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Surrogate FAQ

Common Questions From Women Interested In Becoming Surrogate Mothers

Surrogate FAQ2020-04-24T17:36:56-07:00

HOW TO BECOME A SURROGATE

Surrogate FAQ

As you consider surrogacy, you may have questions along the way. With many experienced surrogates on staff, we’ve helped women navigate their surrogacy journeys successfully, and have answered almost every question out there!

If you have specific questions that are not reflected, feel free to contact us.

What is the difference between gestational and traditional surrogacy?2020-04-02T10:52:27-07:00

In a gestational surrogacy, intended parents create embryos through in vitro fertilization using either their own genetic material or donor eggs and or donor sperm. One or more embryos are then implanted into the “gestational” surrogate who then carries the child/ren to term and will have no genetic connection to them.

A traditional surrogate is impregnated through artificial insemination utilizing her own eggs who will then have a genetic connection to the children she carries for the intended parents.

Please note that we will only recruit and manage gestational surrogacy arrangements.

How long does it take to become a surrogate?2020-03-26T11:50:59-07:00

Before we can show your profile to future parents, you must complete our admissions process. This includes completing your online surrogacy profile, a phone or Skype interview and submitting the necessary documents and pictures. The time frame for becoming searchable and available for being discovered is mostly dependent on how quickly you complete the admissions process.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that you will become a surrogate, but typically surrogates find the right future parents within 1-3 months.  It usually takes another 1-3 months to schedule and complete the medical screening, psychological evaluation and legal contracts. Once legal contracts are done, the embryo transfers usually take place in the next 3-4 weeks. After that, you can expect a normal pregnancy term as long as there are no complications.

There are several factors that are taken into consideration in the surrogacy process with the most important factor being what you and the future parents are looking for. Other factors include age, background, marital status, BMI and previous childbirth history. We have some surrogates who were discovered by parents very quickly, while others may take longer. We recommend that our surrogates make sure they keep their profiles current, that pictures are kept up to date and we even recommend submitting a “Surro Clip” which is a brief introduction video about yourself.

I would like to match as quickly as possible. Where is the need for surrogate mothers the greatest?2020-04-01T08:49:42-07:00

Being open and flexible with your matching preferences can help reduce the time it takes to match you. For example, being open to working with either straight or LGBTQ+ single or couple, domestic or international. Keep in mind that where you live may determine with whom we can match you. Unfortunately, we are not always able to facilitate surrogate matching with women from some states with same-sex couples or gay individuals, as the local laws and policy do not allow this.

Do I get to choose the Intended/Future Parents that I work with?2020-04-01T08:46:57-07:00

Yes! As soon as the surrogacy admissions process is complete, you will be made available/searchable for future parents to see on our secure database. As soon as there are parents interested in your profile, we will send you their brief biographies and schedule a meeting. This may be at the office or via Skype. After the meeting you will both have time to determine if you’d like to move forward together. If you both want to proceed, then your unique surrogacy journey will take the next step. If not, we will continue to work at helping you get discovered by other parents. We actively try to help parents find surrogates who share the same general values and interests.

What kind of contact should I expect during my surrogacy?2020-04-01T08:48:50-07:00

You should expect whatever level of contact makes you comfortable, as every journey is unique. We do ask all of our intended parents to be in touch at least once a week from the time they meet you until delivery. Some people choose to have more frequent contact than this, especially around the time of the birth. However, it is not required. Before you cycle and during the pregnancy, you can expect phone calls, emails, and maybe an occasional visit, particularly for OB appointments and ultrasounds. After you deliver, we encourage our surrogate mothers and families to remain in contact through emails, phone calls, pictures and letters or maybe an occasional visit. Everyone is encouraged to do what makes them most comfortable. For most, the relationship develops naturally over time.

Can I meet the family with which I might be matched?2020-04-01T08:57:11-07:00

Typically, our surrogates and intended parents will meet each other in a video meeting before moving forward with a match. We encourage both parties to get to know each other. Occasionally, intended parents will fly out for an initial meeting. More often you will meet them in person for the first time at the screening or transfer stage.

Can I choose whom I help?2020-04-01T08:57:05-07:00

Yes. We have all kinds of families who are looking for surrogate mothers, including married couples, single parents, same-sex couples, domestic and foreign couples, and single people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. We have parents who are hoping to add to their families and others who are having a child for the first time.

