Familiarize yourself with Tennessee law on surrogacy before you begin the process. There is no statute that fully addresses surrogacy in Tennessee, though the state's adoption code offers a definition of both traditional and gestational surrogacy. One thing to note is that the definition of surrogacy in Tennessee applies only to the children of heterosexual married couples; the surrogate is described as gestating a fetus for a husband and wife. The law is vague, but you may be prohibited from acting as a surrogate for a gay couple or an unmarried couple under this section of the law.
Ensure you meet the basic requirements to become a surrogate mother. The requirements vary based on the surrogacy agency you work through. Typical requirements include: you be a U.S. resident currently living in the country, you must have given birth to at least one child, have no history of pregnancy-related complications, be financially stable, be between the ages of 23 and 35, must be a non-smoker and must have a Body Mass Index of less than 35.
Locate an appropriate surrogacy agency or fertility clinic that works with surrogate mothers. The agency will help you locate the intended parents for the child you will carry. You can look for an agency based in Tennessee, or find one in another state that you want to work with. Pick a reliable program that you feel comfortable with. Consider your options. Some agencies will allow you to choose the couple you work with, while others will provide a matching service.
Fill out a surrogacy application with the agency. Ensure you meet the specific requirements before applying, since the agency may have its own set of guidelines for surrogate mothers.
Undergo any medical examinations required. These examinations ensure your reproductive health and screen for STIs such as hepatitis, syphilis, and herpes, viruses, and bacterial infections, as well as testing for blood type and RH factor. Testing positive for a disease or infection does not necessarily exclude you from becoming a surrogate mother, but you will need to have the condition treated and re-test for it a few weeks later.
Find a couple to work with. The agency you go through can help match you with a couple, but you and your couple will be able to make the final decision. Once you have been matched with a couple and your medical test results are reviewed a final time, the insemination process and your role as a surrogate mother can begin.