What is the Surrogacy Process Like?
The surrogacy process takes an average of 14-18 months from the moment you apply to the time of delivery. Surrogacy is a rewarding and fulfilling experience, and at Growing Generations, you will have a dedicated specialist with you every step of the way. Here is a breakdown of what to expect. Please keep in mind that every surrogacy is unique, so the timing and process may vary.
Applying to be a Surrogate
First, you will need to complete a quick survey to see if you qualify, and then you will complete our full application. Click here to get started! Your application will be reviewed by an admissions specialist, and if approved, you will be invited to schedule a consultation. Your specialist will also help guide you through our admissions process, which includes a review of your pregnancy-related medical records, pay stubs, surrogacy preferences, and general paperwork. You will also complete psychological screening with our psych team.
Matching with Intended Parents
During your admissions process, our matching team will be working hard to identify the right intended parent match for you. We’ll begin by asking several questions to understand your hopes and expectations for the surrogacy so that we can match with like-minded parents. We have a unique, highly customized matching process, so we will hand pick an intended parent profile for you. Once you approve a parent profile, your profile will be sent to the parents for their review. If everyone accepts the match, you will have a first meeting with the parents in a video match meeting, which is facilitated by a member of the case management team. Matching can happen within a few days or several weeks, but we will diligently work to find a match you’re excited about!
You will complete medical screening with the doctor who will be overseeing your IVF cycle. In most cases, this involves travel. The travel expenses for you and your partner will be covered. During your trip, you will have a physical examination and blood draw at the medical screening with the IVF physician. We typically receive the medical screening results within two weeks of your appointment.
After you are medically cleared and your intended parent match is confirmed, the legal phase begins. You will complete a legal contract between you and the intended parents to establish the terms of the surrogacy. The legal process takes three weeks on average, but the timing can vary. You will not be able to begin injectable medications until your legal clearance has been issued. Once the contract is in place, your case specialist will work with you and the IVF clinic to create a calendar with your medication protocol and tentative embryo transfer date.
Embryo Transfer Preparation
You will receive a copy of the cycle calendar from your IVF clinic. The cycle medications will be shipped to you, and the clinic will provide detailed instructions on how to administer the medication and what dosages to take. You will also have a few local monitoring appointments at a facility near your hometown to track your progress. Once your body is ready for the transfer, you will travel to the IVF clinic for the procedure. The first pregnancy test occurs 10-12 days after the transfer.
Once a pregnancy is confirmed, you will continue some of your IVF medications until 10-12 weeks of pregnancy, at which time you will be released to the care of your local obstetrician. Now that the IVF process is complete, your pregnancy care will be much more routine. Your OB appointments will occur approximately every 4 weeks and will then increase in frequency near the end of the pregnancy. Your case specialist will be with you the entire time to help navigate the practical and emotional sides of this process. You will complete milestone calls with your case specialist and intended parents to help prepare for delivery. You will also have access to our online resource center as well as a private social media group to connect with other wonderful surrogates and to share your feelings and experience.
Preparing for Delivery
In your second trimester the legal team will being the second phase of the legal process, often referred to as “parental establishment.” This legal process varies slightly from state to state but results in the intended parents being named the legal parents of their children. During your third trimester, your case specialist will complete an interview with the delivery hospital to review the hospital policies, and they will also help you and your intended parents create a birth plan to outline everyone’s wishes for delivery day.
Delivery and Recovery
The day you’ve all been working toward! Surrogates often describe delivery day as life-changing. After delivery, the baby(ies) will be discharged from the hospital with the parents, and you will be discharged as well. We’ll be here to support you in the postpartum period to ensure you’re recovering and have everything you need.
FAQs - Surrogacy Questions & Answers
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.
Can I still be a surrogate if I’ve had my tubes tied?
Yes, you can still be a surrogate if you’ve had a tubal ligation (tubes tied). As a gestational surrogate, a fertilized embryo will be implanted into your uterus, so there is no need to use your eggs. Please check out our blog post titled Surrogacy After a Tubal Ligation for more information.
Why does my income matter when I apply to be a surrogate?
Growing Generations is committed to our surrogates and intended parents. We verify our surrogate’s income because the compensation you receive during your surrogacy could affect your ability to receive government assistance. We also verify our surrogate’s income to assure the intended parent(s) that their surrogate is financially stable.
How do surrogacy compensation and reimbursement payments work?
You will work with a finance specialist during your entire surrogacy journey. You will receive a personalized benefit package and handbook during your surrogate admissions process. The benefit package will outline the payments and benefits you can expect to receive during your surrogacy. Some surrogacy payments are made at different milestones such as completing medical screening or beginning IVF cycle medications while other payments are made on a regular monthly schedule during your surrogate pregnancy. We aim to make it easy for you to receive your payments and will set you up with direct deposit, so you don’t have to wait for check to arrive in the mail. You can learn more about surrogate compensation and reimbursements here: Understanding Surrogate Compensation & Pay and Understanding Surrogacy Reimbursements.
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