What You Need to Know About Surrogacy
Becoming a surrogate is a big step. If you are considering taking that step, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
- What happens after I submit my application and How do I get matched with intended parents?
- What is the wait time to be matched with intended parents?
- Will my intended parents live near me?
- All this talk about screening... do you screen the intended parents?
- Do parents ever refuse to take their baby? What would happen?
- How many successful babies have been born through your program?
- There are many agencies to choose from, why should I work with GG let alone any agency at all?
- How do you handle the financial aspect of my surrogacy?
- Do I have to use my own insurance or find a policy for this process?
- Do I have to come to LA for every appointment? What travel can I expect and is it different for international IPs? Can I bring my kids?
- How is the delivery handled?
What happens after I submit my application and How do I get matched with intended parents?
We'll review your application within 1 business day and may contact you with any additional questions we have regarding the information you provided on your application. Once your application has been accepted, we'll invite you to schedule your new surrogate phone consult. You can use our easy online calendaring system through your online account. This way we eliminate phone tag! During your consult we'll discuss any questions or concerns you may have and what Growing Generations offers you during your surrogacy.
Next you'll have some homework-submitting paperwork and completing your profile for intended parents.
As you are preparing for your in person screening, you will be presented with an intended parent profile. Growing Generations lets you choose the intended parent first, this doesn't happen at most other agencies. We make our choice based on your matching preferences and their matching preferences, as well as legal considerations based on where you live. You can accept or decline the profile. Once you accept the intended parent's profile, we'll send your profile along to the intended parent. If it's a match we'll move on to schedule your virtual match meeting.
Finally it's time to come to Los Angeles for screening. We'll make all your travel arrangements and screening appointments. Depending on where you're coming from you may stay in Los Angeles overnight. Screening consists of two appointments; a medical screening with our IVF Physician and a psychological screening with Fertility Counseling Services. Remember that you will be reimbursed for childcare and lost wages for your trip.
Two weeks later we should have your clearance. Once your screening is complete and you receive medical clearance, your match is official and you can meet the intended parents in person.
What is the wait time to be matched with intended parents?
For the vast majority of our surrogates there is no wait time to be matched once you've completed the beginning of the screening process. If you have specific matching preferences you may have a short wait but it's generally no more than a month.
Will my intended parents live near me?
Very rarely do intended parents and surrogates live near one another. We find that geography doesn't play an important role in a surrogacy relationship. Rather, we find that it's more important that you have similar views on the type of relationship you'd like. In this day and age people find all kinds of ways to be in touch...Skype, Facebook, texting, phone calls.
All this talk about screening... do you screen the intended parents?
Prior to being admitted to the program, Intended Parents go through an extensive application process and a 1 1/2 hour in-person interview with one of the senior executives of the company. Growing Generations does not work with every person who applies to our program.
Once admitted to the program each intended parent undergoes criminal background checks as well as medical screening.
Do parents ever refuse to take their baby? What would happen?
It's never happened with any of our families but this is a common question! The funny thing is that many intended parents ask about surrogates wanting to keep the baby and many surrogates want to make sure the intended parents are going to take their baby home! So one fear sort of cancels the other out. But let's just say it did happen... we would work with an attorney to find the baby a loving adoptive family.
How many successful babies have been born through your program?
1446 and counting!
There are many agencies to choose from, why should I work with GG let alone any agency at all?
We thought we'd let our mission statement speak for itself.
How do you handle the financial aspect of my surrogacy?
Growing Generations has a finance team dedicated to taking care of each case. From reimbursements for lost wages and childcare to pregnancy disbursements and maternity clothing allowances, our finance team will make sure you receive any payments or reimbursements in a timely manner.
Finally, I'm sure if you do some digging you can find some negative stories about the financial aspects of surrogacy so here's what we've done to protect you:
- Client expense accounts must be fully funded prior to any surrogate starting medications. Fully funded means all of the funds to cover costs through the delivery are collected.
- We have a general liability policy to protect the funds we hold.
- We have you sign your benefit package prior to meeting your intended parents. This means you don't have to deal with any sort of negotiations with your intended parents. We take care of all the business so you can just sit back and enjoy your relationship with your intended parents.
Do I have to use my own insurance or find a policy for this process?
If you have your own insurance we will review it to see if it covers surrogate pregnancies. Growing Generations feels very strongly about only using insurance policies that are safe for our surrogates and intended parents. So, if your policy has an exclusion for surrogacy or you do not have your own insurance, we'll have you apply for a surrogate maternity policy to cover your OB care and delivery. This policy will be paid for by the intended parent.
Do I have to come to LA for every appointment? What travel can I expect and is it different for international IPs? Can I bring my kids?
You don't have to come to LA for every appointment. You will need to come out for your medical screening and each embryo transfer. Some in person match meetings are held in LA, but most are virtual. Once you're confirmed pregnant you will see an OB near you and the remainder of your appointments will occur near home. Every now and then a surrogate may need to make one more trip to have a special prenatal test or procedure but that's very rare. Even if your intended parents live internationally they come to you. We advise against our surrogates bringing their children to LA. While you're here you'll have important appointments, and we'll want you to be relaxed and focused.
How is the delivery handled?
We find that most hospitals are great with surrogacy births. In preparation for the birth we will encourage you and your intended parents to attend a hospital tour to familiarize yourselves with the facility. We'll also give your intended parents access to our birth plan creation tool through their online account. This will allow them, with input from you, to create a birth plan to make sure the hospital staff knows there is an upcoming surrogate birth. Virtually all intended parents want to be present at the birth and do their absolute best to be there... however, we all know that babies have a mind of their own and sometimes arrive earlier than expected so be prepared for anything.