By Allison Kirschbaum

As a gestational carrier, every encounter is different, but there is joy when you can help a family in need. Becoming a surrogate takes generosity and selflessness. This is why having the right company come in to provide proper guidance on your journey to help you face the obstacles you may encounter is important. So, what is surrogacy, and what do you have to do to be a surrogate or intended parent? This blog will answer all of these questions.

Read next: Better Military Family Work/Life Balance for the Army

What Is the Meaning of Surrogacy?

What is surrogacy? In a more straightforward form, it is the process of carrying and delivering a child for another couple or individual who wants to be a parent.

In the U.S., the most common type of surrogacy is gestational surrogacy, this when the embryo is created in a lab using the intended parents egg and sperm or donor egg or sperm. Once the embryo is created and monitored for quality and vitality it is then placed in the uterus of a screened surrogate during the embryo transfer.

The surrogate is not genetically related to the baby forming in her womb. Intended parents will compensate their surrogate not only for the physical strain of pregnancy, but also for her care and dedication to growing a healthy baby.

How to Become a Surrogate

To become a surrogate, you need to be a U.S. citizen between the ages 21-40 years old and have had at least one healthy pregnancy. At Joy of Life we honor our military applicants with an additional incentive, you will receive a bonus of $300 dollars given in cash or up to $300 dollars in housekeeping services once contracts are signed.

Being a gestational carrier is a great opportunity to pay off debt, save or invest in your future, use as a second income, pay for the wedding of your dreams or a family vacation, or even afford you with income to be a stay at home mom. The possibilities are endless of what you can do with the compensation for giving the gift of legacy.

The timeline to become a surrogate will vary for each individual; however, there is a general process that one must follow after completing the application to become a surrogate. While every agency’s guidelines are different, below are the basic standards that one must meet to become a gestational carrier:

  • Be at least 21 years of age and no older 40 years old.
  • Have a healthy BMI.
  • Be currently raising your own child.
  • Have had no prior complications during pregnancy.
  • Have successfully carried a pregnancy to term.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have a valid visa, work permit or DOCA papers.

How to Find a Surrogate

Turning to a professional agency is vital, having the help of such an organization takes the stress and worry solely off the intended parent. The agency will match the intended parents with a gestational carrier who is physically and mentally able to carry a child. This means that a professional will screen the surrogate candidates for their eligibility, and will ensure that they meet your personal needs before they are presented to you.

Surrogacy agencies strive to create a place where everybody feels respected and valued. After all, surrogacy is more than just delivering a baby. Using a surrogacy agency to help you find a surrogate mother means that you get to focus on getting to know your gestational carrier by building a solid relationship as opposed to getting caught up in the finer details of the process.

Suggested read: Citizenship for Military Spouses: A Beginner’s Guide

What Is the Surrogacy Process for Joy of Life?

The process is similar to most other agencies as there are ASRM guidelines to follow. However at Joy of Life Surrogacy they are more than an agency; it’s a compassionate community. They provide personalized support, education, and emotional care throughout the process.

  1. One must complete Joy of Life’s online surrogacy application.
  2. Schedule an interview with one of their dedicated specialists for any further questions/clarifications.
  3. Go through the intended parent's profile to find the right match for you.
  4. Meet in person or through video chat with the intended parents for compatibility and talk about expectations.
  5. Undergo medical screening and complete the Psychological evaluation.
  6. Review and finalize legal contracts.
  7. Begin IVF treatment. This involves a hormone treatment to ready your uterus for the embryo transfer. Your advisor will walk you through everything. At Joy of Life, you are a priority.
  8. Once confirmed pregnant, you will have a few more IVF appointments before being released to your preferred OB. Then, it is pregnancy as usual.
  9. When it is time to deliver, your advisor will be there to support and guide you every step of your pregnancy, including this very important day.
  10. Postpartum care is important at Joy of Life. The baby is out and with the parents, but you are still healing and adjusting. They are here for you.

Finding Your Match With Joy of Life

Many couples are incomplete because they want a child, which may be your chance to help. The decision to be a surrogate is a huge commitment that requires detailed consideration for both parties. Yet, the main goal is to create an environment where everyone can treasure and enjoy the process—knowing that the surrogate will significantly change other people's lives.

As one of the leading companies in the industry Joy of Life, guides aspiring parents and surrogates nationwide. Their team, of mostly former surrogates and intended parents, allows them to understand the journey intimately. They partner with licensed nutritionists, clinical advisors, psychologists, top-tier medical facilities, legal advisors, and support networks. Joy of Life is no stranger to working with military moms, as they have had a few wives and Veterans having the privilege to support them throughout the journey.

Remember, surrogacy is about partnership, compassion, and the incredible gift of life. Whether you’re an aspiring parent or a potential surrogate, Joy of Life Surrogacy is there to make your path to parenthood smooth and rewarding.

And if you’re fully decided, Joy of Life will assist you on your journey. Don't hesitate to get in touch with Joy of Life via phone (1-833-JOY-4-YOU (1-833-569-4968)), email (info@joyoflife.com), or you can also visit them at their offices at (Main office: 3200 East Guasti Road, Suite 100, Ontario, CA 91761/Pasadena office: 117 E Colorado Blvd #600, Pasadena, CA 91105/San Francisco office: 50 California St #1500, San Francisco, CA 94111).

You can join their upcoming event at Yucaipa Regional Park in June to be more involved.

This editorial is a result of a collaboration with Joy of Life.

Read next: Military Base Access for Civilians & How to Host Guests




Get the latest news and military discounts