are getting photos, ultrasounds, heartbeat recording, etc.
Also, we practice future parents recording your voice and songs so the child could be experiencing connection as well.
✔ Do you have experience of surrogate mothers donating breast milk during the first weeks? Do you encourage it?
It is a very individual question. From our practice, the child is taken from a surrogate immediately after being born. The bonding with biological parents is very important and it is a priority. So surrogate has no contact with a child. But if there is such wish of biological parents, the breast milk can be arranged individually.
✔ Are vaccine records of candidates are up to date during the screening process?
The part of the examination is testing for specific antibodies. It is mandatory testing. So we are looking not at records, but at actual testing. And if she does not have some of the mandatory vaccinations, then she is required to have them. Otherwise, she will not be accepted to the program at ADONIS.
✔ Is the surrogate mother being tested for COVID before the embryo transfer?
At ADONIS we do test for COVID before the embryo transfer.
✔ Do we test for antibodies if the surrogate mother had COVID already?
Yes, it is possible upon request of future parents.
✔ How to navigate communication with your surrogate during the process?
We recommend communicating with the surrogate through ADONIS team. The reason is that in most occasions, the surrogate does not speak your language, so it is better to communicate through the coordinator to avoid miscommunications.
✔ How to demonstrate your appreciation to your surrogate?
Even if you decide to give a symbolic present, it is already enough to show your appreciation. It is not necessary, but a kind gesture of course is very much appreciated.
For example, it can be some caring present for her children as a consideration.
But again, it is not an obligation.
If you have such a wish, you can always ask your coordinator to help with that.
✔ What are her responsibilities? How do we can trust she is caring about herself and a baby?
First of all, we are performing a lot of testing to ensure the good condition of the surrogate’s physical and mental health. If the surrogate mother shows any deviations, there are huge penalties for that.
But such cases are extremely rare from our experience.
✔ What are the other significant criteria while choosing the surrogate?
The first question you need to answer to yourself as future parents is whether you want one baby or two. That will determine if the candidate with C-section is allowed or not.
The location is not so important, since Ukraine is a very big and long spread country, so it is not easy to have all candidates close to Kyiv. But on the 7th month of the pregnancy the surrogate moves to Kyiv to the apartment close to ADONIS.
When it comes to age, all surrogates will be in a range of best fertile periods that are perfect to carry the pregnancy and be successful.