Being a surrogate is the most amazing thing someone can do for another person. The gift of becoming a family is something that changes not only the newly formed family but also all the people involved. As an agency we get to witness the best of humanity. Meeting, matching, and taking part in a surrogacy journey is an emotional experience that leaves everyone changed. Each family we have helped has imprinted on our hearts, and in our minds forever. The process of surrogacy is one that takes place over at least a year, sometimes longer. To help simplify the surrogacy process from the surrogates point of view we have broken it down into 8 phases.
Step 1: Meeting All Qualifications
When applying to become a surrogate it is very important that you meet the basic requirements, which include the following:
- Be between the ages of 21 and 42 years old
- Healthy, no medical problems or on any medication
- BMI of 30 or below
- Have had at least 1 child that you have raised or currently raising
- Healthy, full-term pregnancy’s, with no complications (provide medical records)
- Not currently breastfeeding (if so, please wait 1-2 months after stopping)
- No history of mental illness and or any psychological issues
- Non-smoker, non-drinker and no drug use
- No criminal history (you or partner/spouse)
- In a Stable Living situation
- Have a valid driver’s licensee, reliable car and car insurance (copy will be required)
- Be financially stable (can not be on any government assistance)
Step 2: Completing Application Online
Please complete the application on our website (click here to begin). Once received, we will reach out to you to schedule a phone call. After that, we will email you our background check form, medical release form and provide your information to the psychologist who will do your psychological screening.
Step 3: Being Matched
Based on your application and the answers you provided to us, we would take your information and create a profile to show potential Intended Parents (IP’s). We also ask for 4 to 5 pictures of you and your family that we can add to the profile. This helps give the IP a good idea of who you are, see you, your family and make a decision to proceed to the next steps. Matching you with the right IP is the most important aspect of this entire process. We do our very best to ensure your ideal match is found and you experience the best journey possible. Once we think we have the IP for you, we will let you know and send over their profile for you to review as well. We want you to be comfortable and see if you feel they are a good match for you before meeting them either in person or through Skype.
Step 4: Meeting Intended Parent(s)
Based on the location of you and the IP, we will either arrange for an in person or Skype meeting. We will be there the entire time to help guide both you and the IP’s. This is the time to get to know one another and see if you have that connection, and make the decision to match. Important factors that are discussed: relationship wanted during and after, number of embryos to transfer, timing of procedure/pregnancy, and views on select reduction and or abortion. We do our very best to ensure you are matched with IP’s meeting your needs and theirs as well based on your application. We feel discussing these topics in person are necessary to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Step 5: Medical Screening
You (and if applicable, your spouse/partner) will need to schedule a time to see the fertility doctor your IP’s are working with for medical screening. You will have blood work, urine screening and an ultrasound performed to determine your health and receive medical clearance. Your spouse/partner will have only blood work done that can be done at a local LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics in the event they are unable to make the appointment with you. Once you are seen, it takes approximately 10-14 days to hear from the clinic on your results. If you are out of state or not close to the clinic, we will make arrangements for you to either fly or, if you prefer, to drive. We will be in contact with you to make these arrangements.
Step 6: Legal Contracts
The legal contract is started once you are medically cleared. We will help you locate an attorney to review the contract in full detail. The contract phase is where all the important topics and issues will be formally placed into a contract between the intended parents and surrogate, as well as her partner, if applicable. When working with an agency the most important issues such as reduction, compensation, and reimbursements are usually worked out in order to help the contract phase move smoothly and quickly. Typical time completion: Though, every journey is different and at times there are special circumstances, contracts can usually be completed in 2-6 weeks.
Step 7: Cycle/Transfer
The cycling phase is the actual IVF cycle. The IVF center will have full management of this phase. They will provide the instructions, and information to the intended parents, surrogate, and us, as the agency. As the agency we will help ensure you have complete understanding of what is required to be done. If you ever have questions, you will have our personal cell phone numbers in order to get in contact with us. We never want you to stop or confuse the medication protocol given. It is VERY important you follow doctor’s instructions! The usual IVF cycle is completed in 3-6 weeks time. You will have a calendar with all information, dates of appointments during the cycle and transfer date to be able to notify work, arrange childcare etc.
Step 8: Pregnancy/Delivery
The pregnancy phase is one of the most special times. The agency will be in monthly contact with each party, but we are always available if we are ever needed to help with issues that may arise. Delivery time is the most exciting part of the entire journey. This is what everyone is hoping and dreaming for, and as an agency we do strive to help make this time as special as possible. We will be there to help ensure everything goes smoothly with the hospital staff and the care of you as the surrogate, your Intended parents and the baby(s).