Being a surrogate is not for everyone, despite its advantages. Those advantages include:
- the chance to create life, without long-term commitments
- the opportunity to help another couple fulfill their dreams
- the glowing feeling that often comes with pregnancy
- the extra income and temporary health benefits
But those advantages mean little if you don’t possess certain personality traits. Here are a few that are important:
Altruistic. Let’s face it, you’re going to dedicate a year of your life to helping another couple fulfill their dreams. You are going to gestate a child. For the first nine months, you are its only caretaker. You will submit yourself to probes and exams – not just your body, but everything from financial records to criminal records (hopefully you have none of that last one).
Patient. There is a lot to go through as a surrogate. Any pregnancy is full of medical visits, details to keep track of and physical changes. As a surrogate, you have additional complication from the egg implantation, the legal aspects, the various additional paperwork aspects and the questions and reporting to the intended parents. That takes patience.
Honest. You are entering a partnership when you sign a surrogacy agreement. The intended parents are counting on you to take all the vitamins and hormones and medications. They are entrusting their child to you at its very most vulnerable stage. Honesty and integrity are top qualities a surrogate mother needs to have.
Nurturing. Caring for a baby before it is even born takes a strong maternal instinct. This is especially true if you plan to hand the child over to somebody else when it’s born. That maternal instinct will direct you to take good care of the child growing in your womb. It will drive you to eat well, to keep fit and take care of yourself, too.
Self esteem. Knowing your self-worth is critical to being a good surrogate. So much attention will be showered on the baby. You might even feel left out of the equation. Most intended parents are very nice and appreciate what you are doing for them. But let’s face it, when they are nice to you it’s because you are caring for their child. You need to value yourself through this process.
Open. Your private life will be under a microscope. First, you’ll be vetted by the surrogacy agency. There are so many things to check about you, from your financial records to your health records. Then you’ll have this strange couple intrude into your life for a year. They’ll be shadowing you, asking questions, wanting information. This is no task for a shy woman.
Communicative. Just as important as being able to open up your life to another’s intrusion, is being communicative yourself. You have all the information about the intended couple’s child and its development. It is important for you to keep them up to date on the child’s progress and on all the details of the pregnancy.