FAQs Surrogacy and Surrogate Pregnancy

Frequently asked questions about surrogate pregnancy:

What’s the difference between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy?

Can I be a surrogate if I’ve never had a baby?  Unfortunately, no.  The fertility center doctors need to know a woman can carry a baby to term.  

Do I need my own health insurance with a surrogate pregnancy?  No, it is not necessary for you to have your own health insurance with a surrogate pregnancy.  If you do have insurance, we will have our insurance specialist review the policy to see if it will cover you for a surrogate pregnancy.  If we discover that it does not, your intended parents will purchase a policy for you.

Am I able to meet with the intended parents before being matched?  Absolutely!  All of our intended parents live in Northern California, and they want to meet you as well to decide if it’s a match.  You will also get to choose which intended parents you work with.  

Why do I have to meet with a psychologist to become a surrogate?  Surrogacy isn’t right for everyone.  The process can be stressful at times, and everyone wants to know that you are prepared to take this on.  Meeting with a psychologist ahead of time will give you and your intended parents the peace of mind that you are emotionally ready to undergo a surrogate pregnancy.  

Will I be required to have a medical examination?  Yes, once you are successfully screened into our surrogacy program and matched with intended parents, you will attend a medical screening appointment at the fertility center your intended parents are working with.  This exam involves a basic physical, some blood work, and usually an ultrasound. 

Why does my spouse or partner have to be medically cleared?  The fertility center doctors must confirm that your spouse or partner does not have any infectious diseases that might be transferred to you and harm the intended parents’ baby.  

How much pay will I receive?

Can I go on vacation and travel while I’m a surrogate?  Yes, but with some limitations.  You will need to let us, the doctors, and the intended parents know about any travel plans you have so we know how to get in touch with you.  We also need to make sure you aren’t planning to travel to an area that puts you at risk for the Zika virus.  It’s critical in a surrogate pregnancy that you deliver the baby in California, so you will be limited in your last trimester to travel only within California.  

Can I keep working if I become a surrogate?  Yes!  In fact, surrogate pregnancy fits well with most lifestyles, whether you work full or part time or are a stay at home mom or a student.  

What medications will I need to take?  Typically the regimen consists of injections to suppress ovulation so that you do not release your own egg prior to transfer. These are followed by estrogen in either tablet, patch or injection form.  This is taken together with daily progesterone injections which act to thicken the lining of the womb to prepare it for the embryo transfer.  You will continue with the progesterone injections for 6-8 weeks after transfer to help maintain the pregnancy. 

What’s an embryo transfer?  Embryos are created in a lab at a fertility center, using the intended parents’ egg and sperm or that of a donor.  The embryos grow for about 3 to 5 days and then are either frozen for later use, or are transferred into the uterus of the surrogate.  This medical procedure is call an embryo transfer.  

How many embryos are transferred at a time?  The intended parents’ doctor will decide how many embryos will be transferred at a time.  Every doctor has their own protocol, but the number of embryos transferred frequently depends on the quality of the embryos.  Many doctors will transfer only one embryo at a time, but some will do more.  If you prefer not to carry multiples, we will make sure to match you with intended parents who don’t plan to transfer more than one at a time.  

Can I use my own OBGYN?  Yes! Once the surrogate pregnancy is confirmed by fetal heartbeat, usually about 4-6 weeks after the transfer, you will be released to your own OBGYN for the remainder of the pregnancy.  

Do I have to pump breastmilk for the baby?  Many intended parents would love for their surrogate to pump breastmilk, but this is not required.  This is also something you can decide later in the pregnancy once you’ve gotten to know the intended parents better.  If you agree to pump, you will be compensated for your efforts and the intended parents will provide you with all the supplies you need.  They will make arrangements to receive the breastmilk as well.  You can also change your mind at any time about whether you want to pump, even if you’ve started pumping.

Can I post photos of my intended parents and their baby on social media?  Not without their specific, written permission.  They also cannot post anything about you and your family.  Surrogacy is a very private matter and confidentiality is typically a priority for all involved.  Your contract with your intended parents will outline everyone’s expectations regarding privacy. 

Didn’t see the topic you were looking for?  Try visiting our step by step surrogacy journey page for more information.  You are also welcome to call and speak with our program director, Dory.  She’s an experienced surrogate and is happy to share with you her perspective.  She also can answer any question, big or small!   (925) 945-1880 or (800) 877-1880.  Dory@familyformation.com

Feeling ready to get started?  We’re excited to learn more about you!  Click here to Apply Now.