What is Surrogacy?
A Surrogate is a woman who agrees to carry a child(ren) for another person or couple. There are two types of surrogates: Traditional and Gestational.
What is the difference between a Traditional Surrogate and Gestational Surrogate?
A Gestational Surrogate, which is the most common, is a Surrogate who is not genetically connected to the child(ren) she is carrying for the Intended Parent(s). The eggs are retrieved from the Intended Mother or an Egg Donor, are fertilized with the Intended Father’s sperm or Sperm Donor, and then transferred to the Surrogate’s womb.
A Traditional Surrogate is a Surrogate who also donates her egg and has a biological link to the child(ren) she is carrying for the Intended Parent(s). This is where the Surrogate is artificially inseminated with the Intended Father’s or donor sperm.
Why should I go through an agency vs. going independently?
Discussions over cost, escrow accounts, doctors, lawyers and scheduling appointments can overwhelm and stress the relationship between the Intended Parent(s) and the Surrogate Mother. Having an agency there to manage the process and handle the details allows the Intended Parent(s) and the Surrogate Mother to relax and enjoy the pregnancy.
How long does it take to become a Surrogate?
We do our best to match our Surrogates as quickly as possible. It typically takes 1-3 months to become matched. Once you are matched, the screening process, including the legal process, usually takes 1-3 months. Once you have been cleared to start your IVF cycle you are typically on medications for 3-4 weeks before you have an embryo transfer.
What are my responsibilities as a Surrogate?
As a Surrogate Mother it requires a certain level of responsibility while providing this wonderful gift. You must acknowledge and understand the importance of keeping your appointments and being on time. Listen to and follow the instructions given to you by the professionals you will work with through your surrogacy journey. Keep open communication with your Intended Parent(s) and Modern Family at all times… and have fun!
Do I get to choose the Intended Parent(s) that I work with?
Yes. Once the Intended Parent(s) reviews your profile and shares an interest in working with you we will then share their profile with you. If you are interested in working with the Intended Parent(s), we will then set up a phone call/meeting for you. After speaking/meeting with them both parties will communicate to the agency if they wish to work together. If both parties agree, you will be considered “matched”.
How much contact will I have with the intended parents?
The amount of contact depends on the wishes of both the Surrogate Mother and the Intended Parent(s). Typically, the relationship and communication happens naturally as you go through the process.
What is the medical process involved with being a Surrogate?
The first step in the medical process is your screening with the physician. On this day, the physician will perform blood and urine tests on you and your spouse/partner, if you are in a relationship. You'll then undergo a pelvic exam, an ultrasound and a consultation with the doctor where he/she will explain the IVF process in detail.
Once you have signed your legal contract and cleared to proceed, you'll then move forward with your IVF cycle. You will receive your medications and specific instructions will be given by a medical professional at your fertility clinic. The medications will cause your cycle to be synchronized with the Egg Donor’s or Intended Mother's menstrual cycle and help your uterine lining thicken in order to accept the transferred embryos. After the embryos have been transferred, you'll be required to be on bed rest for 24-72 hours depending on your fertility clinic’s requirement.
Your pregnancy test will occur 10-12 days after the transfer through a blood test. Once you are pregnant you will continue your medications to ensure that the pregnancy will continue to grow. It’s critical during this time that you follow your medication instructions exactly as prescribed. Once the pregnancy is stable, which is near the end of the first trimester, you will be instructed to stop the medications and you will see your personal OB doctor for the remainder of the pregnancy.
How will I be compensated?
Once you sign your legal agreement with your Intended Parent(s) you will be paid in monthly installments. You will be required to turn in a reimbursement form by the 20th of each month and you will receive your payments due to you per your legal agreement on the 1st of each month.
Will I miss work?
The amount of work you miss will depend on how your appointments are scheduled with the IVF clinic you are working with. You will have more frequent appointments in the initial stages of the IVF process, typically weekly appointments. Once you are pregnant and released by your IVF physician you will see your OB doctor just as you would with your own pregnancy.
Does this cost me anything?
No. The Intended Parent(s) are responsible for all expenses incurred as a result of the surrogacy. These expenses include Surrogate Mother compensation, Surrogate Mother medical expenses, attorney fees, and travel expenses.
How much am I paid?
Surrogate Mother’s compensation varies by experience. Most Surrogate Mothers receive $30,000-$50,000. We will provide you with a list which details all of the compensations.
What are the health risks as a Surrogate Mother?
A surrogate pregnancy has no more risks then a regular pregnancy. It is important that the Surrogate Mother consult with your OB doctor to discuss the risks of pregnancy.
I had my tubes tied. Can I still serve as a gestational surrogate?
Yes, in achieving a pregnancy through the IVF process the embryos are placed directly into the Surrogate’s uterus so the fallopian tubes are not used.
Will I be taking injections?
Most IVF clinic’s protocols require you to do daily injections to prepare your uterus for embryo transfer. Once you have had your transfer and are confirmed pregnant you will continue the injections until your IVF physician instructs you to stop. This typically happens near the end of the first trimester. It’s critical to the pregnancy that you follow your IVF physician’s instructions exactly as instructed.
Is there anything required of my spouse/partner?
Your spouse/partner will be required to participate in the medical screening process by providing the clinic with blood and urine samples. If married, your spouse must be included in your legal contract. It’s important that your spouse/partner be in agreement of your becoming a surrogate mother and is willing to support you throughout the process.
Will I have any genetic relation to the child(ren) born?
No, as a Gestational Surrogate you will be using the eggs from either the Intended Mother or an Egg Donor. You will have no genetic relation to the child(ren).
Will my and my husband's names be on the birth certificate?
In California through a pre-birth judgment the Intended Parents have full parental rights to the child and their names go on the birth certificate and not the Surrogate Mother or her spouse.
Are all the fertility doctors/clinics in San Diego?
No, we work with clinics in various cities in California. Most of the clinics we work with are in San Diego or Los Angeles. If long distance travel is required, you will be compensated for your travel expenses. If traveling, you will only be making these trips during the initial stages of the fertility treatment and pregnancy. Once you are near the completion of the first trimester, the fertility doctor will release you to your local OB doctor.
Once I am pregnant, where will I receive medical care and deliver the baby?
Typically, you are able to see your current OB doctor during your pregnancy. If you need a new OB doctor we can provide you with a recommendation. You will be able to deliver at a hospital that is local to you so long as it’s approved by your insurance provider; this will most likely be where you delivered your own children.