Understanding Surrogacy Timeline: From Application to Transfer

Our surrogates are very excited to start creating families for their intended parents. We are frequently asked how long it will take to go from application to transfer. The simple answer is- it depends. Each journey will progress at its own speed, with much of the pace being set by the surrogate. Surrogacy works best when you are flexible and “go with the flow.” If you attempt to pre-plan every step of your journey, you can wind up disappointed.

Keeping flexibility in mind, here is a potential timeline for a gestational surrogate in the Growing Generations program.

Initial Application

Your initial online application can be completed in as few as three days.  This application encompasses two online questionnaires and a telephone consultation with a member of our admissions team. This step can take much longer depending on how quickly you schedule and complete your phone consultation.


The paperwork phase comes next. We strive to have this segment completed within eight weeks. This phase consists not only of acquiring all necessary paperwork, but also completing local medical labs. You drive the pace of this phase. Surrogates who schedule and complete local labs quickly can quickly submit their paperwork, send medical records quickly, and move through this process in roughly 4-6 weeks. We consider this phase complete once you’ve been scheduled for face to face screening and your travel plans have been finalized.


We expect to have results of your medical and psychological screening within two weeks. Occasionally we see delays if a doctor’s note, follow up lab, or additional procedure is needed. Typically a surrogate will begin reviewing profiles while she waits for final clearance.

Matching & Legal

These phases will vary greatly from case to case. Each step will be unique to your journey. That being said, we can make predictions as to how your journey will go.

Matching can happen quickly in several hours or take as long as several weeks. Your matching preferences and geographic location play a big role. Matching will move much more quickly if you’re open to working with a variety of different IPs. Sometimes it’s difficult to arrange a time for a match meeting that works well for all parties. This scenario can cause a delay.

Some surrogates may be matched before they are medically and psychologically screened, others will screen, then match.

You can expect to spend roughly a month in the legal phase. Sometimes amendments to your legal contract can take additional time to complete. If you get your documents signed and returned quickly, you can help move this phase along.

IVF & Medical Cycle

This final stage leading up to transfer is the hardest to place an estimated time upon. We don’t usually offer a time estimate. Bear in mind that your IPs will have a lot on their plates during this phase, including potentially choosing an egg donor and managing blackout dates. Some cases will move very quickly, while other IPs will move at a slower pace. Your case specialist will keep you up to date on the progress of your case as it moves forward. Once everything is in place, you will be contacted with a medical calendar and sent medications to prepare for transfer. This happens roughly a month before the targeted transfer date.

Surrogacy is a marathon, not a sprint. While some journeys can be completed in 14-18 months, many others will take much longer to complete. Doing your best to remain laid back and easy going will ensure your journey is as enjoyable as possible.

Key takeaways from this article:

  • The surrogacy journey timeline varies per case, with a surrogate’s flexibility aiding the process.
  • Initial application: Can be completed in about three days, consisting of online questionnaires and then a phone consultation.
  • Paperwork: Usually completed within eight weeks; involves collecting necessary paperwork and local medical labs.
  • Screening: Medical and psychological screening results will arrive within two weeks.
  • Matching & Legal: Duration varies; matching could take hours to weeks, while the legal phase could take roughly a month.
  • IVF & Medical Cycle: Unpredictable timeframe; involves preparing for transfer and managing dates, usually starting about a month before the transfer date.
  • The entire surrogacy journey may take 14-18 months or longer.