What to Expect When You’re a Surrogate

487603_4285451529034_1450603724_nIf you are considering becoming a surrogate, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns. Here are some of the most common ones related to surrogate motherhood.

 The Screening and the Match

Once you have been accepted as a surrogate, before being matched with intended parents, you will be thoroughly screened. The screening process has several aspects:

  • Physical and medical evaluation
  • Psychological evaluation
  • Reproductive evaluation

Once you are through the screening stage, the agency will help to match you with your intended parents. Some agencies allow the intended parents to choose first while others allow the surrogate to choose first. Once there’s a match, a meeting will be scheduled.

The Medical Work-up and Transfer

During the next stage you will visit the IVF clinic where the physician will explain the medical process to you and you will have a full examination. You will learn about the medications you will need to take to ready your uterus for the implantation of the embryo, and any necessary restrictions or expectations. You may also need to take hormone medication to match your cycle to that of the egg donor or intended mother. For the transfer procedure, your doctor will insert a small catheter through to your uterus to implant the embryo.

The Pregnancy and Delivery

During the course of surrogate pregnancy, your condition will be monitored more frequently than you would be during a traditional pregnancy. This is to ensure the safety of you and the child. It is likely that you will be required to have your blood drawn and have ultrasounds on a regular basis.

In the event you are carrying multiple babies, you may be required to have more extensive monitoring. It is also important that you maintain regular communication with the intended parents up to the delivery so they are aware of your health and any need for support. Your agency will help you and the intended parent prepare a birth plan for the delivery.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over 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 for Reproductive Medicine, 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 Emeritus 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’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.