A Rough Timeline for Surrogates

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.

Paperwork

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.

Screening

We expect to have results of your medical and psychological screening within two weeks of your visit to Los Angeles. 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.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.