Surrogacy is truly an amazing journey! The success of that journey, and the joy and satisfaction felt along the way, has everything to do with the people involved. It also has a lot to do with understanding and feeling comfortable with all of the steps along the way. Like most women thinking about being a surrogate, you probably have a lot of questions about what the steps are. Here are nine of the most significant steps you will take on your journey.
The Surrogate Screening Process
The first step in becoming a surrogate is to submit the initial paperwork and schedule a call with our program co-director. She will also review your paperwork, get to know you, and coordinate getting the additional paperwork we will need from you. This includes:
- An application and family medical history
- Prenatal/labor and delivery records
- Recent pap report
- Copies of your ID, insurance information, etc.
- Photos you’d like to share with potential intended parents
After all your paperwork is in, we will schedule a time for you to come to our office to meet with us. Plan to bring your spouse or partner or any other support person who will be with you through this process. We will then arrange for you to consult with a psychologist who specializes in surrogacy. She or he will talk with you about the emotional aspects of being a surrogate and what to expect. The psychologist can help you come up with ideas for how to talk with family and friends about your journey. Once this step is complete, it’s time to introduce you to intended parents!
Meeting the Intended Parents
We work very hard to make the best match possible between our surrogates and intended parents. We consider what you are looking for in intended parents and what our intended parents are looking for in a surrogate. We also look at personality types, interests, and where each of you lives.
We will share with you some information about their backgrounds. We will tell you their stories and why they have chosen surrogacy to build their family. You’ll also get to see photos. Once we have found a match, we’ll arrange for you all to meet. The actual meeting will be in a casual setting, usually at a restaurant, and at a time that’s convenient for you. Rest assured, you will always have the final say in which intended parents you work with!
We will send your information and medical records to the intended parents’ doctor so they can be reviewed. The clinic will call you to schedule a time for your medical screening. The date of this appointment will be based on your menstrual cycle and will involve:
- A basic physical
- High-level ultrasound to check the lining of your uterus
- Lab work for you and your spouse or partner
- Consultation with the doctor. You will learn more about how IVF works and the risks associated with IVF and pregnancy. This is also the time to discuss your questions or concerns about the medical aspect of the surrogacy journey.
After the test results all come back favorable, the doctor will let us and the intended parents know that you have been medically approved to be a surrogate! This is called “medical clearance.” Once you are medically cleared, we move can begin working on the gestational carrier contract.
The Gestational Carrier Contract
In this step four, you will enter into a contract with the intended parents. We will arrange for you to have your own attorney during this process. It will be someone who doesn’t work in our office and who represents only you! Your attorney will review this contract with you to make sure you clearly understand everything. Your attorney will answer all of your questions and concerns and will request, on your behalf, any changes to the contract if appropriate. Your attorney’s fees are paid for by the intended parents, so there is no cost to you for your legal services.
IVF Cycle to Achieve Pregnancy
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a very specialized and detailed process that requires you to adhere to a strict calendar of hormone medications, medical appointments, blood work, and ultrasounds. Each fertility center doctor has their own protocol, and it’s critical that you follow the doctor’s instructions exactly as they are given. Many surrogates become pregnant after just one transfer!
Pregnancy Test and Ultrasound
Roughly ten days after the transfer, you will go to a lab for a pregnancy blood test. You can expect a follow up test two days later as well. If those results are positive, you will go back to the fertility center for a heartbeat ultrasound to determine if you have a viable pregnancy. This usually happens about four weeks after the embryo transfer. At that point, the fertility center doctor will release you to your own OBGYN for the rest of your pregnancy, labor and delivery.
Visits to your OBGYN
From this point on, you will be seeing your OBGYN for regular visits. Hopefully it will be an easy, uneventful pregnancy just like your others. Your intended parents will want to attend as many OBGYN visits as possible. They can then ask your doctor questions about their baby and make informed decisions about any prenatal testing your doctor recommends. This is a really good time to build your relationship with your intended parents. Allowing them to experience the pregnancy through you is what makes your surrogacy journey so rewarding!
Delivery and Welcoming the Baby!
The grand finale speaks for itself. This is what the journey has been all about. No matter how the baby decides to enter the world, taking you by surprise when your water breaks or going as planned with an induction or cesarean section, this day will be like no other! You will always remember the look on your intended parents’ faces the first time they hold their long-awaited, precious child. At this moment, you become part of an exclusive club of selfless women–willing to give so much of themselves in order to bless someone else with a family.
We hope this step by step explanation has inspired you to learn more about the surrogacy journey! If you’re ready to get started, you can apply today by clicking this link.
Not ready to take that step yet? You’re welcome to call (800-877-1880) or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d love to hear from you!