Charlotte H. Danciu, P.A. Attorney at Law.

One thing that’s extremely important for parents to consider when choosing a surrogate is that she has the legal ability to stay in the country through the pregnancy. I’ve had cases where people have found surrogates through so-called agencies (I say that because the law has not caught up with the licensing of this industry, so really anybody can throw up a website and say they’re a surrogacy agency, even if their only qualification was that they were a surrogate themselves), only to discover that she was an illegal alien. If your surrogate were to get pregnant and then be deported to, let’s say, Guatemala, you would probably never get your child out of Guatemala.

The second important thing to consider is hiring a lawyer, someone like me with experience gained from dealing with not only surrogacy for 25 years but adoption for over 30 years. You need this person to notice any red flags for you.

You also want to find a mature and healthy women who is not doing this for the money. Granted, most people could probably use the money, but if you think about it, getting $35,000 or $40,000 for a 24/7 job for 10 to 12 months is a very low wage. We’re talking about a year of a woman’s life to be spent going through this process and then being pregnant. She can’t be doing this for the money. You don’t want somebody who is on the verge of eviction, who has all kinds of financial problems. You want somebody who is doing this maybe to finish her Master’s degree or put her kids in private school or pay the down payment on her first home.

Some women become surrogates because they already had a good pregnancy, they can’t imagine the heartbreak of not being able to have a child, and so they just want to give this gift to someone else. To me, that’s such an amazing reason, and I hear it all the time. Even if you can’t find a surrogate with that motive, find someone with a stable lifestyle. Your family is going to have to take the child regardless at the end, even if you have a surrogate who uses drugs or who has a boyfriend who is abusive or who has an illness or depression or any number of issues. If you’re adopting, you can say you don’t want to take the child when it’s formed, but you have to take the child in surrogacy. That’s why it’s really important to have the person who is matching you with a surrogate be someone with the expertise to do that job.

I Am Interested In Being A Surrogate Mother. What Do I Need To Know?

If you’re interested in being a surrogate, I first want to thank you for even considering it. I’ve seen so many broken hearts in my practice, women and men who wanted to be parents for so long and cannot without the help of a kind and generous woman such as yourself. So, thank you for even inquiring.

There are certain medical and legal requirements to be a surrogate mother. The first medical requirement from the fertility doctors is that you’ve had at least one child with an uncomplicated pregnancy, as healthy a pregnancy as you can have had. You could have had a C-section but no more than three C-sections. You need to have a BMI under 31, and that’s because the heavier you are, the higher the risk for complications in the pregnancy. You have to not have any medications or any other kind of things that you take that would be adverse to a growing fetus. Obviously, no drug addiction or even usage of drugs can be tolerated.

Basically, you have to be a healthy person, and I prefer my surrogates between the ages of 25 and 42. Most doctors pretty much cut it off at 42, but there is no law that says it has to be 42. If you’re physically fit, we are not using your eggs, so you could be older. However, the older you are, the higher the risk of pregnancy. The intended parents will typically choose someone younger, although some of my best surrogates have actually been 41 or 42 years old, because it takes a lot of maturity to make this commitment. I mean, you might have had easy pregnancies of your own, but this could be a nightmare pregnancy: you could be having morning sickness morning, noon, and night for the whole pregnancy. You might not be able to go to your own child’s kindergarten graduation because you are on bed rest; you might not be able to have sex with your husband. It’s a big commitment you have to make. It’s not just a walk in the park. Needless to say, you have to really think about this decision, and if you have a partner, talk to them about how it’s going to impact them.

From a legal standpoint, we do background checks, including a criminal background check and a child abuse background check. If you had a shoplifting charge when you were 18 and now you are 38, that’s not a big deal. But if you had an arson charge last year, then no family is going to choose you, even if you qualified, which you wouldn’t.

If you choose to participate in surrogacy, it really is a miracle. I’ve had hundreds of cases, and I only work with intended parents who are appreciative of what you are doing. I’m not going to get involved with somebody who is trying to negotiate like it’s a real estate deal to get off cheap. I want people to understand it’s going to be very expensive for them and that they are going to need to take very good care of you. No matter how much they pay you, what you are doing is worth ten times what you will be getting, and they need to have that attitude. I’ve even elected not to work with people who came to me and didn’t have that attitude because I respect a woman who is willing to carry a baby for someone else too much.

You should also know that we put a clause in your contract for life insurance. Although I’ve never had it happen in my practice, you can die in pregnancy. You can have a complication that would cause you to lose your life or be put on bed rest or have to have a hysterectomy, and all those things are addressed in my contracts. It is a big deal to take on, but it is also a beautiful thing to do for someone.

For more information on Choosing a Candidate for Surrogacy in Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (561) 330-6700 today.

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