Here are the three things every prospective parent should consider when beginning their surrogacy journey.
Step one: Create a budget
The costs for gestational surrogacy can be broken down into two main categories: mandatory and optional. Mandatory costs may include legal fees, psychological evaluation and monitoring, surrogate compensation and expenses, medical costs, insurance, and agency fees. Optional expenses may include elective genetic testing on the embryos, having twins, or working with an experienced surrogate.
At Growing Generations, one of the first things we help clients do is establish their priorities. Before starting the process, we can create a personalized cost estimate for you. This estimate will give you a clearer idea of your potential surrogacy costs. As you go through the process, you might find things don’t always go according to plan. If you have already established priorities, it will be easier for you to make decisions.
For example, one of our families, a same-sex couple, decided having twins was their top priority. They were hoping for one boy and one girl. Each parent was going to be a sperm contributor when creating embryos . However, they established that if one father didn’t produce any embryos, and the other father produced both male and female embryos, then those were the embryos they would transfer. It was more important for these intended parents to have twins then it was for each to have a biological child.
If you are not sure how to establish your priorities, we can offer you guidance. One of our Growing Generations finance team experts will be happy to work with you to create a customized cost estimate. Click here to contact us and schedule a time to talk.
Step Two: Have a Timeline
The average surrogacy journey ranges between two to two and a half years. Each case is individual and has its own factors that will influence timing. Some of these factors include:
- Surrogate match wait time: The estimated wait time to be matched with a surrogate varies between twelve to eighteen months.
- Having embryos: If you have frozen embryos ready, this will speed things along once you are matched with a surrogate. If you do not have embryos ready, they can be created while you await your surrogate match.
- Pregnancy success: Some cases achieve pregnancy on the first attempt while others take multiple attempts. There are many things that can impact success rates. Your IVF physician will be able to provide you with their clinic’s pregnancy success rates. Each additional pregnancy attempt usually adds 2-3 months to your timeline.
Growing Generations receives thousands of surrogate applicants annually and less than 2% of applicants go on to become surrogates. We have rigorous surrogate screening protocols. If your surrogate doesn’t pass screening, we will provide you with a credit towards her screening costs.
Step Three: Be Open
The requirements you place on your surrogate match can impact your matching wait time. You may prefer to work with a surrogate in a particular geographic region or perhaps you prefer to work with a stay at home mom. Some preferences will reduce the pool of surrogates available to you.
When working with your surrogacy agency, it is important to express what is a requirement and what is a preference for your ideal surrogate match, then elaborate on both. Growing Generations once had clients who required a college-educated, married, and experienced surrogate. We discussed these requirements with them in detail. The intended parents wanted an experienced surrogate because she would know what to do; married because she would have support at home; and college-educated, so they could relate to her better.
Growing Generations’ surrogates are all moms who have had successful pregnancies. Nothing in our data shows that experienced surrogates perform better than first time surrogates. Married surrogates may have the support of a spouse at home, or that spouse might be another person the surrogate is caring for. A requirement of all Growing Generations’ surrogates is that they have a local support network. Lastly, relating to your surrogate on a multiple of levels can be very helpful. Part of the Growing Generations process is to match you with a surrogate based on your preferences, shared expectations, and personality. Approximately 98% of our clients confirm their surrogate match after the first meeting.
If you are interested in digging deeper into the process, we are happy to schedule a free consult with you via video conference. Or maybe you have some basic questions you would like to get out of the way first. Either way, click here to contact us, and we will get back to you shortly.