What is the typical compensation for a gestational surrogate?2020-04-01T08:56:59-07:00

Gestational surrogacy compensation can vary depending on where you live in the United States and whether or not you are currently employed. Most first time surrogates can receive anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000 with our all-inclusive benefit packages. Repeat Surrogates typically receive a higher compensation, depending on their previous experience.

How will I be compensated?2020-04-01T08:56:53-07:00

The intended parents will fund an escrow account before starting your medical protocol. Prior to pregnancy confirmation, you will receive a monthly expense allowance, as well as compensation for the embryo transfer and an injectable medication fee. Your pregnancy compensation will begin on the first weekday of each month following confirmation of fetal heartbeat. Your base compensation is broken up into 10 monthly payments; however, after you deliver the baby the remaining balance will come in one final payment. Payment will be handled by us according to your Surrogate Contract.

Will I be compensated more for carrying twins or triplets?2020-04-01T08:56:37-07:00

Yes. Currently our surrogates receive an additional $7,500 for carrying twins. A coordinator can discuss the “multiple fees” for triplets as we do compensate for them, but safe, healthy pregnancies are our priority.

Do I have to pay for anything related to being a surrogate mother?2020-04-01T08:59:25-07:00

The intended parents will pay any and all reasonable and necessary expenses that you incur in connection with the surrogacy, including, but not limited to, all uninsured medical expenses, your legal fees for evaluating and negotiating the surrogacy agreement, any and all necessary counseling expenses, child care reimbursements and lost wages.

Who pays for all the medical bills?2020-04-01T08:59:58-07:00

Your insurance company (or the surrogate maternity insurance coverage we obtain for you and your intended parents) will pay most of the bills related to your pregnancy and delivery. If there are any additional unexpected costs, your intended parents will cover those costs. The family you choose to work with will pay for all IVF medical procedures, expenses, co-payments, and deductibles related to your surrogate pregnancy.

What is the transfer procedure like for surrogates?2020-04-01T09:00:48-07:00

The embryo transfer itself is a relatively quick and painless procedure in which the IVF doctor uses a small catheter to insert the embryo(s) into your uterus. Anesthesia is often not necessary, but a mild sedative may be used. An ultrasound may be used to help guide the physician as he/she transfers the embryo(s). Once the embryologist has ensured that the embryo(s) have been safely inserted, you’ll remain in the room or a recovery room for 30-60 minutes before you are allowed to leave. Each doctor varies in their protocol, but most require anywhere from 1-5 days of bed rest which would begin as soon as you get home from the procedure or if you are not local, as soon as you get back to your hotel following the transfer.

Do I have to travel?2020-04-01T09:01:25-07:00

Yes. You should plan to be available to travel for the transfer, which is typically a four- to seven-day trip. You can be medically screened and monitored closer to home, but you will need to travel to the IVF clinic for the transfer. At times, the overseeing IVF clinic will require you to travel for an initial screening. This is typically a one- or two-day trip.

How is the pregnancy managed?2020-04-01T09:02:04-07:00

After your pregnancy confirmation, you’ll continue to receive care from the IVF physician for approximately 10 weeks or until he/she has released you to your selected OBGYN which is covered by your medical insurance. You’ll stay with this physician until your delivery at a hospital that is also covered under the medical insurance. It is mandatory that your OBGYN is affiliated with a hospital that has a good maternity department and a neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU). While decisions regarding the pregnancy are a combined effort; they are discussed and agreed upon at the time of legal contracts. It’s of the utmost importance that you sign your HIPAA and make sure that you update us and your intended parents after every appointment.

Who picks my OB or midwife?2020-04-01T09:02:47-07:00

You select your OB or midwife for your prenatal care. We ask that if a midwife is chosen, that he/she is overseen by an OB. In the instance you are carrying multiples, you may be asked to see a maternal fetal medicine doctor.

Why do surrogates need to have had a successful pregnancy to become a surrogate?2020-04-01T09:03:41-07:00

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) is an organization that ensures ethical standards are upheld through the practice and advancement of reproductive medicines. In order to be approved by this organization, we must uphold their requirements, one of which is that a woman must have had a successful term pregnancy prior to being a surrogate.

Who chooses the attorney to review contracts with me?2020-04-01T09:04:56-07:00

We’ll recommend attorneys whom we have worked with in the past and with whom we know have a strong understanding of Assisted Reproduction Technology law. We do this because we want to be sure that the attorney is familiar with surrogacy. Of course, your legal fees are covered by your intended parents.

My significant other doesn’t seem on board with my being a surrogate. Can I still move forward?2020-04-01T09:05:42-07:00

We are sorry but we require that all surrogates and egg donors in our program have the full support of their husband or partner. If you are not married, you must have a support person in place with whom you will share the journey. Your primary support person will also have a screening with our social work team.

I am 39 years old. I just had a baby last year. Why can’t I be a surrogate mother?2020-04-01T09:06:42-07:00

Age limits are set by the IVF clinics. Because of fluctuating hormones and the increased health risks to you and the baby or babies, the age limit is no higher than 39 years of age. On occasion, we make exceptions, but only for women who have been surrogate mothers recently.

Is there a weight requirement to be a surrogate?2023-12-26T00:12:14-08:00

BMI guidelines are set by the IVF clinics, it usually will fall within the healthy range of 19–33. The BMI requirements are established not only for health reasons, but also to ensure that you will respond appropriately to the medications necessary for this process.

How long do I have to wait after my last delivery before I can become a surrogate?2020-04-01T09:07:58-07:00

Based on guidelines set by fertility clinics, we can work with surrogates 3 months after a vaginal delivery or 6 months after a delivery by C-section.

I have had my tubes tied. Can I still be a gestational carrier?2020-04-01T09:08:37-07:00

Absolutely. Having your tubes tied will not affect your ability to be a successful surrogate.

If I have a sexually-transmitted disease/infection (STI/STD), can I still be a carrier?2020-04-01T09:09:12-07:00

Some STIs/STDs will disqualify you. HIV and Hepatitis (or any others that could be communicated to a fetus/baby) would disqualify you, whereas others, such as genital warts and genital herpes, may not.

I have been prescribed anti-depressants in the past. Can I be a surrogate mother?2020-04-01T09:09:47-07:00

In order to be considered to be a surrogate, you must have ceased using any anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications for 6-12 months before applying to our program. In many cases, we may require supporting documentation from a prescribing doctor, prescription refill history, as well as other documentation.

I needed to take anti-depressants after the birth of my last baby for postpartum depression. Can I still be a surrogate mother?2020-04-01T09:10:23-07:00

At this time, we are unable to accept applicants who have experienced postpartum depression for which they were prescribed anti-depressants after their most recent delivery, numerous prior deliveries, or all prior deliveries.

I do not believe in selective reduction or abortion. Can I still apply to become a surrogate?2020-04-01T09:11:04-07:00

We do occasionally have couples who share these beliefs, however it is a rare occurrence as most of our intended parents ultimately want the choice to make decisions about their own family. You are encouraged to inquire with our staff whether or not we currently have intended parents who would not terminate a pregnancy due to a severe medical diagnosis of the fetus.

I am currently enrolled in a government assistance program. Can I be a surrogate?2020-04-01T09:11:39-07:00

We are unable to accept applicants who are enrolled in certain government programs, including cash assistance, welfare, public housing, and Section 8 housing. The income requirements for these programs are generally stricter than other programs, such as food stamps, WIC, and subsidized childcare. Reimbursements received while you are acting as a gestational surrogate could potentially make you ineligible for certain benefits.

Do I need medical insurance to become a surrogate?2020-04-01T09:12:18-07:00

You do not need insurance to join our program, but all of our surrogates have medical insurance prior to starting their medications. Intended Parents are responsible for the cost of the insurance and we will evaluate your insurance status at the time of your match and help institute an appropriate policy.

Do I need to have insurance that will cover surrogacy?2020-04-01T09:12:56-07:00

No. If you do have medical insurance coverage, we’ll take a look at the plan to see if it is likely to cover surrogacy. But if you don’t have insurance, it’s not a problem. We’ll find a plan that will cover you and your intended parents will pay any associated costs.

Will my own insurance be used for the surrogacy?2020-04-01T09:13:29-07:00

Your insurance will be vetted to determine if it is surrogacy friendly with no exclusions. Monthly premiums, copays and deductibles will be paid for by the intended parents if your insurance is used.

How much life insurance does the intended parents pay for?2020-04-01T09:14:18-07:00

We work to find you a $250,000 life insurance policy. The intended parents pay the premiums; however, you choose the beneficiaries.

I’m breastfeeding, can I be a surrogate?2023-12-26T00:01:39-08:00

Breastfeeding naturally delays a woman’s return to fertility by causing a lack of ovulation and periods. If you’re trying to get pregnant and be a surrogate, this can cause serious problems with implantation of an embryo. Therefore, to become a surrogate, you will have to stop breastfeeding and resume your regular menstrual cycle for a more successful IVF process.

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